MEDIA STATEMENT BY MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT, MALAYSIA IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE UP-COMING 15TH MEETING OF SUB-REGIONAL MINISTERIAL STEERING COMMITTEE (MSC)

12 Jul 2013 11:19
KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 (Bernama) -- The 15th Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) Meeting on Transboundary Haze Pollution is scheduled to be held on 17 July 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and will be hosted by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), Malaysia. The meeting will be attended by five (5) Environment Ministers of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The meeting is of utmost importance in the light of the current haze episode in the region to strengthen regional collaboration in dealing with the haze matter that remains a transboundary and transnational problem. MSC forum shall take stock of what have been achieved and what are the immediate needs. In the forum, Malaysia will continue to urge Indonesia to urgently ratify the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution which came into force in 2003 and MSC member countries to put greater emphasis on the long-term solutions in preventing haze episodes in the sub-region such as through integrated peatlands management particularly in peatlands with high risk of fires, as well as continuously building manpower capabilities to manage peatlands in a sustainable manner. Following the 2006 haze episode in the region, the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) on Transboundary Haze Pollution comprising of five (5) Environment Ministers of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand convened a meeting in Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia on 13 October 2006. The objective of MSC is to oversee the implementation of enhanced measures to prevent the recurrence of the smoke haze from land and forest fires in fire-prone Provinces in Indonesia as underlined in Indonesia’s Plan of Action (POA) to deal with land and forest fires and haze. Since its formation in 2006, the MSC has been a successful forum and mechanism under the overall ASEAN regional cooperation framework and has held 14 meetings. Among the successful implementation to-date was the operationalisation of Indonesia’s Plan of Action (POA) to reduce the number of hotspots in the fire-prone districts in Sumatra and Kalimantan Provinces, bilateral collaboration on preventing land and forest fires (between Malaysia and Riau Province and between Singapore and Jambi Province), efforts by Thailand in the Mekong Sub-Region and as well as the strategic review of MSC programmes and activities since 2010 to further improve the mechanism in tackling the transboundary haze issue. SOURCE: MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Name: Mohd Haizul bin Hod Unit Komunikasi Korporat (UKK) Tel: 03-8886 1585 (DL) Fax: 03-8889 4763 --BERNAMA