What is Miyawaki Method
Miyawaki’s method comes from a famous Japanese botanist and plant expert – Professor Akira Miyawaki. He is globally regarded as a specialist in the restoration of the natural vegetation on degraded land. This method of afforestation involves planting a number of different species of native trees close to each other through a logical sequence. The method not only saves space but plants & trees being in close proximity support each other. When they become lush and green, they also prevent sunlight to reach the ground, which means lesser evaporation of water.
Close planting of many random trees in a small area creates dense forest that enriches the green cover and reinforces the richness of the land. This method ensures that forests grow 10x faster, is 30x denser, 100x biodiverse and 100% organic. While the conventional method can take more than 100 years for the forest cover, the Miyawaki method can accentuate the growth in 20-30 years.
The model was first implemented in the early 1970s by the Japanse company, Nippon Steel Corporation, which wanted to plant forests on embankments around its steel factory. Professor Miyawaki identified the potential areas, studying the surrounding forests. He chose various species of trees and then created a nursery where plants were mixed and then planted on the site. The steel company was so impressed with the results that in the next few years it planted forests with this method at various other sites of its steel mills. The success story reached various parts of Japan which led to its wide-scale adoption at not only various factories but also to other wastelands and degraded land sites.
For his contribution, Dr. Akira Miyawaki has received many accolades and prizes, including Blue Planet Prize in 2009 – considered to be a prestigious award that recognizes noticeable efforts in applications of science that contribute to solving global environmental problems.
This plantation model was first tested in Japan but now this model is adopted around the world for creating dense environment protection forests. Miyawaki’s method of planting trees has been replicated in over 3000 areas, including over 1,400 sites in Japan. Due to its relevance and applicability, this method has reached countries like Thailand, Indonesia, France, Malaysia, Borneo, Brazil, India and many other counties around the globe.
In 2000, the Miyawaki method was tested for the first time in a Mediterranean ecosystem in Italy, in an area where traditional reforestation methods had failed. Results obtained after a few years of planting trees were outstanding: the plant biodiversity increased rapidly in the region. A research paper published in 2010, has explained in detail the effectiveness of this technique in the Mediterranean region.
In 2013, the Miyawaki method of forest plantation was applied in the Shillong region in northeast India by a cement manufacturing company.
A Bengaluru based group SayTrees switched to this method from the last few years to plant thousands of trees in and around Bengaluru.
Green Yatra NGO, which plans to plant 100 million trees by 2025, has already organized numerous tree plantation drives in Mumbai using this technique. Pradeep Tripathi, founder of Green Yatra has advocated the advantages of this technique at various forums.
In Feb 2020, Telangana minister for municipal administration & urban development KT Rama Rao (KTR) directed his team to leverage the Miyawaki technique to plant trees in the Hyderabad region.
We only wish more regions, cities, countries use this method to create a greener and healthier world.