Greening forests the Miyawaki way

This method helps forests grow ten times faster than the natural way
Children plant saplings at H Pallakkihara using Miyawaki method
Children plant saplings at H Pallakkihara using Miyawaki method

CHIKKAMAGALURU: In an innovative initiative, children from three families at Hosalli Pallakkihara, just 5 km from Chikkamagaluru, adopted the unique Japanese Miyawaki method to nurture plants and expand greenery.

The Miyawaki method, developed by Akira Miyawaki in the 1980s, creates dense, fast-growing forests by planting native species in close proximity to replicate natural forest cover. The key features include using native species, dense multi-layered planting, enriched soil, and minimal maintenance. This method fosters rapid growth, achieving maturity in 20-30 years. The growth of this forest is ten times faster than a natural forest. Benefits include increased biodiversity, enhanced carbon sequestration, urban greening, and improved ecosystem. Successfully implemented globally, it transforms degraded land into lush green spaces, particularly in urban areas.

Ashwini and Ajay, both architects, are engaged in the new project on their estate attached to the Guru Nirvana Swamy Mutt. It involves developing a mini forest by planting various species of saplings in a quarter of the 16-acre Hosalli Pallakkihara using the Miyawaki method. Speaking to TNSE, Ashwini said that 600 saplings have been planted in the area and they plan to develop the forest three times more.

“I learnt that many builders in Hyderabad are adopting the Miyawaki method to develop mini forests in residential areas. During our frequent travel to Hyderabad, we learnt more about the method. We created awareness among our children, and invited other kids between 14-18 years, teaching them about the importance of raising forests. Our experiment was a success. By giving aid and guidance, we want to pay back the debt of the soil,” elaborated Ashwini.

Andita Ajay of Nirvana Swamy Matadamane, AN Dhruva of the Aralaguppe family and Vedanthi of the Togarihankal family embarked on this social project of raising 600 plants in an area of 4,000sqft in the first stage. Saplings of local species such as mango, jackfruit, pannerale, tamarind, nelli, guava, sampige, matti and atti are planted.

Dumpyard to greenspace

Pallakkihara was once an open space which was used as a dumpyard for garbage and litter. But today, the 4,000 sqft area is secured by a 5-km fence to protect a mini forest that was created using the Miyawaki method. The land was levelled using hoeback machines and divided into three blocks. A three-foot pit was dug over which cow dung, sugarcane stalks, and new soil were spread. Besides, advanced machines were used to dig pits, leaving a gap of three feet between each plant. “Different species of plants are planted here,” said Ajay.

AB Sudarshan, president of the Chikkamagaluru Golf Club, complimented the children for undertaking this new project at a time when farmlands and forests are turning into concrete jungle, and when the earth is in distress due to global warming. “A Miyawaki-type forest provides shelter to birds, small animals, butterflies, and bees. This Miyawaki method has been a way of growing forests in small areas in cities and towns. Government organisations should show interest in this regard,” he suggested.

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