ASEAN — Background: The ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) was signed in 2002, entered into force in 2003 and the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS) was endorsed by the ASEAN Environment Ministers in November 2006 to act as a framework to guide the sustainable management of peatlands in the period 2006-2020. One of the key strategies under the APMS is on Fire Prevention, Control and Monitoring which aims to reduce and minimise occurrence of fire and associated haze. This workshop builds upon an international workshop held in July 2010 under the IFAD-GEF funded ASEAN Peatland Forests Project (APFP), which brought together experts from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, and few meetings with key agencies in Indonesia (in September 2011), Malaysia (between March August 2011) and Thailand (in December 2011) to design a peatland fire prediction and early warning system which could be used in the ASEAN region.
The Workshop: This Technical Workshop was attended by 38 invited speakers and guests from the key technical institutions on meteorological, namely Malaysian Meteorological Department, ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre, Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency of Indonesia (BMKG), Indonesian National Institution of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), representatives from Regional Southeast Asia Wildland Fire Science and Management Network and representatives of ASEAN Member States Haze Focal Points. There was also a video presentation by Dr. Bill de Groot, a Fire Research Scientist of Candian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada and GOFC-GOLD Fire Implementation Team.
This Technical Workshop has identified the remaining gaps of the existing fire danger rating and hotspot monitoring systems in the region thus provided suggestions for improvement of the systems which are acceptable by the countries. The workshop also served as the platform for specialised institutions and key agencies for identification of gaps among the existing systems used in the countries, provided options for implementing actions at national and regional levels to materialise the development of a workable peatland fire prediction and early warning system to send warning as a measure of prevention to the countries. This refined system would then be tested on selected project sites in the APFP participating countries.
This workshop was jointly organised by the ASEAN Secretariat and the Global Environment Centre (GEC) as Regional Project Executing Agency of the APFP. It is part of the APFP and SEApeat Project funded by IFAD-GEF and European Union, respectively. This technical workshop was also supported by the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) and Malaysian Meteorological Department, and their efforts and support are gratefully acknowledged.