Sustainable Peatland Management and Transboundary Haze in Southeast Asia


Indonesian citizens, and those of neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, have long suffered recurring haze pollution caused by peatland fires in Indonesia. To avoid these forest fires, and reduce the environmental harm and negative health impacts that transboundary haze gives rise to, Indonesia needs to restore its degraded peatlands. President Joko Widodo started this task in 2016 when he established the Peatland Restoration Agency, tasked with rehabilitating 2 million hectares of degraded peatland. What has this ad hoc body achieved since then, and where will it go from here?

In this episode, Dr Natali Pearson is joined by Dr Rini Astuti to discuss why peatland fires are a particularly acute issue in Southeast Asia, and how Indonesia can play a crucial role in effectively mitigating transboundary haze in the region.

About Rini Astuti:

Dr Rini Astuti is a Research Fellow at Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. Rini is also the Global Public Voices Fellow for the Mario Einaudi Center on International Studies at Cornell University. Her research focuses on environmental governance and climate change in the Southeast Asia region (Indonesia in particular). She previous worked at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, where she was part of the multidisciplinary team researching forest & peatland fire and transboundary haze in Southeast Asia.

For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:

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Natali Pearson

Dr Natali Pearson is Curriculum Coordinator at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.

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