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Thailand and Malaysia Collaborate to Tackle Cross-Border Smog

On June 13, 2024, Thailand and Malaysia announced a joint effort to tackle cross-border smog issues. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Pol. Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwan, shared that Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, Nik Nazmi bin Nik Ahmad, has agreed to participate in a forum on July 3 to discuss solutions and is set to sign an MOU against illegal wildlife trade. Minister Nik Nazmi also commended Thailand’s advanced carbon credit management system.

During his visit to Thailand, Minister Nik Nazmi bin Nik Ahmad discussed several key issues with Pol. Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwan. The discussions focused on collaborative efforts in managing natural resources, tackling illegal wildlife trade, and addressing the pressing issue of cross-border smog, which has significant impacts on the region’s population. The ministers emphasized the need for cooperative strategies to combat climate change, a critical global challenge.

Pol. Gen. Patcharawat invited Minister Nik Nazmi to the 25th Environment Ministerial Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution meeting, scheduled for July 3, where Thailand will preside. Minister Nik Nazmi confirmed his attendance and proposed including a discussion on solving the haze problem to present to ASEAN leaders.

Minister Nik Nazmi expressed interest in Thailand’s carbon credit certification system, the Thailand Voluntary Emission Reduction Program (T-VER), recognizing it as the most advanced in the region. He indicated a desire for further cooperation in this area to share knowledge and experiences. Additionally, Malaysia, as the upcoming ASEAN Chair in 2025, aims to support collaborative efforts with Thailand.

Both countries are preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to combat illegal wildlife trade. Thailand has sent a draft of the MOU to Malaysia, and Minister Nik Nazmi has promised to expedite its review. The signing is anticipated to take place during the next ministerial visit to Thailand. The two nations also discussed potential collaboration in geological and mineral resource management, aiming to use new technologies for environmental conservation.

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