This is the story of an experiment. Nature is the laboratory here. A beautiful place with a river flowing right through the middle. On one side, quarrying is in full swing. The quarry is gnawing Nature. However, as long as our house- and road construction styles do not change, it cannot be avoided But there is a solution at hand. We  can convert barren hills and abandoned quarries into oases in a very short span of time. The Miyawaki Method of Afforestation can help us in this regard.

This was an utterly dry and rocky terrain, with a 45-degree incline. What we see now is its transformation into a green island, thanks to the implementation of Miyawaki principles. Drilling holes on some parts of the rocks, and leaving other parts just like that;  filling certain bare areas with soil, and erecting bamboo fences at other areas to prevent soil erosion; utilizing as much of rain water as possible; and using the latest irrigation methods, we were able to create a forest within merely three years. We planted vegetable saplings within its shade and near it, and got all the vegetables we wanted, by using only organic manure. There were no polyhouses. Many plants grew in the micro climate created by the forest. This method did not yield bumper crops but it produced enough to sustain us.

This was also an attempt at maintaining Nature’s rhythm through the mechanism of recycling. Nipping a leaf was not taboo here. But our motto was this – for every leaf that is nipped, let us ensure that hundreds of leaves sprout.

The same principle should rule our house construction styles. Let us reduce the use of cement and steel, objects that we cannot make on our own. Let us plant as many trees as possible. And thus convert all the atmospheric carbon into greenery. Instead of permitting carbon to roam free, let us trap it within the barks of trees. And reuse the wood we already have. Let us depend on trees for regulating atmospheric heat and wiping out poverty.

Without flora and fauna, Nature is incomplete. Every plant sustains a host of insects and creatures. If plants vanish, they too will. Every phenomenon, right from pollination, will come to a standstill. These creatures, which came much earlier than humans did, are the real inheritors of the earth. We actually enjoy the fruits of their labour because their hard work was what helped create an atmosphere suitable for human habitation. If we evict them today, we will be evicted tomorrow. We are mere links in a chain. It is still possible to bring back what we have lost and are losing, to a great extent, in a matter of three or four years.

What the Miyawaki Model has demonstrated all over the world, in the last fifty years or more, is that we can simulate natural forests in the quickest time possible. And what our experiment at Puliyarakonam has convinced us is that such attempts will help in carbon reduction, and thus contribute in our own small way towards combating global warming and climate change.