Training Programme on “Diversity, documentation, Gene banking and Database for Medicinal Plants” for IORA Member Countries
Lucknow - India
November 25 to December 01, 2018

The Training Course has been scheduled by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CSIR-CIMAP) and held in close cooperation with Ministry of External Affairs, India and the IORA RCSTT in Lucknow, India during November 25 to December 01, 2018 as the first activity of the IORA-RCSTT Coordination Centre on Medicinal Plants at CSIR-CIMAP. One of the objectives of the Coordination Centre on Medicinal Plants at CSIR-CIMAP was to address the gaps for improving trade and business of medicinal plants and products among IORA member countries and dialogue partners, the first step is to develop a knowledge repository by creating a robust database on Medicinal plants, Experts, Products, Institutions and Regulatory regimes. This requires collation and compilation of existing domain knowledge on medicinal plants in each member state and its continuous updating. Hence, a programme to sensitize and train the representatives of the Member States was organized by the IORA RCSTT Coordination Centre on Medicinal Plant at CSIR-CIMAP with the following objectives.
1. Assessing and documenting medicinal plant diversity.
2. Conserving the medicinal plant wealth through gene banking.
3. Determining the quality parameters as per the regulatory guidelines.
4. Parameters and information required on medicinal plants for database.

The IORA RCSTT in close cooperation with the Organizing Committee circulated the programme announcements, concept note and other related documents among its Science and Technology Focal points as well as its Medicinal Plants Focal Points of all the IORA Member States and Dialogue Partners to ensure the maximum participation. Fortunately the Training Course was very warmly welcomed by the IORA countries so about 30 applicants from 13 countries including Bangladesh, India, Iran (both public and private sections), Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Thailand participated in. The full hospitality extended to all the delegates from IORA countries which covered guest-house accommodation, transportation to and from the airport/hotel/venue and selected meals by the CSIR-CIMAP.


At the end of the training programme, the trainees were more knowledgeable in assessing, documenting and conserving the diversity of medicinal plants of their respective countries to be able to train students in their countries. Further, they were also expected to collect and send the information on medicinal plants, products, institutes, industries and regulatory regime to IORA-RCSTT Coordination Centre on Medicinal Plants for a functional and compact database which can be assessed by all focal points for commercialization among member states in the future.
The member countries agreed to share their knowledge of medicinal and aromatic plants found in their respective countries. They also agreed to submit genetic data of such plants, turning the endeavour into a one of its kind conservation effort by member countries. The genetic data bank will not only help in conservation but also act as a source of information for future generations.
The programme also will help Member States to make trade of these medicinal plants easier. Sharing knowledge and technology involved in harvest of these plants was also a part of the programme. For example, regarding the trade of saffron, Iran is a leading exporter of saffron but the Iranian saffron in the Indian market comes via Europe where it is processed. The training programme and the one in the string will be able to change this story.




The 20th Meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) took place in Durban, South Africa during 31 October to 1 November 2018 (the report is attached hereto as CSO Decision Report). Dr. Tahereh Miremadi, Director of IORA RCSTT attended the above meeting to present and defend the RCSTT’s annual programme including accomplished projects and the future as well as ongoing activities (the report is attached hereto as RCSTT Summary Report).

Taking note of the report, the CSO Meeting approved signing the MOU between RCSTT and Water Research Commission (WRC) of South Africa (the report is attached hereto as Signing Ceremony Report), funding the two project proposals presented by RCSTT through the IORA Special Fund, and considering the RCSTT cooperation with Aachen University to establish Health and Medical Technology. Further, during the CSO Meeting, the Director of RCSTT, distributed a Policy Brief which was welcomed by the CSO Members (the full text is attached hereto as Policy Brief).

Mr. Ali Morteza Birang, Deputy for International Affairs and Technological Exchange, Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology, I.R. Iran paid a visit to the Regional Center for Science and Technology Transfer (IORA RCSTT) and had a meeting with Dr. Miremadi, the Director of IORA RCSTT on October 28, 2018. They discussed the various areas of bilateral cooperation including the joint planning of a training course on human resources development focused on regional science and technology diplomacy and interaction with the Indian, Chinese and Russian technology diplomats.
It is worth noting that Mr. Birang was accompanied in this meeting by Mr. Alaei Tabatabai, the Director of Office of Technology Exchange, Mr. Estiri, the Director General of the International Business Development Office and Mr. Hossein Ahmadi, the Deputy Director of International Affairs.


IORA RCSTT signed an MOU with the Water Research Commission (WRC) of South Africa to Coordinate the Water and Sanitation Research and Innovation amongst the IORA Member States,
1 November 2018 in Durban, South Africa

On the 1st of November 2018 during the IORA Senior Officials’ Meeting, the IORA RCSTT signed an MOU with the Water Research Commission (WRC) of South Africa to Coordinate the Water and Sanitation Research and Innovation amongst the IORA Member States.

On the Occasion of the visit of H.E. Mr. Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director General, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Africa and the Chair of the Eighth Bi-annual Meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) to Tehran, Dr Miremadi, Director of IORA-RCSTT, invited him to visit the office of RCSTT on 8 August 2018. It was the first time that Mr. Sooklal visited the headquarter in Tehran. In this visit, he was accompanied by Ms. Jacobs, Charge d'affaires of the South African Embassy to Tehran. During the visit, Dr. Miremadi gave them a tour of the Office and introduced her colleagues and working team. This visit also provided a very good opportunity for both parties to discuss the past activities and the future plans of IORA-RCSTT.