Miyawaki forest. Photo
Science | Sustainability

Planting Miyawaki forests in Kerala: Will that work?

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What is Miyawaki method of foresting?

The term Miyawaki refers to the Japanese technique of creating thick plantations within a short time. Many regions around India have already adopted this new method. The forests formed through Miyawaki method take only two years to grow. These forests are self-sustaining ones. They grow ten times faster and thirty times thicker than natural forests. In this system, plants grow so close to one another, and they are forced to compete with each other to get sunlight. As a result, they grow vertically very quickly in a shorter amount of time. As a solution to the climate variations, the government of Kerala is attempting to plant more forests in rural areas. However, researchers are at odds regarding if planting Miyawaki forests in Kerala is a thoughtful strategy.

What’s the significance of Planting Miyawaki forests in Kerala?

The State has already decided to plat Miyawaki forests in ten different places. Places such as Bekel at Kasaragod, the Aligarh Muslim University at Perinthilmannu, and Asramam Mithanum at Kollam are three important ones dedicated for this purpose. Other locations will be found out soon.

Miyawaki forests are self-sustaining ones, and they grow ten times faster and thirty times thicker than natural forests

Photo; Miyawaki
Miyawaki: The genius who introduced the foresting concept

Kerala Tourism has recently launched a project that would set up a digital museum and form a Miyawaki model forest at the Kanakakunnu Palace, at the state capital. The government is making arrangements to build these forests in government-owned properties which consist of at least 20 cents of land. The Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (KDISC) is the name of the government institution that organizes this plan. The project of building these ten forests will cost approximately Rs. 2.96 crores.

It takes six months to plant these forests. The government will pay Rs. 5000 monthly for three years to forest developers. Last year, Natures Green Guardian Foundation, planted a Miyawaki forest in 5 cents of land in Trivandrum’s Kanakakkunnu.

The origin of Miyawaki forests

The Japanese botanist, Akira Miyawaki, created a method to build a forest. The process makes sure that the plant grows ten times faster than normal and the plantation is 30 times thicker than usual. Within three years, the trees grow up to thirty feet or higher. A forest that generally takes 100 years to grow, now only takes ten years under Miyawaki method. There are over 4000 Miyawaki forests in Japan. Miyawaki forests are an essential part of the Japanese Model of Sustainable Development

Why is planting Miyawaki forests in Kerala important?

The Miyawaki forests intend to maintain global environments and natural ecosystems. They also prevent natural disasters. The Miyawaki method is now widespread in different parts of the world, including Far East, Malaysia, and South America. The forests are important because they restore the ecology and save natural vegetation.

What can Miyawaki forest do in Kerala?

Miyawaki method can have several implications for Kerala. These micro forests keep the soil moist since the saplings are planted so close to each other. This method prevents sunlight from reaching the soil. However, according to Miyawaki, only trees that are native to each region should be selected for this project.
Another benefit is that the micro forests are home to several species of birds, butterflies, and insects. Miyawaki forests will attract these beautiful birds and butterflies.
Supporters of this project claim that Miyawaki’s method can put an end to climate change and global warming. Protecting the environment and planting more trees are solutions to keeping the climate system steady. Trees absorb carbon from the air. Deforestation and forest degradation lead to global warming. The climate changes happening all over the world are a direct result of deforestation.

What are the disadvantages of Miyawaki’s method?

Some environmentalists state that Miyawaki forests cannot substitute natural forests. These kinds of woods cannot bring in rain. They also do not have the medicinal properties that natural forests have.
They also argue that this method is only successful in smaller spaces or places close to cities. It is not feasible for a tropical country, such as India. Miyawaki forests are extremely dense. It does not allow any movement for possible wildlife. Although these forests do bring back greenery to the congested cities, it is not an alternative to natural forests.

Miyawaki concept in Kerala

M R Hari, a farmer in Kerala grew 400 trees in only 3 cents of land. He had tried several other methods until he tried out the Miyawaki method. M R Hari says that in a natural forest, there are several kinds of trees. Some trees are prey to certain insects. The larger insects prey on, the smaller insects. This protects the plants. It is always better to grow multiple species of plants together.

Photo. Miawaki forest enhances biodiversity
Miawaki forest enhances biodiversity


In conclusion, environmentalists have differing opinions on whether this technique is beneficial or not. The natural environment once destroyed, can never be rebuilt. However, Miyawaki has proven that this technique has been successful in many respects. Planting ten new Miyawaki forests in Kerala is a new challenge that the government has undertaken. The future will tell whether this decision was beneficial or not. If it works, this will have.

for more details

Kerala Tourism. https://www.keralatourism.org/kerala-article/miyawaki-way/866

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3 Comments

  1. Although Kerala has some natural forest left, our dense population prevents us from having large afforestation methods. So Miyawaki method will be useful in Kerala.

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