- The Seventh Meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution in the Mekong Sub-Region (7th MSC Mekong) was held on 29 August 2018 in Da Nang City, Viet Nam and attended by Ministers/representatives responsible for land, forest fires and haze from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam, and the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs. The Thirteenth Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Transboundary Haze Pollution in the Mekong Sub-Region (13th TWG Mekong) preceded the Meeting.
- The Meeting noted the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centres (ASMCs) review and outlook of the weather and smoke haze situation from September to December 2018 for the Mekong Sub-Region. The Meeting also noted ASMCs forecast of the prevailing rainy conditions to persist until November 2018, before a transition to the traditional dry season with the onset of the Northeast Monsoon. Rainfall is expected to be near-normal, while temperature is forecast to be slightly above-normal in the coming months. The prevailing neutral (neither El Nio or La Nia) conditions are forecast to continue till October 2018, but there is a 60-70% chance of weak to moderate El Nio conditions developing towards the end of the year. Hotspot activities are expected to be generally subdued during the rainy season, but a gradual increase in hotspot activities can be expected in the region with the transition to the dry season. The MSC Mekong countries agreed to continue to be vigilant and take preventive measures and immediate fire suppression procedures to mitigate land and forest fires and to minimise the occurrence of transboundary haze during periods of drier weather.
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