Transboundary Haze Pollution 221
X JEAIL 1 (2017)
Every September and October, entities in the palm oil and timber industries in
Indonesia conduct slash-and-burn activities over peat land, causing transboundary
‘haze’ pollution. This paper analyzes the effectiveness of various legal solutions to
tackle the transboundary haze pollution. There are mainly three forms of international
law, customary international law, the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze
2002 and Singapore’s extraterritorial Transboundary Haze Pollution Act 2014. Their
effectiveness will be measured by Indonesia’s increasing willingness to take domestic
enforcement measures. This paper argues that the ASEAN Agreement is the primary
instrument despite its lack of sanctions as it is neutral, non-confrontational and
consistent with the ‘ASEAN way.’ The Singapore Act plays a complementary role,
yet its invocation may strain relations between Singapore and Indonesia. Ultimately,
the three forms of international law serve as a normative and facilitative source in
nudging Indonesia to take more stringent domestic enforcement measures.
International Environmental Law, Transboundary Air Pollution, Southeast
Asia, Haze, Singapore, Indonesia, ASEAN
Pollution in Southeast Asia:
The Effectiveness of Three
Forms of International
∗ LL.M. candidate (May 2017) at Columbia Law School; Advocate & Solicitor (Singapore); Solicitor (England/Wales);
LL.M. Representative and Executive Board Member of Columbia Society for International Law. LL.B. (Bristol).
ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9893-4888. The author wishes to thank Professor Lori Fisler Damrosch and Ms.
Susan Biniaz for their insightful comments during the preparation of this article. Any errors remain the author’s own.
The author may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org / Address: 67 Jalan Songket, S’537438, Singapore.