Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - II (General Studies – I) - 28 June 2020

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam

UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-II: General Studies - I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

Q. How effective is the Miyawaki Method of Afforestation in improving the natural forest cover? (250 words)

Model Answer:

  • Why in News?
  • Introduction
  • Miyawaki Method of Afforestation
  • Benefits of the Miyawaki Method
  • Criticisms of the Miyawaki Method
  • Conclusion

Why in News?

Kerala adopted the Miyawaki Method of Afforestation, so as to build new forests on government office premises, residential complexes, school premises, etc.


India is working towards adopting a systematic approach to forest management in order to sustain the ecological balance and stability of forests. The Miyawaki Method of Afforestation aims to initiate high-density plantation in small pieces of land with native tree species that can protect the low-lying areas.

Miyawaki Method of Afforestation:

Japanese Botanist Akira Miyawaki pioneered the Miyawaki Method of Afforestation. This method helps to build dense, native forests. It involves planting native species in the same area that becomes maintenance free after the first three years. The approach is supposed to ensure that plants grow 10 times faster and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than usual. The following are the characteristics of the Miyawaki principles of Natural Forests:

  • No defined spacing between plants.
  • Soil enrichment must be done before taking up the plantation.
  • Supplementation of the site by seed dibbing of native species.
  • Watering to be done at least up to the next rainy season after planting.
  • Mulching is important and to be done regularly, so as to suppress weed and prevent evaporation.
  • No existing tree in the area should be removed while the process of soil enrichment.
  • Huge crown developing tree species like Ficus should be avoided.
  • Seedlings or saplings of all sizes can be planted to give the plantation a three-tier look of a natural forest.

Miyawaki Method of Afforestation

Benefits of the Miyawaki Method:

  • The Miyawaki method is a unique method as it has proven to work worldwide, irrespective of soil and climate conditions.
  • This technique allows young shoots to stimulate and compete with each other and thus grow faster.
  • The forests ensure 30 times higher density. This allows a greater quantity of CO2 to be absorbed.
  • Mulching of land ensures that it is protected from weeds, erosion, and drought.
  • During the rainy season, not a single drop of water evaporates because of the density. Since it’s naturally conserving rainwater, the groundwater table rises.
  • It helps to increase the green cover of the area, especially in congested Indian cities.

Criticisms of the Miyawaki Method of Afforestation:

The Miyawaki method of Afforestation has been criticized by many. Few criticisms are as follows:

  • The founder of Eco-watch opined that this technique was started considering the climate in Japan. He questioned the feasibility of this method in a tropical country like India.
  • He further said that such forests lack some qualities of natural forests such as medicinal properties and the ability to bring rain.
  • Environmentalist Yellappa Reddy has also questioned the efficacy of the method. He opined that it is not a good idea to force plants to photosynthesize fast.


Forest is very dense, which restricts the movement of any possible wildlife the forests might attract. Nothing can replace something that can be naturally grown, like natural forests, but these plantations can supplement and complement them.

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