Akira Miyawaki is the person who crafted the Miyawaki afforestation programme, widely known as the Potted Seeding method or Miyawaki method. He was a botanist and plant ecology expert from Japan who found a way to create mini-forests. According to Akira, “Rather than scrap them, I want to bring memory objects back to life as earth resources – for the sake of repose of souls, and for the future.”
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In light of the rampant increase in urban deforestation, the Kerala Development and Innovative Strategic Council (K-DISC) decided to develop urban micro-forests using the Miyawaki technique. The proposal was initiated in 2019 where 12 plots of 20 cents across districts in Kerala were identified to test the Miyawaki method.
Now the K-DISC stated that they have completed the first phase of its Miyawaki afforestation programme in Kerala. They now plan to conduct an environmental impact study to see the difference it has made in and around the area. They implemented the project in Munakkal beach in Thrissur, Andalurkavu in Kannur, Bhatt Road in Kozhikode and the Asramam biodiversity heritage site in Kollam. However, there was a delay in the execution due to COVID-19, but it is still ongoing with micro-forest patches growing as expected.
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What is the Miyawaki Method?
The Miyawaki method follows a six-step process. The soil is first assessed to understand its growth potential. Later, they study the natural biodiversity, species, and local biomass. This step is very important because unless the mini-forest abides by the ingenious species, it would deteriorate. After the research is conducted, samplings are procured and planted as per the Miyawaki method. In two to three year’s time of taking care of the area, the forest will become self-sustainable.
Creating mini-forests in urban spaces will reduce the carbon footprint drastically, in addition to, amplifying the biodiversity of the place. It has the potential to even improve tourism in the long term.