What is the Miyawaki Method?

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 28, 2022, 12:48

The Miyawaki Method is a Japanese afforestation program that allows the growth of forest patches within a year. Recently, numerous Indian states - like Telangana and Tamil Nadu - have introduced the Miyawaki Method of afforestation programs to increase the green cover in multiple cities and suburban areas.

The Miyawaki Method is an original Japanese concept developed in the 1980s by the famous Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki. As per this method, around two to four trees are planted per square meter of an area in urban areas. Generally, all types of plants - shrubs, bigger trees, and canopies are planted in a planned manner so that the area gets its dense foliage of forest cover within a year, thus, helping in the reduction of air and noise pollution to a great level, creating natural carbon sinks.

Miyawaki Method of Afforestation Significance

Since its inception, the Miyawaki Method has been nothing short of a revolution. Its insistence on promoting local plants and providing a natural green cover in the overpopulated urban areas was an instant success. Here's sharing the significance of the method -

  • The idea behind the Miyawaki Method was to turn urban backyards into mini forests by planting only local and native trees that grow best in a particular area. As a result, the trees would grow leaps and bounds with very little care and turn into a jungle in a year. The trees, in three years, would become absolutely maintenance-free.
  • This technique ensures 10-times faster plant growth, thus, resulting in forests that are as much as 30 times denser than regular plantations.
  • Shrub, canopies, sub-trees, and trees all need to be planted as a part of this technique. Planting all of them together ensures a natural protective layer from the harsh sunlight, thus making the urban spaces cooler than usual, alongside lesser noise and air pollution levels.
  • The ground is generally covered with a thick layer of mulch to ensure a lesser growth of weeds and pests while maintaining a higher quality of the soil.
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Drawbacks of the Miyawaki Method

While the Miyawaki Method is mostly celebrated across the globe for the solution it provides for global warming, it also comes with its own set of drawbacks. Some of them have been discussed here -

  • Since the forests grown as a part of the Miyawaki technique are not natural forests, they lack certain qualities, such as their ability to bring rain to a particular area and medicinal properties.
  • Numerous environmentalists have raised their brows over the Miyawaki Method's efficacy since it tends to accelerate the growth of the plants and trees unnaturally to match a dense forest ecosystem. According to the experts, forcing accelerated photosynthesis may often prove detrimental to the trees' health.
  • The method can be applied over empty spaces and plots since growing such heavy forests on the roads or footpaths can lead to numerous accident risks.

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Despite the handful of concerns around the Miyawaki Method, its efficacy cannot be altogether denied, especially in contemporary times when the world is already jostling with global warming. The growth of forests in urban concrete jungles can bring down the temperature of a place, increase the soil strength, provide new habitats to insects and birds, and curb noise and air pollution to a great extent. Notably, this method has already been a hit in India, with Tiruchirapalli and Lalgudi turning an empty space near Srirangam Temple into a healthy jungle.

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FAQs on Miyawaki Method

Q 1. Who's brainchild is the Miyawaki Method?

The Miyawaki Method is the brainchild of Akira Miyawaki.

Q 2. When did the Miyawaki Method come into being?

The Miyawaki Method came into being in Japan in the 1980s.

Q 3. What is the Definition of the Miyawaki Method?

The Miyawaki Method is a technique for urban afforestation, where empty spaces are turned into jungles by compressing layers of trees within a limited space.

Q 4. Name one major drawback of the Miyawaki Method?

One of the major drawbacks of the Miyawaki Method is that it pushes for an accelerated growth of the forests, which can essentially be detrimental to plant health.

Q 5. Do the Miyawaki Method forests need extra care?

The Miyawaki Method forests need little maintenance for two years, post which they become absolutely self-sufficient.