Nothing can be more foolish than to think that the Miyawaki Method is a mere technique for greening the earth. To its progenitor himself, it is an expression of a deep-rooted and realistic estimate of the status of humans and other creatures on the planet. All of us take pride in claiming that we, the homo sapiens, are the crown of creation as our species is characterized by intelligence and wisdom. This has given birth to a collective ego and a conviction that we can control everything around us. Dr Miyawaki says, “Human beings today behave as though they own the universe”. We congratulate ourselves on the giant strides we have made in the fields of science and technology because they are proof of our greater cerebral power. However, what we forget in this flattering self-assessment is the fact that we are not creators in any sense of the term. In an essay titled “A Call to Plant Trees,” Dr Miyawaki would have us remember a stunning fact:

. . . regardless of the scientific and technological advancements that we achieve, I would like for people to recognize the cold, harsh reality that we only sustain our lives by being parasites to green plants. Restoring and regenerating real forests, the native forests by native trees with the greatest concentration of greenery – our hosts – is of utmost importance. Recreating forests is not merely for wild birds, or for other people. It is for you yourself to survive into the future in good health, and to ensure the future of the blue planet that is rich in biodiversity, where all types of life forms can coexist.

In other words, the Miyawaki Method takes its birth from a sincere conviction that no matter what we take ourselves to be or what we achieve, we are only marginally better than freeloaders. More importantly, efforts at afforestation need not be romanticized as our gesture of love towards Nature. At best, it is perhaps only as altruistic or charitable as the care that a dairying ant colony bestows on its herd of aphids.

This lesson in humility, that Dr Miyawaki indirectly imparts, is what should power our attempts to reverse the harm we have inflicted on the planet with the over-exploitation of her resources. Even in doing this we are, in effect, guaranteeing our own physical sustenance and maintaining our sanity. As Dr Miyawaki states: “Protecting the environment of indigenous forests is protecting life, protecting genes, and protecting the mind.” And that is because: “The forest is the root of all life; it is the womb that revives our biological instincts, that deepens our intelligence and increases our sensitivity as human beings”.