25.2 C
Brunei
Saturday, August 20, 2022
25.2 C
Brunei
Saturday, August 20, 2022
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    Minister calls for intensifying efforts to tackle haze

    James Kon

    With climate change potentially prolonging dry spells, Minister of Development Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid urged countries to intensify their efforts with pragmatic solutions to solve the haze problem.

    The minister was speaking at the 23rd Meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution (23rd MSC) via video conferencing yesterday.

    The meeting was attended by ministers and other representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand; and the Secretary-General of ASEAN, under the Chairpersonship of Minister for Environment and Water of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

    Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd Juanda shared that the Sultanate has experienced good air quality with no transboundary haze over the past year, and he thanked the countries in the ministerial steering committee for their efforts in reducing pollution.

    The ministers and representatives noted the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre’s (ASMC) review and outlook on the weather and smoke haze situation.

    Minister of Development Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid attends the 23rd Meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution. PHOTO: JASTRE

    Existing La Niña conditions were likely to weaken while a negative Indian Ocean Dipole was predicted to develop in July and August, and the overall haze situation in the southern ASEAN region this year is not likely to be severe as in 2015 and 2019.

    They also noted ASMC’s efforts in adopting technologies which support fire and haze monitoring, assessment and early warning, as well as weather and climate prediction in the region.

    The ministers and representatives reaffirmed their readiness to provide assistance and to collaborate among MSC countries to mitigate land and forest fires.

    They commended the initiatives by countries in the ministerial steering committee, including the enhancement of haze control management through early warning, monitoring and fire prevention; building capabilities for fire suppression at the local, national and regional levels; and capacity building of ASEAN member states under the Regional Haze Training Network.

    Also stressed at the meeting was the need to pursue the finalisation of the Establishment Agreement and Host Country Agreement of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control (ACC THPC) in Indonesia.

    The 24th MSC Meeting will be in Singapore in 2023.

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