The world is now turning into a concrete jungle. In the rush of “development”, deforestation has increased at a much bigger rate. As of the data, millions of species will be extinct in the coming decade. Hardly do we get to hear cuckoos and crow. The fireflies and butterflies are rarely seen. No more we witness the songbirds of vibrant colors.
Tiny Urban Forests, a new hope
But as a ray of hope and consistent researches on this issue, many ways have been invented to redefine development with balancing the environment. Miniature urban forests planted using a method invented by a Japanese botanist in the 1970s is growing in popularity.
Known as ‘Miyawaki’ forests, the trees grow more quickly and absorb more CO2 than plantations grown for timber.
Prof. (Dr) Akira Miyawaki is the pioneer of the technique that helps to build dense, native forests. The method involves planting dozens of native species real close in the same area, as small as 30 square feet. The plants do not require maintenance and care after the first three years. Akira Miyawaki realized that Japan’s forests were not native and that motivated him to venture on a journey to make earth a better place to live and encourage the youngsters to do the same. The method has been proven to work anywhere across the globe, irrespective of soil texture and climatic conditions. He has planted more than 1700 pocket of forests throughout the continent and the world.
As of WEF, “These tiny urban forests could be a secret weapon against climate change.” This unconventional forest grows 10 times faster than the conventional one and has the potential to generate 100 times more biodiversity. Also the method guarantees 3000% increase in noise and dust isolation.
Technique getting popular
The technique is growing widely popular in Europe, Netherland, India, Malaysia etc to restore biodiversity and fight climate change. As of several reports, organizations such as SayTrees, Bengaluru, and Afforest, Thuvakkam, Chennai etc have used Miyawaki methods in successful afforestation. Since 2008, SayTrees has helped in planting more than 80,000 trees in Bengaluru, while the organization ‘Afforest’ has planted approx 5 lakh trees.
Do we still lack awareness?
“Forest Departments have indeed added the method in their manuals but rigorous awareness needs to spread among common people including students and office-goers. Everyone has to come forward and take a step towards the conservation of biodiversity, the method can be easily applied in the home backyard too”,
says Nipun Jain, Co-founder of The Team Green, another group of youths working in the field of conservation of environment.
Book by Akira Miyawaki and Elgene Owen Box
‘The Healing Power of Forests: The Philosophy Behind Restoring Earth’s Balance with Native Trees’ (2006), the book by Akira Miyawaki and Elgene Owen Box, describes the techniques that could be used to recreate depleted forests near parking lots, factory sited or even the Great Wall of China, on the basis of environmental studies. (Description by amazon.in)
The book challenges people to plant ‘native forests of native trees’ to increase the chances for achieving a sustainable way of life before it is too late.