Asean fights haze

Southeast Asian environment ministers will push for measures to fight haze from Indonesia that has choked the region.

    Asean ministers

    The ministers also will discuss nature conservation and biodiversity, coastal and marine environment, water resources management and environmental agreements, Reyes said in a statement.

    Haze affects mobile signals
    Haze _ a mix of dust, smoke and other pollutants _ is a regular problem in the region and is caused by land and forest fires in Indonesia, particularly in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Southeast Asian nations have urged Indonesia to ratify a regional treaty to fight annual brush fires that have sent choking smoke across parts of Malaysia and Singapore, saying only then would it get financial help.

    "We hope to arrive at a clear understanding and agreements on binding measures during a top-level meeting of environment officials this week''

    Philippine Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes

    In 2002, ASEAN nations signed the Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, but Indonesia is the only country in the group that has yet to ratify it. The agreement would result in the establishment of a regional coordinating center capable of reacting quickly to the smoke.

    ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong recently urged members to demonstrate willpower to solve the recurring problem, saying it was just a question of enforcing measures that have already been agreed to. Last month, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono apologized for the haze and his spokesman said his country was prepared to sign on to the ASEAN agreement, but did not provide a time frame.

    ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

    SOURCE: AP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.