Dr Miyawaki never tires of reminding us that the only producers in the eco system are green plants. We humans live as consumers in the ecosystem, depending heavily on the producers. Multilayered native forests especially are the basis of our existence, and the mother of our cultures. They serve various ecological functions including preservation of water sources, purification of water, disaster mitigation and environment protection, and also contribute substantially to global cooling. Thus, creating Miyawaki forests of native trees is an attempt at restoring such ecological functions. The green surface area that a native forest creates is thirty times larger than that of grass. For all these reasons, it is essential that we introduce ‘building native forests’ as a mandatory item in land planning and city developing projects.
Kerala is currently facing the problem of depletion of biodiversity due to various factors like high degree of urbanization, unchecked exploitation of herbs and medicinal plants for the indigenous medicinal practices, monoculture for increased short time economic benefits, etc. The speedy urbanization of Kerala has had an adverse domino effect in that it has caused the spread of new and more contagious diseases, precipitated high morbidity, increased road accidents and so on. While immediate and multi-pronged scientific interventions are needed to arrest these problems, there is one solution that can be easily implemented at the individual level – creation of Miyawaki forests in whatever space is available. It is expected that with more and more people feeling convinced about the effectiveness and value of the Miyawaki Model, communities all over the state will take the cue, and alter the unscientific practices and exploitative habits they have followed all these decades.
In 2018 and 2019, Kerala showed unprecedented bravery in fighting the worst floods in a century. Now the state is all set to join the global battle against climate change, and take the next leap towards creating a 'New Kerala' that is tough enough to not only withstand but also prevent natural calamities as far as is possible. The Miyawaki Afforestation Model is the most innovative and cost effective way to accomplish the new goal. Simulating a natural forest within a short span of time is the core aim of this method. Such forests will not only save trees that are about to ‘disappear’ from their domiciles but also provide shelter for birds and small creatures which are either on the verge of extinction or face the threat of being driven out of their urban and semi-urban spaces.
We follow Prof. (Dr) Miyawaki's revolutionary concept in afforestation which makes it possible for even ordinary people to simulate natural forests. The main advantage of this method is that a forest can be made in as small a space as two cents of land. The other advantage of Prof. Miyawaki’s model is that it helps simulate a forest in 10-15 years. A Miyawaki forest achieves the growth of a 30-year-old forest within 5-10 years, and the growth of a 100-year-old forest within 25-30 years. This is made possible by densely planting a variety of indigenous trees and plants that are suited to the climatic conditions and soil compositions of the areas where they are put up.