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Indonesia's parliament set to ratify Asean pact on transboundary haze

Published on Mar 3, 2014 3:39 PM
In this handout aerial photograph taken on Feb 28, 2014, and released by the Indonesia Disaster Task Force on March 2, 2014, smoke rises from burning areas of cleared forest land in Riau province in Indonesia's Sumatra island. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

After holding out for more than a decade, Indonesia's parliament is poised to ratify the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, as pollutant levels in parts of Riau remained hazardous for a second month and spread throughout much of Sumatra.

A Parliamentary committee comprising MPs from eight out of the nine parties met with Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya and senior officials on Monday, and six of these parties - with 363 out of the 560 MPs in the House - were in favour of ratification.

The next step involves tabling a draft bill to formally ratify the pact before a full session of Parliament.

This will happen after the April 9 general election, as the current Parliament's term runs till October.

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