Dr Rini Astuti

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Rini Astuti has conducted research on contemporary environmental challenges facing Southeast Asia. Her research focuses on resource governance in Indonesia, including on climate change mitigation and adaptation policies. Rini’s current research is on haze-producing biomass fires and an emerging framework for peatland and forest governance in Indonesia.

Rini’s research draws from a political ecology perspective that problematized the implications of neoliberal environmental governance for different actors across multiple scales in Indonesia, including local and indigenous communities.

Rini has published articles relating to forest governance, climate change mitigation and land politics in numerous journals. She has also published opinion editorials and commentaries on broader environmental issues through numerous publication outlets.


  • Global Public Voices Fellowship 2021 - 2022.

Sponsored by Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell University, this fellowship promotes scholars’ public engagement on campus, in natioal debates and around the world.

  • APEC Women in Research Fellowship in 2019.

The Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowships are intended for high-achieving female researchers from APEC economies for research opportunities in partnership with Australian education and research institutions. The fellowships aim to support women’s economic empowerment in the APEC region and raise the profile of female role models in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Rini Astuti is a Research Fellow at Crawford School of Public Policy. Her areas of expertise are in political ecology and climate change policies.

Research interests

  • Political ecology of environmental and resource governance

  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation

  • Forest and land politics in Southeast Asia

  • Peatland fires and governance in Indonesia


Refereed journal articles

  • Astuti, R., Miller, M., McGregor, A., Sukmara, M.D.P., Saputra, W., Sulistyo, Taylor, D. (2022) Making illegality visible: the governance dilemmas created by visualising illegal palm oil plantations in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Land Use Policy. 114, 105942.

  • Miller, M., Astuti, R., Hirsch, P., Marschke, M., Rigg, J., Saksena-Taylor, P., Suhardiman, D., Tan, Z.D., Taylor, D. Varkkey, H. (2022). Selective border permeability: Governing complex environmental issues through and beyond COVID-19. Political Geography. 102646.

  • Miller, M., Alfajri, A., Astuti, R., Grundy-Warr., C, Middleton., C, Tan, D.Z., Taylor, D. (2021) Hydrosocial rupture: causes and consequences for transboundary governance. Ecology and Society. 26(3):21.

  • Astuti, R. (2021) Governing the ungovernable: the politics of disciplining pulpwood and palm oil plantations in Indonesia’s tropical peatland. Geoforum (124) pp. 381 – 391.

  • Astuti, R. (2020) Fixing flammable forest: The scalar politics of peatland governance and restoration in Indonesia. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 61 (2) pp. 283 – 300.

  • Mcgregor, A., Challies, E., Thomas, A., Astuti, R., Howson, P., Affif, S., Kindon, S., Bond, S. (2019) Sociocarbon cycles: Assembling and governing forest carbon in Indonesia. Geoforum (99) pp. 32 – 41.

  • Gibson K; Astuti R; Carnegie M; Chalernphon A; Dombroski K; Haryani AR; Hill A; Kehi B; Law L; Lyne I; McGregor A; Wianti NI; Wright S. (2018). Community Economies in Monsoon Asia: Keywords and Key Reflections. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 59 (1) pp. 3 – 1.

  • Astuti, R. & McGregor, A. (2017). Indigenous land claims or green grabs? Inclusions and exclusions within forest carbon politics in Indonesia. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 4(2), 1-22.

  • Astuti, R. & McGregor, A. (2015). Responding to the green economy: How REDD+ and the One Map Initiative are transforming forest governance in Indonesia. Third World Quarterly, 36(12), 2273 - 2293.

  • Astuti, R., & McGregor, A. (2015). Governing carbon, transforming forest politics: A case study of Indonesia’s REDD+ Task Force. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 56(1), 21-36.

  • McGregor, A., Challies, E., Howson, P., Astuti, R., Dixon, R., Haalboom, B., Gavin, M., Tacconi, L., & Afiff, S. (2015). Beyond carbon, more than forest? REDD+ governmentality in Indonesia. Environment and Planning A, 47(1), 138-155.

