KUALA LUMPUR — ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries will hold a ministerial meeting to discuss the regional haze problem and strive to work out more concrete preventive measures, local media reported on Tuesday.
The 9th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment, slated for Sept. 26-29, will be convened in Manila, Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Adenan Satem said.
Representatives at the meeting are likely to come up with a long-term solution to the problem which “seems to be recurring every year,” Adenan told reporters after meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Yaacob Ibrahim.
The bilateral meeting, held in Kuching, capital of the Sarawak state, is part of the 19th Singapore-Malaysia Annual Exchange of Visits (AEV), which aims to forge closer cooperation and ties between ministries of the two countries.
Though ASEAN countries have an agreement on the haze, there arises the need to look into the implementation side and find out better solutions, said Yaacob, who was minister for environment and water resources.
The haze problem should be tackled immediately as it has exerted a negative influence on the tourism sector in the region, Yaacob added.
Other issues on the agenda of Tuesday’s AEV meeting included control of vehicular emissions and an emergency response plan for chemical spills.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.