Joint Press Release of the 11th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Haze
10 November 2004
ASEAN Secretariat – 10 November 2004, Ha Noi, Viet Nam
ASEAN Ministers responsible for the environment met at the 11th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Haze on 10 November 2004, to review and enhance cooperation in addressing land and forest fires and the resulting transboundary haze pollution.
The Ministers discussed, among others, the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, following its entry into force on 25 November 2003. The Meeting noted that seven ASEAN Member Countries (Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam) have ratified the Agreement, and that the three remaining Member Countries (Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines) have taken the necessary steps to ratify the Agreement as soon as possible.
The Ministers reviewed the issues to be discussed at the 1st Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, which will be convened on 11 November 2004.
The Ministers noted the possibility of a weak El Nino developing towards the end of the year and early 2005, and forecast of drier-than-normal conditions in 2005. The Ministers, therefore, agreed on the need to remain vigilant and take necessary preventive and mitigation measures to curb land and forest fires in the region.
The Ministers reviewed the activities of individual ASEAN Member Countries. The Ministers also agreed that Member Countries enhance collaboration in exchanging information and best practices and assist each other in addressing land and forest fires. The Ministers also noted the substantial progress on regional collaborative activities, such as the inventory of fire-fighting resources, the ASEAN Peatland Management Initiative, publication and dissemination of zero burning and controlled burning practices, early warning information systems, standard operating procedures for monitoring, assessment and joint emergency response, which are available on-line for public information on the ASEAN Haze Action Online website: www.haze-online.or.id.
The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the various partners, including the private sector, who have assisted ASEAN Member Countries in their efforts to address land and forest fires.
The Ministers also agreed that the Twelfth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Haze will be held in Indonesia in 2005.