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Haze: Indonesia has deposited ratification documents January

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 (Bernama) -- The Indonesian government has ratified the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) by depositing the ratification of the document to the Asean Secretary-General on Jan 20, 2015, the Dewan Rakyat sitting was told today.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the agreement was reached through the 'Conference of the Parties to the AATHP' and 'Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution' meetings which were held periodically.

"Through the two forums, Malaysia and the other Asean member nations had urged the Indonesian government to speed up the AATHP ratification process," he said.

He was replying to a question from Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad (BN-Kuala Kangsar) who wanted to know Malaysia's role as the Asean chairman in persuading the Indonesian government to speed up the agreement.

Wan Junaidi said the AATHP was the first regional agreement in the world that bound the neighbouring countries in terms of the law in tackling the haze problems due to the forest and peat soil fires.

It encompasses five thrusts namely cooperation in developing preliminary measures in monitoring the haze, preventing land and forest fires, implementing joint reciprocal procedures on pollution, setting up an Asean haze fund and implementing scientific research cooperation on the problems of transboundary haze.

He said Malaysia was the first among the Asean member countries to ratify the AATHP agreement on Dec 3, 2002.

Replying to a supplementary question from Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) whether the government could take action against the companies causing the fires, Wan Junaidi said Malaysia did not have the legislation as practised by Singapore.

Singapore had earlier gazetted the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act 2014 and had adopted it this year, which enabled the republic to act against Singapore companies involved in the fires in Indonesia.

 

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