ASEAN Vows Support in Tackling Cross-Border Haze Pollution

ASEAN Vows to Assist in Resolving Haze Pollution Issue.
Two women wearing masks in Bangkok's polluted air (photo: smartairfilters)

During his visit to Thailand on Thursday, ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn pledged to assist in addressing the transboundary haze pollution that is affecting several member countries of ASEAN.

The announcement came during a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Government House, where the two leaders discussed various matters of concern, including the severity of the haze problem.

The Thai Prime Minister emphasized the urgent need for ASEAN’s assistance in coordinating discussions and facilitating a meeting with ASEAN Ministers to address the challenge of transboundary air pollution.

He highlighted that the issue not only poses a health risk to the people of Thailand but also to neighboring countries and the respective tourism industries as well.

Mr. Kao Kim Hourn acknowledged the urgency of the matter and confirmed that ASEAN has mechanisms in place that can ensure cooperation among member nations to resolve the haze issue. He added that ASEAN is ready to provide support for timely and concrete cooperation on the same.

Meanwhile, the Lao government has prioritized tackling air pollution during a recent two-day cabinet meeting. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has been instructed to work with the defense and public security ministries and local authorities to monitor slash-and-burn agricultural activities and patrol forests to address the issue.