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Jakarta – The Sub-regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution (MSC) convened its 23rd meeting on July 5 via video conference.
Under the Chair of Dato Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Minister for Environment and Water of Malaysia, the event brought together Ministers/representatives responsible for the environment, for land, forest fires and haze, from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, and the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
The meeting looked forward to the convening of the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (COP-17) this October in Singapore.
It expressed appreciation and commended the various initiatives and actions by MSC countries on the implementation of the Strategic Review of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee Programmes and Activities; and underscored the coordinated support of ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centres (ASMC) and relevant agencies in providing data and information relating to land and /or forest fires for ASEAN and ASEAN Member States.
The meeting supported the outcomes of the Final Review of the Roadmap on ASEAN Cooperation towards Transboundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation that has allowed ASEAN Member States to take stock of the progress and sustain the momentum in ensuring demonstrable improvements to achieve the vision of a haze-free ASEAN through the recommendations of a renewed Roadmap for ASEAN.
It looked forward to further strengthening commitment and cooperation through the adoption of the new Roadmap and new ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy at the upcoming COP-17 to comprehensively address the root causes of transboundary haze pollution, and to augment the assessment, prevention, mitigation and management of land and/or forest fires through concerted national efforts and intensified regional and international cooperation.
It also stressed 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.
It valued the cooperation and support from ASEAN’s external partners to promote sustainable management of peatlands in the ASEAN region; and emphasised that strong support is needed from the MSC countries and relevant agencies for the successful implementation of the activities of above said programmes.