For many thousands of years humans have done things to the environment that have fundamentally transformed local landscapes and regional biodiversities. From bringing plants and animals from one region to new parts of the world, to polluting rivers and seas with industrial outfall and fi lling land and soils with human refuse, to fi re burning in particular local biospheres, ecological change has been part and parcel of how humans have worked with each other, and nature, for millennia. Not all such activities have been viewed as harmful, nor has the transformation of local environments always been seen as a negative.