Oman Observer

MUSCAT: The committees of the First International Conference on Frankincense and Medicinal Plants: Recent Advances in Research and Industry, continue the preparations for the conference which will be held from October 30 to November 1.

According to the scientific committee, about 77 researchers from the Sultanate and abroad are scheduled to participate.

About eight sessions will be held during the conference and more than 50 research papers, covering various topics, will be presented.

Experienced and well-known presenters have been drawn from more than 20 countries from around the world to present at the conference, including researchers from the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Russia, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iraq, Ethiopia and Sudan as well as from GCC and other countries.

In order to benefit from the conference and its knowledge and experiences, a number of researchers and specialists from organisations in the public and the private sectors have been invited to attend. These include students, faculty members, and graduates from various educational institutions, in addition to interested members of the wider community. In addition, producers of frankincense and medicinal plant products have been invited to participate in the conference exhibition by sharing their knowledge and experiences about product development.

Speaking on this occasion, Dr Rahma al Mahrooqi, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, SQU, said the conference, emphasises the importance of medicinal plants, is being organised by various parties, including SQU, the University of Nizwa, the Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre, and Qatar’s Qur’anic Botanic Garden, a member of the Qatar Foundation.

The conference will be the first of its kind in the field of frankincense and medicinal plants, and more than 70 scientific papers by specialists from 25 countries will be presented. A number of internationally-acclaimed scientists and researchers will present at the conference, including those concerned with the preservation and sustainability of frankincense, and regional and international producers of frankincense and other medicinal plants.

The conference will be accompanied by an exhibition on frankincense and medicinal plants and other related products. The organising committee has created a website so that all people who are interested in attending can register online (http://conferences.squ.edu.om/icfmp2018).

Prof Ahmed al Harrasi, Vice-Chancellor for Research, Graduate Studies and External Relations at the University of Nizwa, said, “The two universities and other participating organisations have decided to establish the conference to discuss the latest scientific, medical, physiological, chemical and historical aspect of frankincense and medicinal plants.”

Ten keynote speakers will participate in the conference. In the field of frankincense and medicinal plants, the American horticultural scientist Jason Eslamieh will speak about his experience in cultivating 19 species of frankincense at two farms in Arizona and San Diego. Prof Rene Csuk from the University of Halle in Germany will speak about frankincense acidification in order to eradicate cancer cells.

Prof Anne Osbourn will talk about chemical biodiversity in plants, while Dr Sabina Knees and Dr Shahina Ghazanfar will explore medical plant classification. Prof Ermias Dagne from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia will draw a comparison between Arabic and African frankincense, and Prof Hala al Issa from Qatar University will present a paper on natural pharmacy in Qatar.