Dr Mari E Mulyani received her DPhil from the University of Oxford's School of Geography and the Environment in 2014 with a thesis on climate change mitigation policy focusing on REDD+ institutions. Prior to Oxford, Mari graduated cum laude from Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia in 1995 in International Relations, and in 2009 from the University of Indonesia with a Masters Degree in the Environmental Sciences, also cum laude. Mari co-authored two books (published in the Indonesian language) on Climate Change Documents with Professor Sutamihardja, former Vice Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1997-2007. The third book is in the process of completion.
Mari developed an elective module on ASEAN Environments for the Masters courses at Oxford University's School of Geography and the Environment, where she also teaches Philosophy of Science, Scientific Writing and Publishing, and Technical Report writing as part of the Professional Research Practice within the MSc/MPhil in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management. Mari also teaches a class on 'Government to Governance' and supervises Masters students on dissertations relating to environmental governance and institutions, including topics on community-based forest management, marine resource management and protected areas, forest fires and haze pollution, charcoal governance, illegal wildlife trade, human wildlife conflicts, and national food security.
Mari also lectures Masters and PhD students at the University of Indonesia's School of Environmental Science where she developed a module on 'Environmental Scientific writing and publishing', and initiated the Ambassador Lecture Series on the subject of Climate Change and Environmental Issues.
In 2018 Mari was instrumental in securing a partnership between Oxford Project South East Asia and the University of Indonesia's School of Environmental Science to conduct a three day Symposium on South East Asian studies, attracting the participation of over four hundred World academics and policy-makers. The Indonesian Vice President, Senior State Ministers, foreign Ambassadors, and the Regional Governor were amongst those participating.
Work Experience and Social Responsibility
During her years at Gadjah Mada University Mari worked as a reporter and anchor with a local radio station, this experience subsequently proving invaluable when she was retained by BBC World to assist their senior journalists covering the Aceh Tsunami disaster in 2004. After graduating in 1995 she held executive responsibility with two companies in Indonesia, the first a leading conglomerate from the private sector, and the second a German engineering company with extensive international operations where she was Executive Director in Indonesia for ten years.
Mari has been actively involved in promoting the principles of social responsibility, whether in the value that can benefit corporations or within the community at large, and her many activities include establishing a school and scholarship programme for children disenfranchised from the Government of Indonesia's school system. Since 2004 she was also active in Indonesia's spiritual enlightenment movement, leading to her involvement in the production of a television talk series and hosting The Enlightenment Forum with Richard Claproth PhD' in 2010.
In 1991 Mari was one of sixteen students selected by the Government of Indonesia to represent the country in a scholarship youth exchange programme funded by the Australian Government.
In 1994 she was one of forty students selected by the Government to represent Indonesia in Japan under the Leadership for the Twenty First Century programme. In this latter programme Mari was elected as the National Leader for Indonesia, subsequently becoming elected to represent the entire South East Asia region and deliver a final speech on their behalf.
Mari's research focuses on the interplay between environmental policies and institutions developed at the international and regional levels and those at the national and sub-national levels, including informal institutions deeply embedded within local communities and indigenous people.
She has a long history of engagement with issues related to environmental and resource management, particularly with the political dynamic amongst policy actors and the underlying political economy governing the environment and natural resources in Indonesia. Moreover, community engagement with conservation and development projects, including their involvement in knowledge co-production for the purpose of environmental policy-making as well as community vulnerability, resilience, and adaptive capacity, are at the forefront of her current research projects. She also engaged with research determining the most effective technology to measure rice production in Indonesia with the potential to address the country's challenging problem in maintaining national food security. Her most recent research includes urban transit-oriented development and a sustainable transport system in the Jakarta metropolitan area.
Her current research projects include the following:
1. Making Indonesia's Peatlands: Co-Production of Science and Politics in Peatland Governance
Mari co-leads this research with Oxford graduate Lauren Xie
Home to 47% of the world's tropical peatlands (Warren et al., 2017), Indonesia faces increasing pressure to manage its 20 million hectare of peatlands which catch fire every year. Given the serious environmental, health, and economic implications associated with peat fires, and the recent establishment of the National Peatland Restoration Agency, this research seeks to enhance understanding of how peatland has emerged as an object of governance. It combines the concepts of co-production (Jasanoff, 2004) and technological zones (Barry, 2006) in order to examine how knowledge production and politics have been intimately intertwined. Through a review of scientific literature on peatlands and key informant interviews, this study examines the uncertainties around peatland definitions and analyses the science and broader knowledge missing in the Agency's roadmap. The failure to date of the existing sciences to inform peatland governance suggests an opportunity for this research to improve knowledge production and peatland governance generally.
