The Role of the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) to Be Expanded

[Excerpted from the Chairman's Statement of the 3rd Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Environment]

The 3rd Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment was held in Phuket, Thailand on 7-8 January 1997, attended by Ministers in charge of the Environment from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment of Singapore and the Secretary General of ASEAN.

In this meeting, the Ministers exchanged views on a wide range of issues regarding ASEAN environmental cooperation, including Transboundary Haze Pollution, Harmonisation of Air Quality Index, ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), Land and Sea-Based Marine Pollution, and so on.

The Ministers expressed their appreciation on Indonesia's efforts on the issue of Transboundary Haze Pollution and pledged their continued support for these efforts. In this connection, the Ministers agreed that the role of the ASEAN Specialized Meteorological Centre (ASMC) be expanded to include research, monitoring and early warning system of all climate-related events such as haze plumes and tropical storms. The Ministers further tasked ASOEN to discuss this matter with COST and that the next meeting of the Haze Technical Task Force set up by ASOEN also consider the afore-mentioned expanded role of the ASMC. It was also agreed that ASOEN look into the possibility of establishing a common air quality index for ASEAN.

Concluding that the informal gathering had helped to create a better understanding and rapport among the ASEAN Environment Ministers, they agreed to meet again in 1998 at a venue to be determined.

For the complete report for this meeting including discussions on other environment issues, please see the homepage at:

Acronyms: ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)
ASOEN (ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment)
COST (Committee on Science and Technology)