Saturday, April 13, 2024

Inner West plants seed of ‘micro forests’

Sydney’s Inner West Council has announced it will trial planting ‘micro forests’ across the municipality.

Micro forests are urban revegetation projects, creating dense copses bursting with biodiversity.

The miniature forests are growing in popularity around the world and are based on a movement founded by 94-year-old Japanese botanist, Akira Miyawaki (pictured).

Councillor Chloe Smith, who moved the Motion at last Tuesday’s Council Meeting, said micro forests can improve biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions in big cities.

“The benefits include street cooling, beautification, carbon dioxide absorption, and wildlife habitation,” she said.

“Micro forests also build community connections and provide hope for the future.”

Last year, Council undertook the largest investment in public tree planting in the history of the Inner West – a record $3 million commitment for new tree planting in the 2021-22 financial year, as well as the more than 4,000 trees planted across the Inner West between 2020-2022.

“And last Tuesday night, 8 March, I asked for – and got – a funding commitment of no less than $2 million for new tree planting in the next Council budget for the 2022-23 financial year.”

“So, you can see the future is looking very green for Inner West Council,” Councillor Smith said.

Akira Miyawaki is a Japanese botanist and expert in plant ecology, specialising in seeds and the study of natural forests. He is active worldwide as a specialist in the restoration of natural vegetation on degraded land. Since 1993, he has been Professor Emeritus at Yokohama National University and Director of the Japanese Center for International Studies in Ecology. He received the Blue Planet Prize in 2006.

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