KARACHI - Medicinal plants are depleting fast in South Asian countries due to improper planning and negligence of the authorities concerned. There is dire need to save these plants from devastation, as various fatal diseases can be avoided by conducting more research on such plants to discover effective drugs. These recommendations made by national and international chemical scientists on Saturday, while speaking at the closing ceremony of the four-day 11th International Symposium on Natural Product Chemistry held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University. Over 500 delegates, including over 100 foreign scientists and researchers from 35 countries participated in the international moot. More than 70 plenary and invited lectures on the issue had been delivered during the event. Director ICCBS, University of Karachi, Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhry, while chairing the ceremony, said that the international mutual cooperation among the chemical scientists was the need of the hour for the benefit and welfare of the humanity. He said that in order to strengthen the cooperation among the scientists of the world, such types of programmes, including symposium, seminar, conferences, workshops etc, can play vital role. The field of natural product chemistry needs more attention and progress in third world countries. Discoveries of more medicinal plants will boost up the pace of research in this region, Dr. Iqbal added. He said that the aim of the symposium was to bring together the leading experts in the field of natural products sciences from all around the world and form global partnership for sustainable utilisation of natural resources for the common benefits of humanity and rapid development of the countries in the south. International delegates on the occasion emphasised the need for doing some concrete work for protection of medicinal plants that are depleting in this region, and said that the south countries are required to use positively their natural resources for obtaining the required growth and advancement. They also underlined the need for carrying out new research work on medicinal plants and natural compounds keeping in view of their great medicinal potential to prevent diabetic complications and other diseases. The international delegates declared the ICCBS Karachi University as one of the most prestigious research institutions of the world and said that it is one of the premier research establishments of the world where experienced scientists and young scholars are engaged in genuine scientific studies in chemical, biochemical and biomedical sciences and are being trained in scientific methodology and critical thinking. Meanwhile, Dr Iqbal Chaudhry distributed the certificates among the participants and position holders of the posters' competition.