Dr. Deepa Pullanikkatil and Ms. Kerry Hughes co-editied this volume published by Springer in Jan 2023. This contributed volume provides case studies from around the world that feature a convergence of indigenous and western knowledge in an attempt to understand complex socio-ecological systems. The book provides an understanding of socio-ecological systems in an ethical space using a 'Decoloniality' approach (i.e. untangling the production of knowledge from a primarily Eurocentric episteme). The work presented here integrates and merges indigenous knowledge with western science, thereby building on the strengths of each in service of understanding these systems. The editors of this volume approach indigenous communities and scientists as equal knowledge-holders and, in doing so, contributes towards improved understanding of socio-ecological systems and interactions in cross-cultural contexts. This volume will be of interest to scientists, instructors, students and policy makers across disciplines such as environmental sciences, social sciences, interdisciplinary studies, cultural studies, ethnobotany, anthropology and plant genetic resources.
The rationale for the book was simple. There has been much academic and policy debate on the potential of NTFPs to alleviate poverty. The summary, quantitative stats may indicate that the potential is low, yet NTFPs certainly do provide an avenue out of poverty for some. In the quantitative analysis of the monetary values and percentages, the personal stories of those who have moved out of poverty have been lost. This book provides a suite of life stories and narratives of people who have lifted themselves out of poverty through trade in NTFPs.
It is published by Springer Nature under their Sustainable Development Goals series, with this book addressing Goal number 1 to "End poverty".
Deepa Pullanikkatil is the Climate Finance Advisor to the Government of Fiji, based at Office of the Prime Minister within the Climate Change Division. As the Climate Finance Advisor, she assists the Fiji government in accessing and managing climate finance, developing and implementing climate policies and strategies, and enhancing national capacities and coordination.
Starting off as a Civil engineer with an MBA from India, she later took a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Free State in South Africa and shifted her career to the environmental field. She holds a PhD in Environmental Science from North West University, South Africa, and undertook a Post Doctoral Research Fellowship from Rhodes University, South Africa. Deepa has published two books and several journal articles and has over 20 years of work experience in the field of climate change and environmental management, spanning across multiple countries and sectors.
She also contributes to the global sustainability discourse and action, as an honorary co-director of a global research network "Sustainable Futures Global", which spans 11 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa with over 100 members and is co-founder of a charity in Malawi called "Abundance", that has adopted a village of 105 households and supports the community in income generating efforts. She is passionate about finding sustainable solutions for the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems.
Deepa is granddaughter of award winning Malayalam writer Tatapuram Sukumaran, who has influenced her deeply and daughter of Rajagopalan Pullanikkatil, a Civil Engineer who dedicated his career to major construction projects in Tanzania and Lesotho, and retired in Lesotho after serving for several years as the Advisor to Ministry of Local Government in Lesotho.