Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


Regional Haze Dialogue works on new strategies to fight climate change

20 August 2007 (CNA)

SINGAPORE : Representatives from five South East Asian countries along with Japan and Australia took part in a Regional Haze Dialogue in Singapore on Monday.

The Dialogue was co-organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies of Indonesia and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies of Malaysia.

They are coming up with fresh strategies they hope their governments can adopt to address the global climate change issue.

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the record haze that blanketed much of Southeast Asia.

And thanks partially to luck with wet weather, forecasts of another bad fog-out have failed to materialise so far this year.

But experts are warning against complacency.

Drawing links between forest fires and global climate change, the experts emphasised how the recurrence of carbon-rich haze caused by illegal fires in Indonesia's vast tropical peatlands may help fuel global warming if left unchecked.

The meeting comes ahead of November's ASEAN Leaders Summit in Singapore and the UN-sponsored Bali Climate Change conference in December.

In a statement following a one-day dialogue here, the delegates acknowledged some "positive steps" taken by Indonesia to deal with the problem, but said Jakarta and the region needed to do more.

Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs, says: "All the participants at the dialogue really welcomed ASEAN's focus on the environment. They were quick to say that if we look at our region, there are many issues on the table.

"But the haze and the underlying causes of deforestation and unsustainable development of the economy like palm oil - these really are issues that must be first and foremost when the ASEAN summit talks about the environment. Because when the summit meets, this gives us the opportunity for leaders at the very top to really set a very strong political tone and help coordinate the different agencies of forestry, agriculture, economics with this environment issue."

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