After a week that saw Singapore and parts of Malaysia blanketed by smog from forest fires, members of environmental NGOs are raising questions about the effectiveness of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Rafael Senga, Asia Pacific energy policy chief at World Wildlife Fund International, said ASEAN must "transcend its reputation as a talk shop", saying that "ASEAN has been talking for more than 10 years on how to combat forest fires and haze".
Mely Caballero-Anthony, a Singapore-based expert, pointed out that the ASEAN agreement on haze cannot be fully implemented because Indonesia has yet to ratify it. Moreover, ASEAN has not drafted an implementing mechanism for the treaty.
ASEAN leaders are set to meet later this week at the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi.
Haze highlights weak ASEAN cooperation: analysts [AFP, October 24]