In the interpretation of ecological relations problems of understanding frequently occur between scientists or experts
ABSTRACT educated in the West and the local population. As a basis for ecologically sound environmental planning, one that does not bypass the needs of the population, the ways the environment is perceived and evaluated must therefore also be elucidated. A line of research that sets itself the task of analyzing ethnospecific knowledge of the environment and the resulting behavior of traditional societies can be set within the context of geographical "man-environment" concepts, as well as within "studies in ethnoscience," in particular ethnoecological and classificatory approaches. Two examples of knowledge and evaluation of the natural environment are presented in the following: I) The soils in Gorkha from the perspective of the local population (Middle Hills of Nepal); II) Knowledge .and evaluation of the environment among the Chitawan Tharus: the example of the forests and grasslands (Rapti Dun, Churia Range).