This book examines the history of human interaction with forest and marine ecosystems in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Rainforests falling to snarling chainsaws, and factory trawlers emptying the life out of tropical seas, are nowadays among the most familiar images of Southeast Asia. Yet the present excessive levels of logging and fishing have emerged only within the last generation. Until a few decades ago it was common for marine and forest-related economic activities in Southeast Asia to have limited, and in the long run rather stable, effects on the environment. Did this relative stability simply reflect lower population densities, less well developed markets, and less efficient extraction technologies? Or was it the result of successful resource management techniques and institutions? If so, why have these since failed or been abandoned? Seventeen contributions by an international selection of expert authors cover topics ranging from the collection of rattan, beeswax and forest resins in the seventeenth century to the management of modern marine nature reserves. Muddied waters is essential reading for anyone interested in the environmental history of Southeast Asia, whether in connection with other aspects of this particular region, or in relation to patterns of environmental change and resource management in other parts of the world.