The contribution of economic thought and method to environmental management needs practical illustration. Too few books on the subject achieve such an outcome. This book is among the notable exceptions. That economics can provide a powerful vehicle for communicating an integrated understanding of the often diverse scientific findings germane to environmental im- pact assessment needs to be illustrated convincingly. This book does just that. But it does more. It speaks across cultures: not to transfer know-how from one culture to another, but rather to activate an effective exchange of insights from one locale on the planet to another. As such, it is a genuine contribution to the great en- vironmental exhortation of our times - think globally, act locally. Too often the people best placed to make such contributions are too committed to practical outcomes and making a living doing so. Just occasionally, however, they can be persuaded to make the special effort required to communicate globally. In this book, David James has once again orchestrated the contributions of vir- tuoso performers. In doing so he has emulated the contribution he sustained throughout the International Drylands Project and preparation of the books written with John Dixon and Paul Sherman: The Economics ofDry/and Management and Case Studies in Dry/and Management (Earthscan, London). Taken together with his recent work as Special Commissioner for the path- breaking national Forest and Timber Inquiry for the Australian Government, we have a body of work characterised by great worthiness, integrity and true global significance.