CSIR-CIMAP to research, trade medicinal plants for 21 nation group

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Tehran/New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) India’s Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) will be the coordinating centre on medicinal plants, to promote trade and technology among the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), after the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) entered into a pact on Monday.

The IORA is an association of 21 countries and seven dialogue partners which have identified six areas of cooperation including medicinal plants.

The CSIR entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Regional Center for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT) of IORA at Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Tehran.

The MoU now designates Lucknow-based CSIR-CIMAP as the coordinating centre on medicinal plants.

According to officials, the IORA centre at CSIR-CIMAP will establish a database on the important medicinal plants, their value added products, related experts and industries of the IORA member states and organise meetings and training programmes to promote trade, commerce and scientific exchanges to complement the strength and limitation of the member states.

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India had been advocating preservation and trade of medicinal and aromatic plants at several international forum, including United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Preservation of flora, especially the medicinal plants, is also on the United Nation’s agenda under REDF+ or “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation”.

According to the officials, research conducted in 18 Indian states, including in the Northeast, showed that existence of about 350 medicinal plants is threatened and listed red. The government is identifying areas across the country and marking them as medicinal plant conservation areas to conserve some plant species.

“CSIR has developed expertise and contributed in solving hundreds of problems of people. We invite scientists and business houses to visit CSIR labs in India to explore the possibilities of partnerships between CSIR labs and Iranian industry,” said Dr. Girish Sahni, Director General, CSIR.

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–IANS

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