Following severe land and forest fires in 1997-1998, ASEAN Member States (AMS) signed the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) on 10 June 2002 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to prevent, monitor, and mitigate land and forest fires to control transboundary haze pollution through concerted national efforts, regional and international cooperation. The Agreement entered into force in 2003 and has been ratified by all ASEAN Member States. The Agreement contains measures on:
- Monitoring and assessment
- National and joint emergency response
- Procedures for deployment of people, materials and equipment across borders
- Technical cooperation & scientific research
The Conference of the Parties (COP) to AATHP was established in 2003, consisting of the ASEAN Ministers responsible for environment. The Committee (COM) under the Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution was established to assist COP in the implementation of the Agreement. The COM meets prior to the COP meetings. COP and COM meet back-to-back at least once a year.
ASEAN Task Force on Peatlands was established in 2013 to assist COM in monitoring and supporting the implementation of the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy 2006-2020, which was developed with a goal of promoting sustainable management of peatlands in the ASEAN region through collective actions and enhanced cooperation to support and sustain local livelihoods, reduce risk of fire and associated haze and contribute to global environmental management.
In view of different periods of traditional dry season in the northern (Mekong) and southern ASEAN region, two sub-regional ministerial steering committees on transboundary haze pollution were established to address specific haze-related issues occurring in the respective regions: the Sub-regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution (MSC), comprising Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand; and the Sub-regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution in the Mekong Sub-region (MSC Mekong) comprising Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Both MSC and MSC-Mekong have met separately on an annual basis. Each MSC and MSC Mekong is supported by a technical working group (TWG and TWG Mekong).
The 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-12) to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 11 August 2016 adopted the Roadmap on ASEAN Cooperation towards Transboundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation (hereinafter “Roadmap”).
The Roadmap will serve as a strategic, action-oriented and time-bound framework for the implementation of the collaborative actions to control transboundary haze pollution in the ASEAN region to achieve a vision of Transboundary Haze-free ASEAN by 2020.
The following are key strategic components that translate the principles of the AATHP into concrete and collective actions under the Roadmap:
|Strategy 1||Implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP)|
|Strategy 2||Sustainable Management of Peatlands for Peatland Fires Prevention|
|Strategy 3||Sustainable Management of Agricultural Land and Forest for Large Scale Forest and/or Land Fires Prevention|
|Strategy 4||Strengthening Policies, Laws, Regulations and their Implementations, including to facilitate exchange of experience and relevant information among enforcement authorities of the Parties in accordance with the AATHP Article 16 (f)|
|Strategy 5||Enhancing Cooperation, Exchange of Information and Technology, and Strengthening of Capacity of Institutions at All Levels|
|Strategy 6||Enhancing Public Awareness and Cross-Sectoral and Stakeholders Participation|
|Strategy 7||Securing Adequate Resources from Multi-Stakeholders for Transboundary Haze Prevention|
|Strategy 8||Reducing Health and Environmental Risks and Protection of Global Environment|
For more information and reference documents related to ASEAN cooperation on transboundary haze pollution control, please visit ASEAN Haze Action Online (https://haze.asean.org/)