Thailand Discusses with Laos and Myanmar Transboundary Haze Pollution

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on 7 April 2023 hosted a trilateral consultation with leaders from Lao PDR and Myanmar to strengthen cooperation and tackle transboundary haze pollution among the three countries.

Joining the consultation via a videoconference were Mr. Sonexay Siphandone, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Prime Minister of Myanmar. The meeting exchanged information and experiences on addressing transboundary haze pollution in the region, and also discussed constructive and concrete approaches to tackle this common problem.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister Prayut proposed the “CLEAR Sky Strategy” to effectively address transboundary haze pollution, as follows:

1. C – “Continued Commitment,” to working closely toward the goal of reducing hotspots, as charted in the Chiang Rai Plan of Action adopted by five countries in the Mekong subregion in 2017;

2. L – “Leveraging Mechanisms”: All countries should leverage relevant mechanisms at all levels. Thailand will promote cooperation on transboundary haze pollution through relevant bilateral mechanisms at local levels with Lao PDR and Myanmar. It will also raise the transboundary haze pollution issue for discussion at the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Indonesia this May;

3. E – “Experience Sharing”: Thailand supports efforts to exchange information and experience, and each country must seek out legal avenues to control and contain sources of transboundary haze pollution;

4. A – “Air Quality Network”: Thailand advocates for increased and concerted cooperation among air quality networks of countries in the subregion; and

5. R – “Effective ‘Response”: Senior Officials of the three countries responsible for transboundary haze pollution will meet via a video conference in the afternoon to build on the outcome of their leaders’ meeting in the morning.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment initiated this trilateral consultation to create a platform for the three leaders to discuss ways forward in addressing the transboundary haze pollution issue more effectively and in a concerted manner. 

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