KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 (Bernama) — The Gerakan Youth Environment Bureau wants the transboundary haze pollution caused by open burning and forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia to be addressed seriously.
Its chairman, David Ang Chin Tat said Malaysia had been affected by transboundary haze pollution originating from the country annually.
“It is jeopardising our agriculture and tourism industry, and it also increases our medical expenses,” he said when contacted Friday, adding that the culprits should “be stripped and whipped”.
For that matter, he said, the Transboundary Haze Pollution in Southeast Asia agreement designed to prevent forest fires and address the threat of transboundary haze pollution, should be revisited.
Ang said it should be compulsory for large operators to explore and implement zero-burning land clearing or use techniques that produced less smoke.
The bureau suggested that incentives be given to companies seeking alternatives in disposing of their timber waste.
In a statement today, the bureau suggested that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi take the lead in Asean to start a serious dialogue with Indonesia on transboundary haze pollution.
It suggested the creation of a joint monitoring, prevention, reporting and fighting of fire community to monitor the Asean haze problem.
It urged Asean Senior Officials on Environment (ASOEN) to reinstate or explain the objectives which were formulated in the agreement.
The bureau also hoped for prevention of land and forest fires through better management policies and enforcement, establishment of operational mechanism to monitor land and forest fires, and stronger regional land and forest fire-fighting capability and other mitigating measures.