  • McGregor, A., Weaver, S., Challies, E., Howson, P., Astuti, R., & Haalboom, B. (2014). Practical critique: Bridging the gap between critical and practice-oriented REDD+ research communities. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 55(3), 277-291.

Book chapters

  • Nurhidayah, L., Astuti, R., Siburian, R., Herman, H. (forthcoming). Community based fire management and peatland restoration. In Environmental Governance in Indonesia. Springer Nature.
    * Trajano, J.C., Gong, L., Sembiring, M., Astuti, R. (2020) Marine environmental protection in the South China Sea. In Non-traditional security issues for ASEAN: Agendas for actions (pp. 94 – 138). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.

  • Graham, V., Nurhidayah, L., & Astuti, R. (2019). Reducing emissions from tropical deforestation and forest degradation. In Reference module in earth systems and environmental sciences (pp. 1-9). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Academic commentaries and working papers

  • Astuti, R., Taylor, D., Miller, M., Indonesia’s Peatland Restoration Agency gets extension despite failing to hits its target: what are the hurdles and next strategies?. The Conversation, December 2020.

  • Astuti, R., Varkkey H., Dienle, T.Z., Three things Jokowi could do better to stop forest fires and haze in Indonesia. The Conversation, August 2019. Republished in The Conversation Indonesia edition, August 2019.

  • Wibisana, A. G., Halimanjaya, A., Astuti, R. Menteri LHK Siti Nurbaya akan prioritaskan investasi 5 tahun kedepan. Berikut tanggapan akademisi. The Conversation Indonesia edition, October 2019.

  • Astuti, R. (2018). Researching peatland restoration and protection in Indonesia. TECSEA website. https://www.tecsea.info/post/researching-peatland-restoration-and-protec...

  • Ashfold, M., Yi, W. P., Varkkey, H., De Pretto, L., Miller, M.A., Astuti, R., Ives, C., Masran, S.A., Liu, F.H.M., Kumar, P.V., (2020) Public values and sentiments regarding transboundary haze in Singapore. https://ari.nus.edu.sg/public-values-and-sentiments/

  • Trajano, J.C., Gong, L., Sembiring, M., Astuti, R. Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea: Challenges and Prospects Part 2. RSIS Working Paper, Singapore, February 2018.

  • Trajano, J.C., Gong, L., Sembiring, M., Astuti, R. Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea: Challenges and Prospects Part I. RSIS Working Paper, Singapore, December 2017.

  • Astuti, R. Sustaining Our Marine Environment. in RSIS Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Year in Review 2017, Singapore, December 2017.

  • Astuti, R. Protecting our Seas: Marine Environmental Governance in the South China Sea, RSIS Commentary, Singapore, June 5, 2017.

  • Astuti, R. Digital Peatland Governance: Surveillance Technology for Haze Free Region, RSIS Commentary, Singapore, April 13, 2017. Republished in: The Jakarta Post print edition, April 27, 2017.

  • Astuti, R. (2016). Peatland Restoration for a Haze Free Southeast Asia: Review of Opportunities and Challenges, in RSIS Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Year in Review 2016, Singapore, December 2016.

  • Astuti, R. From Paris to Marrakech: Hopes High for Carbon Emissions Reduction, RSIS Commentary, Singapore, November 2, 2016.

  • Astuti, R. Towards a Haze Free ASEAN: Private Financing for Peatland Restoration, RSIS Commentary, October 10, 2016. Republished in: New Strait Times online edition, October 15, 2017.


  • Miller, M., Taylor, D., Astuti, R. Anti-haze Damming has Flow-on Effect, Op-ed, The Straits Times, December 2018.

  • Astuti, R. Governing Interests in REDD+ Policies, Op-ed, The Jakarta Post, October 2012.

  • Astuti, R. REDD+: Greening the Market or Marketing Nature, Op-ed, The Jakarta Post, November 2012.

  • Astuti, R. Forest Moratorium: Contesting Interests and the Road to a Sustainable and Just Policy, Op-ed, The Jakarta Post, March 2013.

  • Astuti, R. Doha Talks and Effective Global Climate Governance, Op-ed, The Jakarta Post, November 2012.

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