Professor (Dr.) Akira Miyawaki is widely considered one of the greatest pioneers in the realm of nature conservation. His teachings on Afforestation and the value of relying on indigenous species is revered across the world. His sincere will to replenish the planet's natural bio-diversity has inspired legions, and the now famous 'Miyawaki Method' is a torchbearer in the fight against Global Warming.
He was born in the Okayama Prefecture in Japan in 1928 and graduated from the Department of Biology, Hiroshima University. He is globally accepted as an authority on plant ecology, specializing in seeds and the study of natural forests. A botanist by profession, he worked as Professor at Yokohama National University and was helmed the International Association for Ecology (1994 ~1998). His field research on forest patterns across Japan and his experiences with renowned plant sociologist Reinhold Tuexen in Germany would help shape his ideology on the problems caused by planting non-native species.
Prof. Miyawaki developed a system that is based around potential natural vegetation (PNV). This tracks plant species on a given piece of land without any changes caused by human intervention. He would notice that at Chinju-no-mori or sacred groves in Japan, natural forests would come up at a steady pace. He would deduce that this stemmed from the fact that human interference was not allowed within these areas, and hence, indigenous species managed to flourish. These observations would form the base of his ecological outlook on combating deforestation and climate change.
Starting from Nippon Steel in 1971, he would help large corporations vegetate industrial land within their premises. His teachings set an example of how the receding space left to humanity can be effectively turned into a fruitful vegetative area in a short amount of time. Forests are nature's greatest combatants against greenhouse gases, and these would genuinely help reduce the rising emission levels faced by the planet. Today, he has built his forests in 1,700 locations both in and out of Japan and planted more than 40 million trees. In 2006, he received the Blue Planet Prize, given for outstanding efforts in scientific research that provides a solution to global environmental problems. Even at the age of 92, he continues to advise and guide conservationists across the world.