Economic growth and environmental damage are associated, but the relationship is neither linear nor even monotonic. This is clearly seen in the diverse experiences of tropical Asian economies over recent decades. The nature of the growth-environment link depends on the changing composition of production and on growth-related changes in techniques and environmental policies; the enforcement of property rights over natural resources and over air and water quality is another important element. Moreover, environmental and economic policies interact: in effect, every economic policy that affects resource allocation is a de facto environmental measure. One important implication is that the environmental consequences of major policy shifts, such as the 'globalisation' of many tropical Asian economies since about 1980, have been profound. The analytical literature on growth and the environment in Asia tends to agree that environmental damage is costly to regional economies, and has begun to identify and quantify some of the many causal linkages now recognised between economic development and the valuation and use of environmental and natural resource assets.