Transdisciplinary collaborations to highlight media advocacy on climate change impacts on medicinal plants: Evidence from content analysis, and recommendations for action

Bernard Appiah, Isaac Kingsley Amponsah, Md Koushik Ahmed, Gursimar Kaur Singh, Merlin Lincoln Kwao Mensah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Medicinal plants have long been part of the healthcare systems of humanity. At least eighty percent of the population in all World Health Organization (WHO) regions report using herbal medicines. Thus, losing access to medicinal plants from climate change could have a devastating impact on healthcare systems globally. Although the role of the mass media in tackling climate change and health challenges was recognized in a 2017 landmark report on health and climate change, media coverage of the climate crisis and related impacts on medicinal plants appear to be lacking. To assess media coverage of the extinction of medicinal plants due to climate change in three regions — Africa, Asia and Middle East, we conducted a newspaper content analysis, and identified 19 eligible newspaper articles out of 198 articles published from 2008 to 2021. We also conducted a systematic search of studies published in peer-reviewed journals over the same period to determine the extent to which scientific papers on the climate crisis on medicinal plants published over the same period were being cited by the analysed newspaper articles. Of the 478 papers identified, 52 were published from Asian and African countries and were considered eligible. None of the 52 scientific papers were cited by any of the 19 newspaper articles, an indication that studies focusing on medicinal plants’ extinction resulting from climate change were not getting publicity in newspapers. The surprisingly few newspaper articles on the subject may indicate a lack of transdisciplinary initiatives, partnerships, and relationships between stakeholders including journalists and researchers in Africa, Asia and the Middle East working to highlight how climate change is negatively impacting medicinal plants. Therefore, we propose advocacy strategies for promoting media coverage of the climate crisis and its impacts on medicinal plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100215
JournalJournal of Climate Change and Health
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Medicinal plants extinction
  • Researchers-journalists collaborations
  • advocacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Global and Planetary Change

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