June 9, 2023
The Twenty-fourth Meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution (24th MSC) was held on 8 June 2023 in Singapore. The Meeting was attended by Ministers, officials and/or representatives for the environment, for land, forest fires and haze, from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, and the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Secretariat, under the Chairpersonship of H.E. Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore. The Twenty-fourth Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Transboundary Haze Pollution (24th TWG) preceded the Meeting.
The Meeting noted the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre’s (ASMC’s) weather and smoke haze review, as well as outlook for the southern ASEAN region. Hotspot counts detected in January to May 2023 were around 16% lower than in January to May 2022 for the southern ASEAN region. Based on current climate models, ASMC forecasts a 70-80% chance for El Niño conditions to develop between June to September 2023 and for a positive Indian Ocean Dipole to develop between June and July 2023. Both these climate phenomena would likely result in below normal rainfall for many parts of the southern ASEAN region in the next few months. Alert Level 1 was issued for the southern ASEAN region on 29 May 2023, indicating the start of the dry season. The Meeting further noted ASMC’s continuous efforts to improve its products and services in remote sensing, dispersion modelling, sub-seasonal to seasonal prediction and climate change projections modelling, which support fires/haze monitoring, assessment and early warning, as well as weather and climate prediction in the ASEAN region. The ASMC has extended its regional capability building programme to 2027 and conducted an attachment programme for participants from Myanmar and Lao PDR from March to April 2023.
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