What is a Miyawaki forest?
Dr Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese botanist observed that most of the vegetation in his country was devoid of native species. The repercussions were clear as daylight- when a natural tragedy like cyclones and tsunami struck, only the handful of indigenous trees would survive. The rest would get washed away clearing most of the greenery of that particular area.
But that’s not all, if you look closer to home, introduced exotic plant species require more water, chemicals and catalysts to grow. The indigenous, however, can grow easily from whatever resources are available. After intensive research about the benefits of native plant species and the urgent need to grow as many mini forests as we can- even in urban areas.
For Dr Miyawaki, a forest is “any place so dense with trees that you can’t even walk in it.” And so, in the 1970s, he developed the technique that has come to be known as the Miyawaki technique of growing forests.
How does one grow a Miyawaki forest?
- The most crucial thing about the Miyawaki forest is its insistence on planting native species. Thorough research and consultation with the nearest forest department will give you the list and seeds or saplings of plants indigenous to that region.
- Procure this list of a variety of native species and divide them into shrub layer, sub-tree layer, tree layer and the canopy layer. Make sure your soil is brimming with life (decomposing leaves, insect activity and a mild petrichor) before you start planting the saplings.
- Plant at least three saplings for every square metre of area. The aim is to grow a dense forest right in your backyard. In most parts of India, you will have to provide three litres of water for every square metre of land (once every day).
- For the first two years, you will have to take care of the vertical support, the watering of plants and observing signs like insects and growth of fungus in your forested area. After that, the forest is most likely to be self-sufficient.
This February, plan a trip to Kanha and learn the method from a person who has helped create 138 forests with over 450000 trees! Click on the link to book your place in Shubhendu Sharma’s 5-day workshop now.
What is included in the workshop cost?
Shubhendu and Sunny Verma, who run Afforrest- an organisation that grows Miyawaki forests across India will lead this 5-day workshop in Kanha. The costs include:
- Learning how to grow a mini forest in urban areas using the Miyawaki method. Shubhendu and Sunny will go through the theory and practical applications of it.
- You will learn the methods of restoring soil health- a crucial aspect of growing trees without the use of synthetic chemicals.
- Study the native plant species of Kanha and also understand how you can adapt the Miyawaki method in different climatic conditions, geographical regions and soil-types of India.
- One safari in the Kanha Tiger Reserve
- Accommodation in a deluxe room on an individual basis. All meals and refreshments during your stay at the Kipling Camp resort.
- Pick-up from the airport on a sharing basis.
Tell me more about this!.
Learn a method that has facilitated the growth of 40 million trees across the world and grow yourself a mini-forest.