CDA developing Islamabad’s largest Miyawaki Forest. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Islamabad city development authority launched the project to develop the biggest Miyawaki forest in the capital city of Pakistan.

The “biggest ever Miyawaki forest” in the city will be spread over 17 acres (740520 sq ft) in the H-12 area of the city along the Srinagar Highway.

“Initially, 20,000 large-sized saplings of different species have been planted, while more plantations are continuing to make the forest even bigger,” said the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Usman Younis. CDA is developing the forest in collaboration with a private company Mari Petroleum Company Limited.

The authority would also set up a special fence to protect the plants. “This is the biggest Miyawaki forest in Islamabad city, so special arrangements will be made to ensure the safety of the plants planted by the CDA administration,” Younis added. “Islamabad is already a green city, and the addition of 20,000 plants will make the city greener”, cleaner and healthier, he said.

At the launch ceremony, the participants planted saplings of different species. Detailing the benefits of the Miyawaki forestation, the CDA official said that it is “one of the most effective methods for creating a forest” and quickly developing a diverse forest ecosystem. This method is considered ideal for restoring native forests with native trees. Urban forests can help to improve people’s health, reduce the harmful effects of air pollution, and are integral to climate change mitigation.

What is Miyawaki method?

The Miyawaki method of plantation is based on the work of a Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki who died last year at the age of 93. Under this afforestation technique, the miniature forests can grow 10 times faster, become 30 times denser, and be 100 times more biodiverse than those planted by conventional plantation techniques. Studies suggest that Miyawaki forests can grow into mature ecosystems in just 20 years compared to the 200 years it can take a forest to regenerate on its own.