SEA — Environment authorities from Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand and Singaporemet yesterday to discuss plans to reduce and mitigate hazy conditions as dryweather is expected soon.
The meeting, the fifth installment of the Sub-regional Ministerial SteeringCommittee (MSC) on Transboundary Haze Pollution, took place in Singapore.
According to the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre, the strengtheningof the Southwest Monsoon and dissipation of the La Nina phenomenon will bringabout drier weather in the next three months compared to the same period lastyear.
As a result, more hotspots are predicted, particularly in the fire-proneareas of Sumatra and Borneo. Given the situation, the fifth MSC saw theauthorities agreeing to continue vigilance of hotspot-prone areas and to actproactively to curb the occurrence of land and forest fires.
The meeting also heard updates on Indonesia’s ongoing efforts to reduce byhalf the occurrence of hotspots as compared to 2006.
Brunei Darussalam was represented at the meeting by Development MinisterPehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim DatoPaduka Hj Bakar, along with the director and top officials from the Departmentof Environment, Parks and Recreation.
Brunei’s policies on haze include daily monitoring of air quality throughstations throughout the country, and regular updates on local and regionalmeteorological conditions and hotspot counts.
Air quality is disseminated to the public through the media, with appropriateadvisories issued when air quality reaches worrying levels.
Other policies include prohibiting open burning during dry weather.