Author: MAHFSA-GEC | September 6, 2023 | Initiatives | Location
ASEAN is facing serious environmental challenges such as forest fires, unsustainable land management and smoke haze issues, which have led to devastating impact within Q1 2023, the Mekong sub-region recorded a 93% increase in fire hotspots compared to the corresponding period last year, which resulted in exacerbating transboundary haze pollution severely affecting Myanmar, Lao PDR, Vietnam and Thailand.
Building on the formulation of ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) in 2002, ASEAN now increases its efforts to achieve a Haze-Free ASEAN. However, one of the challenges in the effective implementation of these plans are the lack of dedicated resource allocation or investments
, which has inspired the development of the ASEAN Investment Framework for Haze-Free Sustainable Land Management (AIF-HFSLM).
The AIF-HFSLM has been developed as an effort to embark on a cohesive action at sufficient scale, in an integrated manner across various locations and involving multiple stakeholders, following the initial response of the AMS to address the increasing threat of transboundary smoke haze that has adversely impacted at national and regional levels at varying degrees. The strategic documents and mechanisms developed with reference to the AATHP including the new Roadmap on ASEAN Cooperation towards Transboundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation (Haze-free Roadmap) 2023-2030 and new ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS) 2023-2030.
A final consultation workshop on AIF-HFSLM together with the Task Force on ASEAN Haze-Free Roadmap Meeting and Policy Dialogue was hosted in Malaysia’s administrative capital, Putrajaya on 24-26 July 2023. This platform aimed to complete and finalise the AIF and facilitate for an agreement (in principle) amongst all AMS, prior the official Meeting of Committee under the Conference of the Parties (COM) to the AATHP in August 2023.
The final consultation workshop on AIF-HFSLM consisted of two different sessions – i.e., session with AMS focused on finalising input to the AIF document for endorsement; and another interactive session with invited stakeholders from private sector and ASEAN Dialogue Partners for existing innovation that links to the HFSLM. To optimise the opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas, this workshop was set-up through hybrid setting.
This workshop was attended by local and regional stakeholders including speakers from National Bank of Malaysia (BNM), IOI Group and Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) who have provided insight on their sustainability move and policies supporting HFSLM and green financing; whilst representative from Pollution Control Department (PCD) of Thailand informed on new CLEAR Sky Strategy being developed by Thailand, Lao PDR and Myanmar in respond to the transboundary smoke haze early this year. This platform also served as plenary discussion for interaction amongst public and private sectors to strengthen capacity and explore collaboration to expand initiatives and upscale actions to achieve one common goal: a Haze-Free ASEAN for all.
This final consultative workshop was a follow-up to previous consultative workshops held in 2022-2023: the First Consultation Workshop hosted in Singapore (Sept 7) and Second Workshop in Bangkok, Thailand (Sept 22) in 2022, followed by the Initial Investment Framework Workshop (Jan 11) through online platform, and Third Workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia (March 28-29) in 2023.
The finalised ASEAN Investment Framework will be submitted to the Committee of the Conference of Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution for endorsement at its 18th Meeting on 23 August 2023 in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
September 15, 2023
Author: David Henry
May 17, 2023
May 15, 2023