12 March 2021
The challenges to achieving a haze-free ASEAN by 2020, the main goal of the agreement, stems from domestic problems and the ASEAN style of non- confrontational engagement and non-interference in the internal affairs of member states. [...] What’s in the air? The waning air quality in Southeast Asia has subsequently raised questions on the effectiveness of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a platform for regional collective engagement, notably identified in the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP). [...] The agreement states that ASEAN merely acts as a coordinator in managing the impact of the haze pollution.3 In particular, the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control “shall work on the basis that the national authority will act first…”4 It is also limited “to facilitate co- operation and co-ordination among the Parties…”5 While the AATHP is aligned with the ASEAN princi. [...] Amid the Indonesian haze crossing over the central and southern parts of the Philippines, a series of forest fires have also been hitting the northern part – the latest of which was in February 2020. [...] Adducul is a Foreign Affairs Research The views expressed in this publication are of the author Specialist with the Center for International Relations and alone and do not reflect the official position of the Foreign Strategic Studies of the Foreign Service Institute.