THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the local self-government (LSG) department’s recent campaign to develop Miyawaki-model forests under all local bodies drew a lukewarm response, the minister in charge himself has set an example in his backyard, literally. LSG Minister M V Govindan, who took up a mission to set up a Miyawaki forest on 3.5 cents behind ‘Nest’, his official residence, has now “challenged” local bodies to replicate his project.
Posting pictures of the green cover created on Facebook on Sunday, Govindan asked local bodies to join a social media audit of the green mission so that people would be aware of the initiative’s periodic progress. Last year, as part of the silver jubilee celebrations of the ‘People’s Planning’ decentralisation programme, the LSG department had urged all local bodies to raise Miyawaki-model ‘green islands’.
The proposal was mooted to perpetuate the memory of Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, who passed away last year. His technique was to set up dense, mini-forests with native varieties of trees. Even as most local bodies dragged their feet, the minister chanced to see a Miyawaki forest flourishing over two to three cents of land at Attakulangara in Thiruvananthapuram. That invigorated Govindan. He shared the thought with Forest Minister A K Saseendran, who directed his officials to provide assistance.
Cleaning up the backyard, where construction debris had been dumped, required hard work, Govindan recalled in his Facebook note. Subsequently, with the help of officials of the forest department’s social forestry wing, a Miyawaki forest with about 45 species of trees was created. Today, after four to five months, the ‘forest’ has recorded considerable growth, the minister added. Urging local bodies to take up the challenge, the minister signed off, with a popular adage: “If there is a will, there is a way.”
What are Miyawaki forests?
Named after Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, who passed away last year, these micro forests are dense, and consist of trees native to a particluar area. Miyawaki forests usually flourish within two to three years