Ethnoecology is the study of complex relationships, both past and present, between human societies and their environment. Its uniqueness lies in its explicit emphasis on local peoples’ perceptions, knowledge and understandings of their own reality and problems. As an academic field, it transcends the disciplinary boundaries of anthropology, botany, zoology, ecology, economics, archaeology, pharmacology, linguistics and related fields. Few fields are better positioned to provide the background, knowledge, and insights necessary to promote dialogue between different nations, regions, peoples and ways of knowing the world and, through that, to find workable solutions to today’s cascading social and ecological crises.