The Governments of the ten ASEAN Member Countries signed the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution on 10 June 2002 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Agreement is the first regional arrangement in the world that binds a group of contiguous states to tackle transboundary haze pollution resulting from land and forest fires. It has also been considered as a global role model for the tackling of transboundary issues.
The Agreement requires the Parties to the Agreement to:
(i) cooperate in developing and implementing measures to prevent, monitor, and mitigate transboundary haze pollution by controlling sources of land and/or forest fires, development of monitoring, assessment and early warning systems, exchange of information and technology, and the provision of mutual assistance;
(ii) respond promptly to a request for relevant information sought by a State or States that are or may be affected by such transboundary haze pollution, with a view to minimising the consequence of the transboundary haze pollution; and
(iii) take legal, administrative and/ or other measures to implement their obligations under the Agreement.
The Agreement establishes an ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control to facilitate cooperation and coordination in managing the impact of land and forest fires in particular haze pollution arising from such fires. Pending the establishment of the Centre, ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) co-performed the interim functions of the Centre.
The Agreement entered into force on 25 November 2003. To date, nine Member Countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam, have ratified the Haze Agreement.