Traditional knowledge is vital for sustainability of natural resources includingforests, water, and agroecosystems across landscape continuum spanningfrom households through farms, village, commons and wilderness.This articleidentifies recent developments in local knowledge research and interface thiswith the challenges that contemporary society faces and how local knowledgecan be useful to address the biodiversity conservation. Scientific researchon humanenvironmental interactions is now a budding sustainability science(Kates et al., 2001). The concept recognises that the wellbeing of human society isclosely related to the wellbeing of natural ecosystems.Humanity faces exceptionalchallenge of eroding natural resour ces and declining ecosystems services dueto a multitude of threats created by unprecedented growth and consumerism. Also imperilled is the biodiversity and sustainability of the essential ecologicalprocesses and life support systems (Chapin et al., 2000) in human dominated ecosystems across scales (Vitousek et al., 1997). Indeed, humandomination ofearth is evident in global change (Ayensu et al., 1999; Lawton et al., 2001;Phillips et al., 1998; Schimel et al., 2001; Forest et al., 2002), biodiversityextinctions (Bawa and Dayanandan 1997; Sala et al., 2000; Singh, 2002) anddisruption of ecosystem functions (Loreau et al., 2001). Ecological problemscoupled with unequal access to resources results in human illbeing and threatsto the livelihood security of the world>s poorest (Pandey, 1996; Balvaneraet al., 2001).