Tropical forests are globally recognised as biodiversity hotspots and environments that are crucial for climate regulation, landscape stability, and the carbon cycle. Local deforestation can have regional and global feedbacks and 20th-21st century human actions in tropical forests are seen as a key part of the ‘Anthropocene’ – or the anthropogenic domination of earth systems. It remains an open question, however, as to whether pre-industrial human impacts on these environments had similar earth systems effects. 15th to 18th century European colonial empires drew together long-separated Old and New World ecologies, with implications for species distributions, demography, and land management in the tropics. This followed millennia of indigenous activities with possible regional and global cumulative results. Yet, we have no concrete understanding of how pre-industrial impacts varied spatially and temporally, what they meant for local sustainability, and how they compare to modern human impacts. The PANTROPOCENE Project addresses these questions by taking the Spanish Empire as a frame of reference for using archaeological, historical, and palaeoenvironmental data to build ‘pan-tropical’ spatial characterisations of pre-colonial, colonial, and industrial land-use. Undertaking novel palaeoecological and landscape survey fieldwork in the Philippine Archipelago, the often-neglected centre of the Spanish East Indies, the project will bring new data together with existing records, notably from the Neotropics, to ensure full tropical coverage of the Spanish Empire. The results will be factored into climate, geomorphological, and atmospheric models to determine how changing pre-industrial technology, subsistence, and administration had regional and global feedbacks on occupied human environments, informing understandings of the pace and threat of contemporary land-use changes in the context of endemic Island Southeast Asian biodiversity and the tropics more broadly.