Human Ecology

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 505–507 | Cite as

Peter Boomgaard, David Henley, and Manon Osseweijer (eds.), Muddied Waters: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Management of Forests and Fisheries in Island Southeast Asia

KITLV Press, Leiden, 2005. ISBN 90 6718 243 5, 35.00 Euro (paperback). Index, 418 pp
  • Frank R. Thomas
Book Review

Early European travelers who saw commercial opportunities in the region’s diverse and abundant resources perceived the forests and seas surrounding the modern insular Southeast Asian states of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines favorably. There is little doubt that the indigenous populations who inhabited the area for several thousands of years shared similar impressions of a benevolent nature, which provided seemingly inexhaustible supplies of timber and non-timber forest products as well as teeming fishing grounds. Although the Dutch East India Company is often credited with transforming portions of the land- and seascape from 1600 to 1800 to satisfy the demands of the European market, large-scale exploitation of natural resources in the region began approximately 150 years ago. Since the end of World War II, and especially over the past few decades, the pace of environmental destruction has accelerated to reach critical levels in many parts of the area under study.



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacific Studies Program, Pacific Institute for Advanced Studies In Development and GovernanceUniversity of the South PacificSuvaFiji

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