KL and Jakarta drawing up trans-boundary haze pact

The Star 24 Sep 14;

BANGI: Malaysia and Indonesia are drafting a memorandum of understanding to tackle trans-boundary haze, says Natural Resource and En­­vironment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

“The haze in Malaysia comes main­ly from Sumatra, as well as from some domestic peat fires

“We are looking into a bilateral agreement to address open burning, and share experiences and expertise on the matter,” he said after launching the International Ozone Day event at Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysia France Institute here yesterday.

Palanivel said the Government would crack down on offenders involved in open burning by seeking to impose stiffer fines.

There are currently nine hotspots in Malaysia, with one each in Kedah, Johor and Sabah, two in Terengganu and and four in Pahang.

On the Ozone Day, Palanivel said Malaysia was working to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

“Beginning January next year, the import of ozone-destroying hydrochlorofluorocarbons will be reduced by 10% from the congealing point in 2013.

“This is a challenge for the industry, which has to change the technology to make products that use alternative material that do not affect the ozone layer and the environment in general.

“We all have a responsibility to protect the ozone layer by using products that do not contain ozone-depleting substances,” he said.

The United Nations said on its website that the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer, had so far “been successful in meeting some of its targets on phasing out ozone-depleting substances”.

“As a result, the abundance of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere is declining and the ozone layer is expected to recover around the middle of this century,” it said.

MoU to tackle haze
New Straits Times 24 Sep 14;

BANGI: Malaysia and Indonesia are in the process of drafting a memorandum of understanding to tackle transboundary haze, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, adding that the MoU would provide for the two countries to share experience, expertise and information on how to handle the matter.

Palanivel said he was waiting for the appointment of Indonesia’s new environment minister before visiting Jakarta in November or December.

He spoke to reporters after opening the International Ozone Day at Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysia France Institute (UniKL MFI) here yesterday.

Department of Environment director-general Datuk Halimah Hassan said discussions were ongoing between Environment Ministry senior officials of the two countries to draw up the MoU.

She said the focus of the MoU would be on the prevention of open burning and forest fires. Bernama