The ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre's (ASMC's) weather outlook is for the dry season in the southern ASEAN region between June and October 2018, during which neither El-NiAo nor La-NiAa condition was forecast.

The centre also reported that occasional dry periods could result in an increase in the risk of hotspot activities in the region. The matters were shared during the Twentieth Meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution, 20th MSC held in Bangkok, Thailand recently. The meeting was attended by Ministers and representatives responsible for the environment, for land, forest fires and haze, from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, and the Secretary-General of ASEAN. Brunei Darussalam was represented by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, the Minister of Development. Also present was Doctor Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abd Razak, the Acting Permanent Secretary for Administration and Finance at the Ministry of Development.

At the meeting, the MSC countries pledged to remain vigilant and to monitor and step up their haze preventive efforts to minimise any possible occurrence of transboundary smoke haze during periods of drier weather. The Ministers also noted ASMC's continual efforts in improving its monitoring and early warning of transboundary haze, and noted with appreciation the initiative by ASMC on its new 5-year Regional Capability Building Programme that will benefit AMS through the sharing of technical knowledge and skills in haze monitoring and weather and climate prediction.

The Ministers reiterated their commitment to fully and effectively implement the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) and the Roadmap on ASEAN Cooperation towards Transboundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation (the Roadmap) to achieve a Haze-Free ASEAN by 2020. Touching on the Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (COP-13) held in the country last year, the Ministers welcomed the endorsement of the modality for sharing hotspot information among MSC countries and noted that the information sharing mechanism has been operationalized during the dry season in southern ASEAN. The Ministers also noted the significant progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS 2006-2020) through the ASEAN Programme on Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems (APSMPE 2014-2020) and expressed appreciation for the support from ASEAN dialogue and development partners. The 21st MSC Meeting will be held in Brunei Darussalam nest year.

Source: Radio Television Brunei