Singapore seeks Indonesian land maps to help pinpoint plantations setting haze-causing fires

Singapore has pressed Indonesia to share maps that could help make plantation companies accountable for setting fires that cause smog in neighboring countries.

Secrecy over maps that reveal where agriculture firms operate on Indonesia's Sumatra island has been a sensitive subject at a meeting of Southeast Asian environment ministers this week.

The talks come nearly a month after Singapore suffered its worst recorded level of air pollution because of smoky haze blamed on Sumatran fires.

Singapore's environment minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, said Wednesday that his Indonesian counterpart has agreed to recommend providing neighboring governments with confidential land concession maps that might show which companies can be blamed for fires that authorities detect.

However, that fell short of Singapore's hope that Indonesia would make the maps available also to the public.