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Asean to jointly tackle forest fires and haze

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Deputy Prime Minister AUN Pornmoniroth presides over the 15th Asean Ministerial Meeting for the Environment in Siem Reap Provins today. KT/ Pann Rachana

Siem Reap city, Siem Reap province — Deputy Prime Minister Aun Porn Moniroth said that Asean should enhance coordination, management and increase resources to cope with forest fires and trans-boundary haze pollution.

Mr Porn Moniroth spoke about the issues today during the 15th Asean Ministerial Meeting for the Environment in Siem Reap city.

“Asean must ensure proper land use planning, sustainable forest management and cleaner air in the region,” he said.

Mr Porn Moniroth said that Asean must intensify cooperation, especially preventive measures such as law enforcement and implementation of zero burning and controlled burning practices to promote haze-free Asean.

“We must ensure timely and effective responses to these fires as they occur once Asean Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution goes into force,” Mr Porn Moniroth said.

Air pollution levels recently reached dangerous levels in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand following forest fires in Indonesia.

He added that Cambodia was pleased to hear about the progress on the establishment of Asean Coordinating Centre for Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Control in Indonesia.

“I would also like to encourage all relevant stakeholders to make further progress in this meeting on ways to share and mobilise our land and forest fire fighting resources; on strategies for fire prevention, mitigation and emergency response,” he said.

The meetings will also discuss a number of key issues and concerns such as Climate Change, Environmentally Sustainable Cities, Water Resources Management, Biodiversity Conservation, Chemical and Wastes Management, Coastal and Marine Conservation, and Environmental Education.

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