Traditional medicines, particularly herbal ones, form an important and widespread component of the health-care system in Ghana. In fact, its high floristic and cultural diversity has a major impact on both local economies and biodiversity conservation.
Many species of medicinal plants are imperiled in Ghana due to threats from habitat loss, land-use and climate change, and unsustainable harvesting in the wild. However, no authoritative checklist of threatened medicinal plants exists for the country, and national policy decisions have yet to study or assess impacts on them.
In addition, very little digital information about Ghana’s medicinal plants is available for wider use, despite considerable documentation about human uses of them. Digitization and knowledge sharing are critical for preserving this indigenous cultural heritage and conserving the country’s plant diversity, so this project seeks not just to mobilize data on the threatened medicial plants of Ghana but also to enhance human capacity for digitizing and openly sharing it.
The team will engage major stakeholders in Ghana’s medicinal plant industry and develop information products useful for national policy and decision-making on the country’s medicinal plant resources.