Karachi: “Foreign scientists at the 14th Asian Symposium have said that the WHO has estimated that over 6.3 billion people, about 88 per cent of the world’s population, rely on herbal and other natural medicines.
These resources are required the attention of the authorities concerned for their protection. Pakistan has made great efforts in the field of natural product chemistry, while this is a matter of concerns that the medicinal plants are depleting not only in Pakistan but also in other developing countries, they said.
The national and international scientists were speaking at the concluding ceremony of the 4-day 14th Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants, Spices and Other Natural Products (ASOMPS), held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU). As many as 600 national and foreign scientists and researchers, from UK, USA, Iran, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium, Greece, Hungry, Germany, Mauritius, Nigeria, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan etc have graced the symposium by their participation.
The four days of vigorous scientific program included plenary lectures, invited presentations and various session lectures. Along with this numbers of posters have also been presented by the young scholars. International organizers of this symposium, Prof. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim of Mauritius, Former Chairman Higher Education Commission Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, Director ICCBS Prof. Dr Iqbal Chaudhary and other foreign scientists also spoke on the occasion.
Prof. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim of Mauritius presented “The Karachi Declaration”, recognizing that little of the traditional knowledge on the use of biological resources for medicinal and other purposes has been scientifically documented and being translated into commercially and internationally accepted products. She said that the developed is deprived of these resources but they are making billions of dollars annually by importing these plants from developing world for their commercial purpose. But, the developing countries are not able to use such wealth of natural resources, she maintained.
Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman said that science is considered a bound between scientists of the world; the south countries are required to use positively their natural resources for obtaining the required growth and advancement. He stressed the importance of linkages between academic and industry, and said that there is a need for sending experts from academia to industry so that the gap between academia and industry could be bridged.
Director ICCBS Prof. Dr Iqbal Chaudhary said that there is a dire need to have more research on medicinal plants as various fatal diseases can be avoided by developing effective drugs by plants. Discoveries of more medicinal plants will accelerate the pace progress in the research side especially in this region, he maintained.
He pointed out that the attendance of hundreds of international scientists in this symposium shows the standing of the ICCBS Karachi University in the world of science.
Talking to media, Prof. I. P. Gerothanassis of Greece, Prof. Alain Krief of Belgium, Indian Professor B. N. Dhwan and other foreigners have said that Pakistanis are devoted and hospitable nation. They applauded the efforts of the administration of ICCBS towards organizing regularly these types of symposiums, seminars, conferences, workshops etc.
Meanwhile, Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman and Director ICCBS Prof. Dr Iqbal Chaudhary distributed the certificates among the participants and position holders of the poster competition.