Brunei — Southeast Asian environmentministers have agreed to provide an initial US$500,000 to set up the AseanTransboundary Haze Pollution Control Fund.
During a meeting late Thursday evening,the ministers adopted the financial rules for the haze control fund, the detailsof which have yet to be released to the public.
“The ministers also discussedstrategies to encourage contributions to the fund from other countries,organisations and the private sector,” said a joint statement issued at theend of the Asean Ministerial Meetings on Transboundary Haze Pollution held inBrunei.
The ministers have yet to specify wherethe initial fund will come from and whether each of the affected countries willbe asked to contribute to the fund.
Chairing the Second Meeting of theConference of the Parties (COP) to the Asean Agreement on Transboundary HazePollution was Brunei’s Minister of Development Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah PahlawanDato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdullah, who in the opening session remarked uponthe progress made by the region since the enforcement of the Asean Agreement onTransboundary Haze Pollution in November 2003.
Among these are the arrangements for theimplementation and operationalisation of the agreement made by the AseanSecretariat and the Asean Senior Officials for Environment Haze Technical TaskForce. Guidelines for monitoring, assessment and zero-burning as well assimulation exercises and capacity building activities have also been set up.
Despite these developments however, PehinDato Haji Abdullah said some components have yet to be sorted out before theagreement can be fully implemented, particularly the establishment andoperationalisation of the Asean haze control fund.
The COP was the last of the three meetingson haze involving regional ministers and senior officials responsible for theenvironment which took place at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.
The final meeting was initially scheduledto take place yesterday, but the participants had decided to proceed with themeeting on Thursday instead. after the 12th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Haze (AMMH).
The establishment of the regional fund haslong been suggested but it has yet to take off. The Asean Haze Agreement calledfor the establishment of a Haze Control Fund to handle shared resources forfire-fighting and prevention.