What’s so great about Miyawaki pocket forests?

Did you know that native pocket forests grown using the Miyawaki method can be planted in spaces as small as 3m²? These forests mature up to ten times faster than traditional reforestation methods, require no maintenance within their first two to three years, and have biodiversity levels up to 18 times greater than traditional planting methods. Keep reading to learn more about the magic of Miyawaki pocket forests and how Carbon Positive Australia is helping to bring them to life.

Children planting Miyawaki Forests

Where do Miyawaki pocket forests come from and why are they so great?

Native pocket forests grown using the Miyawaki method have the following advantages: 

Why do Miyawaki pocket forests matter?

When you think of your urban environment, what comes to mind? Concrete and bitumen, right? Both of these materials absorb the sun’s heat during the day and release it at night, leading to higher temperatures in unshaded local areas. This, in turn, creates heat spots, which are areas of high intensity. Not so great, particularly during our Australian summers. 
 
Dr Thomas Longden from the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU, found that there were over 36,000 deaths in Australia associated with extreme heat between 2006 and 20171. This is vastly more than all other natural disasters combined during the same period. 

Urban residential zones that lack tree cover tend to be lower income areas where people may lack access to air conditioning. Heat stress impacts those who may already be vulnerable and can exacerbate existing health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease. Older people are particularly impacted. Those on higher incomes or who live in leafy suburbs have more resilience to urban heat because they either live in cooler areas or have greater access to cooling. This means that urban heat is not only an environmental and health issue, it’s also an equity issue. 

When impervious surfaces like concrete and bitumen are shaded by trees, they absorb less heat, reducing the heat island effect. In fact, shaded surfaces may be as much as 11–25°C cooler than peak temperatures of unshaded surfaces around them, which has a significant impact on the liveability of local environments2.  

Why are trees so important?

So why plant Miyawaki pocket forests in urban areas?

Why is Carbon Positive Australia funding and planting Miyawaki pocket forests?