2. Mapping cultural ecosystem services in reducing the tsunami hazard within a coastal community in Pandeglang district, Banten province, Indonesia
Mari co-leads this research with Anindita Kusumawardhani, a PhD candidate from the University of Indonesia; this project is funded by the University's research grant
The ecosystem's resilience to a tsunami disaster is at the centre of marine and coastal management debate, particularly in tsunami-prone countries. A tsunami disaster's impact on coastal areas and communities, including human casualties, infrastructure damage, and ecosystem destruction, has been documented as one of the most severe in Indonesia during the past fifteen years. A tsunami on 22 December 2018, caused by the flank collapse of an active 'Anak Krakatoa' volcano, resulted in the severe ecosystem damage of Sunda Strait and the surrounding coasts located between the islands of Sumatera and Java. This article maps cultural ecosystem services (CES) and analyses the disaster's impact on the CES in Pandeglang, one of the five affected districts in Banten province which reported 207 human causalities and 11,453 displaced people. The Geographic Information System, interviews with forty-seven respondents from eleven villages, participatory mapping, and photo analysis were carried out. Research findings will inform future spatial planning and disaster risk reduction efforts for coastal areas, which is replicable for other tsunami-prone regions and countries with similar socio-cultural ecological settings.
3. Social Vulnerability Index of Coastal Farming Community to Tidal (Rob) Flooding in Indramayu, West Java, Indonesia
Mari co-leads this research with Sepanie Putiamini, a PhD candidate from the University of Indonesia; this project is funded by the University's research grant
Coastal communities, over one-third of the global population, are increasingly threatened by climate-related disasters. Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago with the second longest coastline, faces tidal (Rob) flooding caused by high tides, land subsidence, and sea-level rise. This study examines fish farmers' vulnerability to Rob flooding in Java's Indramayu District through the development of a 'Social Vulnerability Index' (SoVI) involving 150 respondents. It found high vulnerability with a SoVI score of +1.76 highlighting nine principal components: external support and local government's mitigation capacity, local knowledge, income, expenditure, family size, seasonal expenditure, education, fisher experience, and ethnicity. This study, contributing to 'vulnerability' and 'resilience' concepts, highlights the role of a community's collective memory of repeated exposure to disasters and its impact on local adaptive capacity. Findings inform policymakers on improving disaster mitigation for the Country's 12,000 plus coastal villages and other developing countries with similar ecological settings where over ninety percent fishermen live.
4. Transit Oriented Development: Policy and Implementation in Jakarta Metropolitan Area, Indonesi
Mari co-leads this research with Dr Sari Hayati Hasibuan, a lecturer at University of Indonesia; this project is funded by the University's research grant
Transit-oriented development (TOD), combining the urban planning of land-use and transport systems, occupies centre stage of the debate within sustainable urban development. This research examines the changes in commuters' travel behaviour, land use, and spatial distribution in the Jakarta metropolitan area since the inclusion of the TOD concept in 2012 within the Jakarta 2030 Regional Spatial Plan. It aims to achieve the following objectives. Firstly, to determine the progress and barriers to the TOD implementation by conducting a review of the relevant TOD policy documents. Secondly, to determine changes in commuters' mobility and land-use spatial distribution through the use of two data sets, one from 2013 and another from 2020, thereby determining the extent to which TOD-related developments influenced these changes. Thirdly, to establish appropriate policy recommendations on how Jakarta and National Governments should pursue TOD or alternative policies to achieve sustainable urban development.
5. Energy consumption and CO2 emissions reduction: a study in Megacity Jakarta, Indonesia using a system dynamics model
Mari co-leads this research with Dr Ahyahudin Sodri, a lecturer at University of Indonesia; this project is funded by the University's research grant
Urbanisation exerts pressure to achieve energy conservation and emissions reduction, especially in urban passenger transport. This research examines sustainable urban transport systems by establishing a system dynamics model for 45 years (1995-2030) to simulate the effects of urban transport policies and explore their potential for reducing vehicle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in Jakarta, Indonesia's largest metropolis. The research proposes three policy interventions: vehicle age restrictions, rapid mass transit, and busway electrification services. Results indicate that the development of an integrated mass rapid transit is the most effective method to reduce the growth of private passenger vehicles, fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions. Our study informs policy makers in the design of appropriate urban transport strategies and the reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions at the city level, with potential replication for other megacities of developing countries.