Five Mekong countries - Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam are stepping up their cooperation to mitigate trans-boundary haze pollution in the region.
Senior officials of the five countries met yesterday in Vientiane to explore ways to alleviate the issue.
In her opening remarks, Lao Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Monemany Nhoybouakong spoke of the importance of the meeting saying that the participants had an important task to assess the current situation on trans-boundary haze pollution.
The 10th meeting of the Technical Working Group on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution in the Mekong Sub-region also discussed an action plan and strategy with measures to carry out activities to mitigate the issue in the years to come.
The meeting yesterday was to prepare for the 4th Meeting of the Sub-regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution in the Mekong Sub-region.
The participants of the meeting reviewed various issues including the activities within a framework of cooperation under the Asean Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution. The meeting also reviewed the current haze pollution and weather forecasting.
In addition, participants also reported on the progress they have made in carrying out national implementation plans to control the trans-boundary haze pollution during the dry season, according to Ms Monemany.
The meeting heard a report about the goals and indicators in controlling forest fires and haze pollution as well as a report on cooperation to cope with forest fires and haze pollution in the Mekong sub-region.
The participants also reviewed progress made in improving warning systems concerning the forest fire and haze pollution.
The meeting yesterday was related to the 15th Informal Asean Ministerial Meeting on Environment (15th IAMME), which has being taken place in Vientiane and will run until October 31.
The objective of the annual 15th IAMME meeting is to review and adopt the Asean environment cooperation plan together with Asean member countries, Asean plus three (China, Japan and Republic of Korea) and other dialogue partners.
It is expected that some 200 participants from 19 countries will attend the weeklong meeting to discuss various issues including global environment and climate change, trans-boundary environmental pollution, urban environment management, natural resources, biodiversity and fresh water resources.