Asramam, the state's first biodiversity heritage site, 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 ecologist Akira Miyawaki helps to minimize the damage caused by natural disasters and environmental pollution. The KDISC, as part of its climate change mitigation and innovation strategy, will afforest 20 cents of land in 10 districts to protect the terrestrial ecosystem of Kerala. In Kollam, the urban forest will emerge in Asramam.
The Revenue Department has allocated 20 cents to the Asramam property where the project will be implemented by the Nature’s Green Guardian Foundation. A variety of young trees of the native species will be planted, transforming the area into thick forest within three years.
The many advantages
It will also contribute to the natural recharge of groundwater, organic enrichment of the soil, reduction of the carbon footprint and a cleaner and fresher environment.
The Miyawaki forest will also be home to butterflies, insects and birds. The forest should attract visitors to explore this natural ecosystem. It will allow children to have a real forestry experience without traveling too much.
The Kollam Corporation has formed a 12-member committee to prepare a management action plan for the conservation of the site. The region is home to several plant species, some of which are at risk of being endangered or disappearing. Environmentalists have recommended various measures to conserve and maintain the site, including the construction of a mangrove and the installation of bioswales.
Although biofencing can stop the encroachment and dumping of waste in some areas, some areas need additional protective measures.
Despite intensive efforts to expand mangrove cover, the area currently has only 11 types of mangroves compared to the previous 16.
The Asramam land, the government guesthouse complex, the mangrove stretch and the backwaters are part of the 57 acre lot that has been declared a biodiversity heritage site.