This unique study is the first in depth examination of the environment and development of the Straits. Taking an integrative approach, the book argues that the region has an underlying unity which political divisions (between Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore) disguise. Its emphasis is on three major elements: first, a study of the historical geography of the region illustrates its role as a sea-corridor which connected the markets of India and China. Secondly, that contemporary patterns of economic development and trade have continued to increase the strategic importance of the region. Finally, the text highlights the major environmental problems, such as pollution, traffic and tourism, that now threaten the sea and coastline.