Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore discuss ways to mitigate risk of haze

Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore discuss ways to mitigate risk of haze
Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore have discussed the way forward on mitigating the risk of haze, which has affected the three countries in the past weeks.

The discussion was done in an informal trilateral meeting initiated by Malaysia on the sidelines of the 46th Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei yesterday.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman attended the meeting with his counterparts from Indonesia and Singapore, Dr. RM Marty M.Natalegawa and K.Shanmugam respectively.

According to a statement from the Asean-Malaysia National Secretariat of the Foreign Affairs Ministry here today, among the practical ways to mitigate the risk of haze discussed in the meeting included the expeditious ratification and operationalization of the Asean Transboundary Haze Pollution Agreement.

"The ministers had a frank, candid and constructive discussion on the recent problem caused by haze that affected many parts of Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore," it said.

During the meeting, the ministers noted the improving situation in the affected areas in Sumatra whereby the acreage had reduced from 16,500 hectares to 4,081 hectares.

They also noted that as of June 28, 2013, the number of hotspots dropped to 7 from 261 due to cloud seeding and water bomber operations undertaken by the Indonesian government as well as the favourable and precipitous weather condition.

"The ministers also agreed that further discussions on the haze issue would be taken up at the 46th AMM. In the spirit of Asean solidarity, the ministers agreed that the rest of the Asean family would be updated and kept abreast on the issue surrounding the three countries," said the statement.

Anifah is leading the Malaysian delegation to the 46th AMM in Bandar Seri Begawan from June 29 to July 2.