Mumbai Concrete Jungle & Japanese Miyawaki Jungle? Connection??

Yes, there is a connection? IIT B, host to the very thick plantation and hordes of trees all over the campus is a rare sight in Mumbai which is home to innumerable residential and commercial skyscrapers, flyovers, highways, road, rail and metro network. Do we ever give time to think how much green cover has been lost in the race of infra development? Latest being Metro Car shed coming up in the green lung of Mumbai – Aarey colony. What to say of massive uprooting of plants/trees across Mumbai for Metro routes!

Like many of us, the scenario hurt Subhajit Mukherjee who left his rewarding corporate job to plant trees all over Mumbai. Yes, you heard me right. He is the one responsible for greenery in Mumbai who has planted over 50,000 trees in an around Mumbai. His love for trees/ greenery dates back to his childhood when his grandfather in Allahabad use to take him for plant selection for the back yard of his Bungalow.

Later in life, he realised his calling is there, amidst trees. He is the founder of Mission Green Mumbai and known Environmentalist, who has taken the onus on himself to sensitize citizens of Mumbai towards the importance of greenery. En route IITB, we visited Aarey Nursery where I got to know so much about various plants there. It was an experience, I loved it over a picnic, where I was just amidst plants, trees and greenery.

He interacted with a young team of IIT Bombay recently, who was invited for his guidance for making surroundings green – Indoor and Outdoor to keep AC away in summers. The team enjoyed the interaction very much as he showed the importance of greenery and even a small step in the direction can make a valuable contribution towards climate change. He suggested creating a dense forest on the window of the office which will have a cool effect, besides some dense plants, flower beds and what not.

As “Green Man” he was delighted to be in IIT B because of its green environs. He suggested: let’s make it greener by creating Miyawaki Forest. I knew nothing about Miyawaki forest…he briefly told me that it is dense forest which can be created on a small piece of land, and it is so thick that you have to water trees from outside only. I said wow! Even I can water them.

So, for the uninitiated Miyawaki, it is a method of afforestation/planting trees which involves the planting a number of different types of trees close together in a small pit. By closely planting many random trees close together in a small area enriches the green cover and reinforces the richness of the land. This will lead to co-existence of plants and as a matter of fact, each plant draws from the other vital nutrients and they grow to become strong and healthy.

The speed with which forest cover is depleting, where century-old trees are being brought down in a few hours, though this loss is irreversible. But the solution lies in creating Miyawaki forests, which is a method of tree plantation grows saplings 10 times fast and the forest is 30 times denser. In just 2 years the forest growth is unimaginable.

Don’t you think Miyawaki forest is the answer to cities which are turning to concrete jungles? A small patch of forests in multiple locations within the city will act as a green lung for the metro.

A word about the person from whom this concept originated – Akira Miyawaki from Japan is advocating the value of natural forests and the urgent need to restore them from the last four decades.

Akira Miyawaki is a Japanese botanist and expert in plant ecology, specializing in seeds and the study of natural forests. He is active worldwide as a specialist in the restoration of natural vegetation on degraded land. Since 1993, he has been Professor Emeritus at Yokohama National University and Director of the Japanese Center for International Studies in Ecology. He received the Blue Planet Prize in 2006.

Our salute to Miyawaki and our home-grown Dr Chetan Singh Solanki, Prof. IITB and Solar Energy Pioneer who are doing remarkable work towards creating awareness about green, clean energy access to the world and Subhajit Mukherjee, Environmentalist who is showing the way to Mumbaikars for greener Mumbai.

Currently, Dr Solanki is on a Global mission to sensitize people particularly young generation towards menace of climate change and how it can be countered with renewable energy sources like Solar Energy.

Proud to be associated with him in Gandhi Global Solar Yatra…which is going places literally, not just in India but across continents!

You can visit http://www.ggsy.in to know more, and if you choose to donate, pls do and be a part of this mission which is bound to bring the change.

IITB: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Special Thanks to Swati Kalwar for organising this interaction!

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