DOE to meet Indonesian counterparts in Thailand

Posted on September 9, 2011. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Star-

PETALING JAYA: Officers from the Department of Environment (DOE) will continue to pursue efforts to resolve the issue of haze with their Indonesian counterparts.

Its director-general Datuk Rosnani Ibarahim said meetings were held from time to time between her offi­cers and their counterparts from Indonesia on the haze, most of which was due to bushfires in Sumatra.

“But as you can see, our tireless effort has not achieved the desired outcome,” she said in an interview here yesterday.

Rosnani said the next meeting with Indonesian officers would be on Sept 22 and Sept 23 in Thailand.

She was commenting on the dip in air quality in most parts of the country, with Klang Valley recording poor visibility and an increase in Air Pollutant Index readings.

The haze was caused by an overnight increase of hotspots in Sumatra, which was then carried by the southwest monsoon towards Peninsular Malaysia.

When contacted in Beijing, China, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said he would meet his Indonesian colleague during an Asean Ministerial Steering Commit­tee meeting, to be held in Bangkok on Sept 18.

“I will meet the Indonesian minister there,” he said.

Indonesian Embassy minister counsellor for information, social and cultural affairs Suryana Sastra­diredja said it had sent a cable to the central government on the situation in Sumatra and was awaiting a reply.

Meanwhile, as at 3.34pm yesterday, the latest satellite imagery on the DOE’s website showed the number of hotpots in Sumatera at 381, an increase from 120 detected on Wednesday.

As at 6pm, visibility level in Petaling Jaya remained at 3km while in Subang, it improved to 6km. At 5pm on Wednesday, both these areas had recorded visibility levels at 3km.

Other areas with poor visibility levels were Prai, Penang, at 6km, Alor Setar at 3km, Ipoh at 7km, and Gong Kedak, Terengganu, at 4km. Normal visibility levels are at 10km and above.

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