ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution

Following severe land and forest fires in 1997-1998, ASEAN Member States (AMS) signed the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) on 10 June 2002 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to prevent, monitor, and mitigate land and forest fires to control transboundary haze pollution through concerted national efforts, regional and international cooperation.

The Agreement entered into force in 2003 and has been ratified by all ASEAN Member States. The Secretary-General of ASEAN has received instruments of ratification/ approval from ASEAN Member States as the following details:

Member Country
Date of Ratification/Approval
Date of Deposit of Instrument of Ratification/Approval with the Secretary-General of ASEAN
Brunei Darussalam27 February 200323 April 2003
Cambodia24 April 20069 November 2006
Indonesia14 October 201420 January 2015
Lao PDR19 December 200413 July 2005
Malaysia3 December 200218 February 2003
Myanmar5 March 200317 March 2003
Philippines1 February 20104 March 2010
Singapore13 January 200314 January 2003
Thailand10 September 200326 September 2003
Viet Nam24 March 200329 May 2003

as of 20 January 2015

The Agreement contains measures on:

  • Monitoring and assessment
  • Prevention
  • Preparedness
  • National and joint emergency response
  • Procedures for deployment of people, materials and equipment across borders
  • Technical cooperation & scientific research

Under the Agreement, ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control (ACC) was established for the purposes of facilitating co-operation and co-ordination among the Parties in managing the impact of land and/or forest fires in particular haze pollution arising from such fires. Currently, the ASEAN Secretariat serves as the Interim ACC.

A Standard Operating Procedure for Monitoring, Assessment and Joint Emergency Response was developed to outline the procedure for regular communication of data between the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control (ACC) and National Monitoring Centres (NMCs) / National Focal Points (NFPs), and for coordination of requests and offers of assistance and reporting of joint mobilization of resources.

ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) based in Singapore, performs monitoring and assessment of land and forest fires and the resulting smoke haze.

Institutional Framework

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution was established in 2003, consisting of the ASEAN Ministers responsible for environment[1]. The Committee (COM) under the Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution was established to assist COP in the implementation of the Agreement. The COM meets back-to-back and prior to the COP meetings. COP and COM meet back-to-back at least once a year. [List of past COP Meetings]

In view of different periods of traditional dry season in the northern (Mekong) and southern ASEAN region, two sub-regional ministerial steering committees on transboundary haze pollution were established to address specific haze-related issues occurring in the respective regions: the Sub-regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution (MSC), comprising Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand; and the Sub-regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution in the Mekong Sub-region (MSC Mekong) comprising Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Both MSC and MSC-Mekong have met separately on an annual basis. Each MSC and MSC Mekong is supported by a technical working group (TWG and TWG Mekong).

ASEAN Task Force on Peatlands

The ASEAN Task Force on Peatlands (ATFP) was established in September 2013 to assist the Committee under the Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (COM) in monitoring and supporting the implementation of the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS 2006-2020). The main role of the ATFP is to realize the objectives of the APMS through oversight of the design and implementation as well as monitoring of the ASEAN Programme on Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems (2014-2020) (APSMPE) and other relevant programs/projects and facilitate cooperation with relevant partners, and to report the progress of the implementation of the APMS to COM of AATHP.

diagram

ASEAN Haze Fund

The ASEAN Transboundary Haze Pollution Control Fund (Haze Fund) was established for the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP). The ASEAN Member States have agreed that each AMS as Party to the AATHP will contribute to the Fund to achieve an initial seed fund to support relevant activities to implement the AATHP and for emergency uses.

1. In the case of Viet Nam, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development