Asean ministers want transboundary haze pollution control centre expedited after meeting in Indonesia

JAKARTA, June 9 (Bernama): With the dry season this year expected to be more prolonged and intense under the La Niña phenomenon, Asean ministers stressed on the importance of expediting the establishment of the Asean Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control in Indonesia.

The ministers and officials attending the sub-regional ministerial steering committee on transboundary haze pollution on Thursday said in a statement, the centre will facilitate for faster and effective implementation of all aspects of the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.

The meeting was attended by ministers and officials for the environment, land, forest fires and haze from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Asean Secretariat deputy secretary-general.

The sub-regional ministerial steering committee on transboundary haze pollution on Thursday also called for the resumption of discussion on the host country agreement on the centre for a timely finalisation.

Based on current climate models, the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre forecasts a 70-80 per cent chance for El Niño conditions to develop between this month to September and for a positive Indian Ocean Dipole to develop between this month and July.

"Both these climate phenomena would likely result in below normal rainfall for many parts of the southern ASEAN region in the next few months,” ministers said.

The countries also reaffirmed their readiness to provide firefighting assistance if requested and enhanced coordination to mitigate land and forest fires when necessary. - Bernama

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