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Alan Khee-Jin Tan
This chapter assesses the transboundary smoke or ‘haze’ pollution problem in Southeast Asia arising from recurring forest and land fires in Indonesia. It analyses the problem from the perspectives of the 2002 ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution and Singapore's recently-enacted Transboundary Haze Pollution Act 2014. The initial focus is on the ASEAN Agreement’s systemic weaknesses, as well as relevant political and socio-economic factors within Indonesia. These factors conspire to ensure that, even with Indonesian ratification of the Agreement, the problem will still not be effectively resolved. The chapter then analyses the promises and pitfalls of cooperative mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with the fires and haze problem. The main issue here is Indonesia's reluctance to share plantation concession maps that will conceivably enable perpetrators to be identified and then prosecuted. The chapter concludes by highlighting Singapore’s adoption of unilateral, extraterritorial legislation in the form of the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act 2014 to deter companies from engaging in land and forest burnings.
Fresh water is an important resource for riparian countries, not only for the daily life of the public, but also for agricultural irrigation and hydroelectric power production. Clean, fresh water is also essential to the protection of the ecosystem and conservation of the river basins. With economic development, rivers have been increasingly utilised and exploited, creating crises and debate among the riparian countries regarding issues of pollution risk and environmental protection. Effective pollution prevention and control requires political willingness and cooperation and good faith implementation of specific legal frameworks at the domestic level. Among the legal frameworks established by States’ practice, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) mechanism is increasingly important and necessary in regulating the use of transboundary rivers. This chapter examines the legal roles and application of the EIA principle from the perspective of international law by analysing the practice of international dispute settlement relating to transboundary rivers, with the objective of developing suggestions for pollution control measures along the Lancang–Mekong River by the riparian countries in the context of the rapid development of the hydropower industry.
Laode M. Syarif
This chapter examines various instruments that ASEAN has adopted and cooperative mechanisms that ASEAN has established to deal with regional transboundary haze pollution in Southeast Asia. In particular, the chapter analyses the 2002 ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution and various substantive and procedural provisions therein that may affect its effectiveness. The chapter also includes suggestions on the steps that countries in the region can take towards remedying the issue of transboundary air pollution through legal and political measures.