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Peter Howson

Peter Howson

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
Environment History, Heritage and Geography History, Languages and Global Cultures Politics and International Relations Arts and Humanities


Dr Peter Howson is a Researcher and Lecturer in the School of Arts and Humanities. He is Course Leader for the MA in International Development and leads a number of modules across the Global Studies (Joint Honours) programme.

His teaching and research interests span political ecology, critical geopolitics, gender, race and development, ‘green violence’, and blockchain-based environmental management in the Global South. Most of Peter's teaching draws on his research interests and professional experience in the Asia-Pacific region.

Career overview

Before joining NTU, Peter was a Lecturer in Geography and Development at Northumbria University, Newcastle. He was a Post-doc Researcher at Colorado State University in 2016, looking at Palau’s National Marine Sanctuary. Before that, he was a Teaching Fellow and PhD candidate at University of Wellington, Aotearoa, New Zealand. His PhD research explored the political ecology of climate finance in Indonesia.

Research areas

Peter is a Human Geographer with research interests in blockchain-based forest and marine conservation, international development, ecotourism, globalisation, climate change, resistance movements, and non-state forms of governance in the Asia Pacific region. He uses a feminist approach to geopolitical enquiry and political ecology to explore the intersections of conservation and development, as well as responses to these interventions from below.

Peter's current projects include analysis of the ‘Blue Belt’ network of marine protection measures in the UK Overseas Territories. Peter is also looking at how cryptocurrencies and carbon trading are coming together to make trees more valuable standing than cut down, and what impacts the practice is having on forest-dependent communities in Indonesia.

Peter is interested in supporting your postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the areas identified above. Further information can be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website:

External activity

Peter is an expert advisor on environmental sustainability to the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Peter is Editor for the journal Asia Pacific Viewpoint


Howson, P. (2020) Building trust and equity in marine conservation and fisheries supply chain management with blockchain. Marine Policy, 113.

Howson, P. (2020) Climate crises and crypto-colonialism: Conjuring value on the blockchain frontiers of the Global South. Frontiers in Blockchain, 3(22): 1-6.

Howson, P. (2020) Ecomodernism: Technology, Politics and The Climate Crisis. By Jonathan Symons. 2019. Polity, UK. Global Environmental Politics, 20(2): 1-2.

Howson, P. (2019) Tackling climate change with blockchain. Nature Climate Change 9(9): 567-568.

Howson, P., Oakes, S., Baynham-Herd, Z. and Swords, J. (2019) Cryptocarbon: the promises and pitfalls of forest protection on a blockchain. Geoforum 100: 1-9.

McGregor, A., Challies, E., Thomas, A., Astuti, R., Howson, P., Afiff, S., Kindon, S. and Bond, S., (2019) Sociocarbon cycles: assembling and governing forest carbon in Indonesia. Geoforum 99: 32-41.

Howson, P. (2018) Slippery Violence in the REDD+ Forests of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Conservation & Society 16(2): 136-146.

Howson, P. (2017) Intimate exclusions from the REDD+ benefits of Sungai Lamandau, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Conservation & Society, 15(2): 125-135.

Howson, P. (2016) Intimacy-geopolitics of REDD+: Exploring access & exclusion in the forests of Sungai Lamandau, Indonesia, PhD Thesis. Available from:

Howson, P. & S. Kindon (2015) Analysing access to the local REDD+ benefits of Sungai Lamandau, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 56(1): 96-110.

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

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

See all of Peter Howson's publications...