Miyawaki forest has become the new trend in Kerala with the state now having 1.6 acre land of Miyawaki model spread across 10 districts with a minimum of 10 cents and maximum of 20 cents of land.
Miyawaki method or the potted seedling technique, pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki is a unique afforestation method to create a quick dense forest with native species. This micro-forestation method aims to increase the green spaces on the planet with prominence to native plants in small areas of land.
This concept was presented by Akira at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Earth Summit in June 1992. The proposal of this model was also a hit in the 1994 Paris climate summit.
According to his theory, 162 plants can be cultivated in 1 cent of land and these plants will grow about 30 feet in just three years.
"I want to cultivate plants and trees for 30 more years, I want to create forests of live and nothing else", said Akira Miyawaki after the technique won him the 'Blue Planet' award, one of the most prestigious awards for environmental conservation at the age of 78.
Miyawaki forest can grow within 5-6 years while a natural forest takes 25-30 years. The Miyawaki forest project in Kerala was kick-started three years ago by planting a sapling at the popular Shanghumugham beach in the Thiruvananthapuram by the State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.
The first Miyawaki forest in Kerala located in the same district is grown in 3 cents of land and there are about 500 varieties of plants and creepers in it.
MR Hari on whose land the first forest was grown said "The trees touched 30 ft in height in three years …This forest has slowly started growing with insects and large numbers of birds coming in and finding this as their habitat and it's a great feeling. More than that the environment in the surrounding areas has improved much and we could directly feel it".
After the forest has turned out to be a success, Kerala Tourism has taken up the project to create similar micro forests in as many as 22 tourism spots in 12 districts and thereby boost the greenery in the state.
Miyawaki forest is now one of the flagship programmes of Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K -DISC), a state government body.
Shakeela KT, Miyawaki Project Coordinator and Assistant Programme officer of K- DISC said "After this, we will be monitoring the environmental and climate changes in the area after these forests have come into being and we will be studying in detail the quality of air in the atmosphere, quantity of oxygen, groundwater situation and pollution in water and air."