Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki has developed a technique for restoring primary type forests, even on very degraded soils, by referring to the concept of "Potential Natural Vegetation"
The plants are chosen, generally from 20 to 30 local species, from shrubs and trees. The diversity means that young trees do not need the same nutrients at the same time or at the same depth of the soil.
Up to 30 times more plants are planted (3 plants per m2) than in a conventional forest plantation.
The high density of planting induces competition from pioneer species for access to light and allows an accelerated reconstitution of humus. Some trees will disappear and thus participate in soil enrichment.
After 3 years of surveillance and ultra fast growth (up to 1m per year depending on the soil, species and regions) the Miyawaki forest is left to its natural development, to eventually form a well-stratified forest
In 30 years, this leads to the reconstitution of a young primary type forest, instead of the 150-200 years required, if nature is left to act alone from a wasteland.
Density, diversity and speed are thus the foundations of this sustainable environmental regeneration.
Why this choice?
"What we need is a new ecological approach, in keeping with our times". Pr. Akira Miyawaki
• Because the growth density allows carbon capture and biodiversity creation per hectare without equivalent
• Because it mobilizes less land
• For its very rapid growth (1m per year depending on the soil, species and regions)
• For the development of plant and wildlife biodiversity
• For positive externalities: noise absorption / water retention, air and dust filtration, creation of local jobs
This planting technique makes it possible to reconcile the usually competitive uses of biomass (carbon sink versus biomass wood material and energy)