Talk highlights technology for conservation of frankincense trees

MUSCAT: The Remote Sensing and GIS Research Center (RSGISC) at Sultan Qaboos University is assessing the use of remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS) technology in gathering meaningful information for the conservation of the nation’s prominent flora i.e. frankincense tree utilizing space data products, aerial photos and geographic database.
As part of this initiative, the RSGISC organized a series of talks on the frankincense tree by inviting Denzil Phillips, an aromatic and medicinal plant expert from United Kingdom. Phillips delivered three lectures on conservation of medicinal plants; monitoring of endangered medicinal plants using remote sensing technologies; geospatial trends of frankincense; and quality assurance including remote sensing techniques for frankincense and other medicinal plants.
Frankincense has been traded round the world for many thousands of years and these trade routes chart the development and history of many ancient cultures. For millennia frankincense, also called olibanum, which is derived from the Arabic al-lubān, has played a key role in the culture and trading of the Sultanate of Oman. The people of Oman have a great regard for frankincense. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in the demand for traditional more ‘natural’ products, which has stimulated the use of frankincense both in traditional ways and in new product development. Frankincense now has applications in the cosmetics and food industry, in health foods and supplements, in prophylaxis and in medicines. Frankincense has developed a good reputation for both healing and safety based on thousands of years of use without reports of side effects.