PENANG: Malaysia and five other Asean countries have agreed to take measures to resolve the issue of haze pollution affecting them. This will be among matters discussed at a ministerial meeting in Myanmar in December.
The Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution would come into force on Nov 25 with the six countries having ratified the agreement, said Science, Technology and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Law Hieng Ding at a press conference here on Friday. Also present was Singapore's Environment Minister Lim Swee Say.
“We will have to speed up matters to get the agreement into force. Otherwise, it will just be a piece of paper,” Law said after the 17th Malaysia-Singapore ministerial meeting.
Besides Malaysia and Singapore, the partners in the agreement are Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Brunei.
Law and Lim discussed measures to address land and forest fires which had caused the haze problem in the region.
Law said they discussed ways to control vehicular emissions by improving and promoting wider use of natural gas and compressed natural gas.
Also discussed were efforts to reduce pollution in the Straits of Johor and an Emergency Response Plan for chemical spills at the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link on an annual basis, following the success of the first joint exercise last year.
Malaysia, which had initiated sustainable cities, villages and schools programme, would be also sharing its experience at the Asean Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities in Singapore in December.