The pan-ASEAN haze crisis of 1997 and other haze episodes due to recurrent Indonesian fires in the following years prompted the affected countries to create the ASEAN Convention on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP). The agreement was signed by all ASEAN member States in June 2002 and, although ratification by all signatory States took another decade, the agreement nevertheless entered into force in November 2003. Following serious land and forest fires in 1997-1998, ASEAN Member States (AMS) signed the ASEAN Convention on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) in Kuala Lumpur (AATHP) in Kuala Lumpur on 10 June 2002 in Kuala Lumpur (AATHP) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to prevent, monitor and mitigate land and forest fires, combat transboundary haze pollution through concerted national efforts and regional and international cooperation. The agreement entered into force in 2003 and has been ratified by all ASEAN member states. The severity of fires varies from year to year depending on when the southern ASEAN region is particularly dry.  The impact of fires is not limited to the serious damage they cause on the ground in Indonesia. During the fire season, which occurs mainly during the July-October dry season, prevailing winds often carry a haze of dense smoke from Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo to Singapore, Malaysia and, to a lesser extent, southern Thailand and, in rare cases, even further to Indonesia`s other ASEAN neighbors. Transboundary haze pollution is an annual event in Southeast Asia, especially for the southern countries of the region, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. This has had various environmental, economic and health impacts. ASEAN has sought to address this problem, in particular through the 2002 ASEAN Convention on Transboundary Haze Pollution. The individual Member States have also taken matters into their own hands. asean.org/the-asean-declaration-bangkok-declaration-bangkok-8-august-1967/ The treaty could not prevent the annual return of haze between 2004 and 2010 and again in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Recently, Indonesia was ranked as the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, with 75% of its emissions coming from deforestation.  The treaty calls for reducing the backlog through concerted national efforts and intensified regional and international cooperation in the context of sustainable development. This must be done through monitoring and prevention measures.  In Haze`s case, this means that member states are struggling to hold each other – and the entities involved – accountable. In particular, sovereignty concerns mean that it is not only difficult for Member States to take unilateral action against a foreign entity engaged in polluting activities on its territory; but it also complicates cooperation efforts, as Member States retain the right not to disclose the information necessary to prevent, monitor and mitigate the problem. In this sense, the ASEAN Guidelines run counter in many ways to an effective regional response to the problem of cross-border turbidity. The full human impact in Indonesia has not yet been taken into account this year, but it is already estimated that nearly one million Indonesians have suffered from respiratory diseases caused by the haze caused by the fires.  Normal operations were restricted as schools had to be closed, flights were interrupted, and more than 9,000 security and emergency responders were diverted to fight fires.  Six Indonesian provinces have declared a state of emergency due to the fires and haze: Riau, South Sumatra and Jambi on the island of Sumatra and West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo.  Above: ASMC Outlook and Review as of September 18, 2019 (one of series of a series of maps at: asmc.asean.org/home/) The following two graphs, created by Greenpeace from data from Indonesia`s National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), show the number of fire hotspots for each September day in two provinces of Kalimantan and three of Sumatra, respectively.