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Asia 18 May 06
Indonesia-S'pore environmental meeting tackles issues like haze
By Cheryl Fox, Channel NewsAsia
BOGOR, Indonesia: Issues of mutual concern and the challenges of environmental sustainability were on the agenda for the Second Indonesia-Singapore Environmental Partnership Meeting.
Indonesia State Minister for Environment, Mr Rachmat Witoelar, and Singapore Minister for Environment and Water Resources, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, held the meeting on Thursday in Bogor, Indonesia. The Ministers reviewed the progress of works carried out by the Indonesia-Singapore Joint Working Group on the Environment (ISWG).
There was fruitful discussion on issues relating to transboundary haze pollution, transboundary movement of wastes and ozone depleting substances, the clean up of Sungei Siak in Riau Province, sustainable mass transportation, environmental training and education, and environmental awareness program.
The Ministers also exchanged views on last year's haze incident and ways both countries could work closer together, and with other ASEAN countries, to address the forest fires and haze pollution. Indonesia said it would expedite its national clearance process towards ratifying the ASEAN agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.
On the issue of transboundary hazardous waste movement, both Ministers noted the procedure for this under the Basel Convention. For the movement of non-hazardous waste, both sides agreed they should work towards developing a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP), to be used as a basis for an ASEAN SOP in the future.
While in Bogor, Minister Yaacob Ibrahim also attended the 4th ASEAN Environment Year 2006, which is held once every three years. - CNA /dt
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