MUMBAI: Due to space crunch in metro cities, the forest department is contemplating implementing the Akira Miyawaki method to increase green cover in cities like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.
Department officials said that the department has adopted the tree plantation programme as it is trying to increase the State’s green cover.
Last year, the department had planted 15.88 crore trees against the target of 13 crore. This year, the government is planning to plant about 33 crore trees across the State with the help of people and various NGOs, including Green Yatra.
“There is 15 per cent mortality among the planted trees, so we are increasing the target every year,” said the officer.
“In metro cities like Mumbai, Pune, we are thinking of adopting the
Miyawaki technique, which will allow us to grow more trees on less land. This method will also help to increase the green cover,” said the officer.
“Metros like Mumbai and other are known for having next to no space for environment. Rapid urbanisation has robbed the cities of their green cover. As we progress to build more buildings and develop our infrastructure, we do so at the cost of nature,” he said.
With the aim of increasing the green cover of the cities, which at present is abysmally below the government recommended 33 per cent, the forest department is contemplating of adopting the method.
What makes Green Yatra different is the use of innovative methods of doing so. One of such method is the ‘Miyawaki technique’.
The space to plant such an enormous number of trees was a constraint and to achieve the goal to plant more trees in a limited piece of land is possible only by the method.
This method includes planting trees as close as possible which not only saves space, but the planted saplings also support each other.
This also blocks sunlight reaching the ground, thereby preventing the growth of weeds.
Akira Miyawaki. a 91-year-old Japanese botanist, is known for pioneering the Miyawaki forest method that involves growing self-sustaining mini forests in urban areas.
Layer 1 comprises big, canopy trees which take up space, like banyan, neem, peepal and others.
The second layer is comprised of trees growing vertically, such as papaya, palm trees and others. The third layer is made up of the sub-trees, in which smaller species such as lemon, orange etc are planted. Flowering plants such as Rose, Jasmine, hibiscus make up the fourth and final layer, comprising of horizontal plants or creepers, which are planted at the very end, as they grow extremely fast.
“After three years, these forests become naturally self-sustaining. There would be no need to water them regularly. They also turn into natural habitats of tiny birds like sparrows, when they are left untouched,” the official said.
The Green Yatra NGO is using an innovative method to combat the rapid depletion of nature. It also has a great ambition of planting about 10 crore trees in India by 2025. The NGO has covered cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune.