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Indonesia finally ratifies 2002 haze pact

spore-haze-offer

01 Sep Indonesia finally ratifies 2002 haze pact

SINGAPORE — Twelve years after signing the regional haze pact, Indonesia’s Parliament gave its unanimous approval yesterday to ratify the pact, offering a glimmer of hope that more would be done to ensure fewer haze episodes for Singapore and other neighbouring countries.

In doing so, Indonesia became the last of the 10 countries to ratify the 2002 ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution. Signing an international treaty only expresses an intention to comply and a treaty becomes binding only when a country ratifies it.

Welcoming the Indonesian Parliament’s decision to ratify the pact yesterday, Singapore’s Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources noted the “urgent need” for effective action at the source, including deterrence, investigation and enforcement against errant companies responsible for the haze. Speaking to TODAY, Singapore Institute of International Affairs deputy director and fellow for ASEAN business and sustainability Chua Chin Wei said Indonesia’s layers of bureaucracy as well as the impending change in government made it hard to say if impact from the ratification would be felt.

“As far as we know, the budget for 2015 has already been fixed by the current administration. So even if (it) wants to implement new programmes or new initiatives, it will probably have to wait until 2016 where the new administration has the full ability to divert resources to address these issues,” he said.

This article was orginally published on TODAY Online on 17 Sep 2014. For the full article, visit TODAY Online.