Kerala

A forest on 20 cents for Asramam

The proposed site for the Miyawaki forest at Asramam.

The proposed site for the Miyawaki forest at Asramam.  

Asramam, the first biodiversity heritage site in the State, will now have a dense green island in the form of a Miyawaki forest. The mini-forest in the heart of the city will be developed by the Kerala Development and Innovative Strategic Council (KDISC) in association with the District Tourism Promotion Council.

The method propagated by Japanese botanist and plant ecologist Akira Miyawaki helps minimise the damage caused by natural disasters and environment pollution. The KDISC, as part of its Innovation Climate Change Mitigation strategy, will afforest 20 cents of land in 10 districts to protect Kerala’s terrestrial ecosystem. In Kollam, the urban forest will come up at Asramam.

The Revenue Department has earmarked 20 cents at the Asramam ground where the project will be implemented by the Nature’s Green Guardian Foundation. A variety of saplings of the native species will be planted, transforming the area into a thick forest within three years.

The many benefits

This will also contribute to natural groundwater recharging, organic enrichment of the soil, reduced carbon footprint, and a cleaner and cooler environment.

The Miyawaki forest will also be home to butterflies, insects, and birds. The forest is expected to attract visitors for exploring this natural ecosystem. It will provide children a chance to have the real forest experience without travelling too far.

The Kollam Corporation has formed a 12-member committee for preparing a management action plan for the conservation of the site. The area is home to several plant species, some of them facing the risk of being endangered or going extinct. Environmentalists have recommended various measures to conserve and maintain the site including the construction of a mangrove avenue and installation of bioswales.

Mangrove cover

While biofencing can stop encroachment and waste dumping at certain parts, some areas need more protective measures.

Despite intensive efforts to extend the mangrove cover, currently the area has only 11 types of mangroves compared to the earlier 16.

The Asramam ground, Government Guest House complex, the mangrove stretch, and the backwaters are part of the 57-acre land which has been declared as biodiversity heritage site.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 3:05:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-forest-on-20-cents-for-asramam/article31102236.ece

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