Five Asean countries agree to tackle transboundary haze

by ANIS  HAZIM / pic MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

FIVE Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) countries of Asean, namely Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, pledged commitment to address transboundary haze amid climate change worldwide.

Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said these countries agreed in preventing and tackling open burning, especially involving forests, plantations and peatlands.
 
He added that various programmes have been devised to strengthen the preparedness for any possible extreme weather not only in Malaysia but also across the Southeast Asian region.
 
The Fire Danger Rating System (FDRS) used by the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) will be improved with fire forecasting by the end of this year, Tuan Ibrahim said.
 
He noted that since 2003, MetMalaysia had provided forest and peat fire warnings through the FDRS to all Asean countries.
 
“This initiative will be continued with several improvements including a new product namely fire forecasting,” he said in a statement issued today in conjunction with the 23rd Technical Working Group (TWG) and Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) on Transboundary Haze Pollution, which he chaired from July 4 until July 5.
 
Based on the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre report, the Asean region will face hot temperatures with above-normal levels between July to October this year.
 
“Nevertheless, the El-Nino phenomenon that causes warmer and drier weather is not expected to occur,” said Tuan Ibrahim.
 

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