Supporting Forest and Peat Fire Management Using Social Media

Abstract

A feasibility study was conducted by Pulse Lab Jakarta on the use of real-time information from social media during forest and peat fires haze events to support emergency response management in Indonesia. Specifically, the study sought to explore early signals from Twitter relating to major forest fires or haze events with a view to understanding the relationship between communications trends and on-the-ground events. The results of the study demonstrated that Indonesians tweet significantly more about haze during and immediately after major fire events. During the February to March 2014 haze crisis in Riau, people tended to tweet mostly about the status of fires and support from the government. It is recommended that further research be conducted to find additional ways to extract useful information from social media, combine social media signals with other sources of digital data for real-time insights on disaster impact and human wellbeing, and integrate real-time social media data with current operational information flows used during disaster response to support more timely and effective emergency response and recovery efforts.

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