Panel of law experts advising Government on haze meets for the first time

The International Advisory Panel on Transboundary Pollution, chaired by Professor S. Jayakumar and Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh, convened on Thursday and Friday in Singapore and met Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Friday.

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Here is the statement from the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources:

In March 2014, the Government of Singapore appointed an International Advisory Panel on Transboundary Pollution (IAP-TP). The Terms of Reference of the IAP-TP are to study and advise the Government of Singapore on the trends and developments in international law relating to transboundary pollution and on the issues arising under international law from the impact of transboundary pollution, as well as on the related solutions and practical steps which Singapore can adopt in light of the foregoing.

The IAP-TP co-chaired by Professor S. Jayakumar and Professor Tommy Koh, comprises eight international law experts. (The list of IAP-TP members is in Annex.) Four Eminent Experts have also been appointed by the IAP-TP Co-chairs to support the IAP-TP in its deliberations. They are:

- Professor Dr Emil Salim, Head, Presidential Advisory Council, Indonesia - Dr Laode Syarif, Hassanuddin University, Indonesia
- Professor Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
- Professor Alan Tan, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

The IAP-TP, which was appointed by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, met in Singapore on 22-23 May 2014. After meeting the IAP-TP on 23 May, DPM Teo said:

"Transboundary haze is a recurring problem which has affected our region and Singapore for decades. If haze re-occurs during the dry season in the next few months, it may be worsened by the higher probability of an El Nino weather pattern this year.

Singapore takes the haze issue seriously. Haze affects the health of Singaporeans, especially the vulnerable, transportation safety, and business activities. Singapore has taken various measures to prepare for haze. There have also been proposals at regional level, some of which have been implemented. But we need to examine what other steps can be taken.

The IAP-TP has an important role to study and advise the Singapore Government on the possible options and practical steps available under international law that Singapore can take to resolve this issue. I look forward to receiving the IAP recommendations soon."

The IAP-TP will present a report to the Singapore Government when ready.