25.9 C
Asia
Friday, January 27, 2023
HomeEnvironmentVolunteers plant mini-forests in Paris to slow climate change, tackle heatwaves

Volunteers plant mini-forests in Paris to slow climate change, tackle heatwaves

Volunteers in France set up a pocket forest in Paris using pioneering Japanese tree planting methods in hopes of slowing climate change, creating biodiversity hotspots and coping with growing heatwaves in the capital. I am creating

On a wet Saturday afternoon in the southern suburbs of Paris, a 9-year-old boy brandishes a spade to plant saplings on abandoned land.

He is not much taller than the young trees he is planting. Afternoon rain stirs the ground beneath him into mud, he puts his spade aside and cleans the clay soil with his hands.

Together with his proud grandmother and fellow volunteers, he is immersed in planting mini-forests, also known as pocket forests, beside a busy highway in the Chevilly-Larue district, 9.3 kilometers south of central Paris.

French non-profit organization Boomforest .

Grazia Valla, a 79-year-old former journalist, said she “jumped at the chance to do something concrete” about climate change and taught her grandchildren how to plant trees.

“He loves going to community garden“When I take care of him, he always wants to be there.”

“Not every child has the opportunity to see how vegetables grow and taste them,” she said in praise of the initiative. I am very interested.”

Maxim Timothée, 31, enjoys being outdoors and was motivated by the simple, symbolic act of planting a tree.

“It feels really special to plant a tree,” he said, briefly pausing to cut through the wet clay. “It’s not just a thing. I feel a connection with the life of this tree. I want to protect it. I planted it.”

Pocket forests are popping up all over France in hopes of tackling climate change and creating biodiversity hotspots. © Charlotte Wilkins, FRANCE 24

Despite the dull weather, Timothy said he felt better taking action than sitting at home ruminating on the issue. climate change and sharp decline biodiversity.

Miyawaki style

Miniforests were first developed in the 1970s. Botanist Akira Miyawakistudied the remains of centuries-old forests growing around sacred temples and shrines.

Miyawaki Not only did they thrive without human intervention, they found it to be richer and more resilient than recently planted forests.

in him Research on ancient primeval forestsMiyawaki, a densely planted native species, grows in carefully prepared soil at four different heights, covering multiple layers and growing up to 10 times faster than standard managed forests. grew faster and captured more carbon.

Miyawaki continued to monitor more than 1,500 forest plantations around the world, arguing that even a forest as small as 100 square meters can grow to exceptional levels of forest. biodiversity.

Proponent of Miyawaki Forest adopted his method They were transported around the world as cities sought to limit the impacts of climate change, restore degraded lands, create biodiversity hotspots and sequester greater amounts of carbon.

Beirut and other Asian cities are planted with forests the size of tennis courts. all over indiaand increasingly through Europe.

Paris planted its first mini-forest at the northern end of the city ring road at Porte de Montreuil in March 2018 with a Boomforest grant from the French capital. participation budget.

“95% of the trees planted there have survived,” says 33-year-old Guillaume Dozier, a regular Boomforest volunteer, using a wheelbarrow to mulch the soil around newly planted saplings with compost. said while carrying

Seedlings are planted in close proximity, following a tree planting method pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki. Volunteers from the French non-profit Boomforest are planting a mini-forest by the highway in Chevilly He Larue.
Seedlings are planted in close proximity, following a tree planting method pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki. Volunteers from the French non-profit Boomforest are planting a mini-forest by the highway in Chevilly He Larue. © Charlotte Wilkins, FRANCE 24

“The trees are now growing to nearly four to five meters tall,” he happily reports, adding that biodiversity in the small forest is now thriving.

“Every time I go there, I notice more and more insects and birds that weren’t there before,” says Dozier, who explains he has set up a program to monitor the species that congregate there. bottom.

The highway is a “very hostile environment” for birds and insects, Dozier said of the roar of traffic, explaining that the Val-de-Marne authorities gave them land on the side of the road to plant new forests. .

Recreating the same richness and density of the wild forest, the new trees will provide shelter for hundreds of small mammals, insects and birds, Dozier continues.

Unlike lumber plantations, which are planted in rows at 10-meter intervals, Miyawaki’s forests are densely planted.

The side of the highway was randomly planted with three trees per square meter, densely packed with thin young saplings.

If you plant one tree, Cooling effect equivalent to 10 air conditioners. trees are sociable It works much better when planted with fellow trees, explains Dodger.

“They will be able to shade each other and exchange water, nutrients and information. If one of them is under attack, they can alert the others. We make the leaves bitter so they don’t get ripped off,” he says.

Jan 14, 2023 Volunteers hope miniforests can help slow the impacts of climate change.
Jan 14, 2023 Volunteers hope miniforests can help slow the impacts of climate change. © Charlotte Wilkins, FRANCE 24

All seedlings are local French seeds. As Hannah Lewis explains in her book, the city of Paris defines indigenous plants as those from the region prior to 1500 AD.Mini-Forest Revolution: Rewilding the World Using the Miyawaki Method”. However, the Boom Forest team conducted additional research to ensure that their trees and shrubs are the most locally adapted species and can coexist well.

The center is planted with oak, ash, beech and willow, and the edges are planted with hazel, holly and charcoal shrubs. While he only planted 15 different plants that weekend, other Boomforest projects saw him plant as many as 31 local trees and shrubs.

little forest in paris

Proponents of pocket forests also hope to make dense cities like Paris more livable in the heat.

In the summer of 2022, Paris experienced three consecutive heatwaves over a total of 33 days, with temperatures in the French capital hitting near-record highs of 40 degrees Celsius.

Fewer trees, shade and tranquility – Paris There is about 9% tree coverage – The city turned into a furnace and stood out.

Parisians wilted on the city’s paved streets as the asphalt, concrete and metal of their buildings absorbed and re-radiated the heat of baking.

at Paris City Hall Pledged to plant 170,000 trees in the French capital by 2026But their logging of 76 Ancient plane tree from last Aprilto make way for garden spaces, has sparked the outrage of environmentalists such as Oh Albre Sitoyan When GNSAan organization that opposes the felling of trees.

Green activists also say that newly planted saplings No competition for cover provided by decades-old treesand that young trees are particularly susceptible to drought.

Eliziame Siqueira said her concern about climate change prompted her to take concrete action and join the 14 January 2023 Tree Planting Initiative.
Eliziame Siqueira said her concern about climate change prompted her to take concrete action and join the 14 January 2023 Tree Planting Initiative. © Charlotte Wilkins, FRANCE 24

Miyawaki School Forest Critic mini forest expensive to plant And the science behind planting them in Europe not robust enough. Ah Small forest study in Sardinia, 2010one of the rare studies on European mini-forests, showing 61-84% tree mortality after 12 years.

While Parisian authorities appeared enthusiastic about planting trees, Dozier admitted that finding places to plant trees in the city center was difficult.

“Paris is like a little museum,” he quipped, adding that small forests were planted only at the city gates, La Porte Maillot and La Porte des Lilas.

He hopes that one day they will have the opportunity to plant a small forest in the center of Paris, adding that they are constantly learning, adapting their planting methods. We hope that those who have decided to plant their own pocket forest and are concerned about climate change will be encouraged to take action. It is outlined at the following website. J’agis je plante (I act, I plant), Boomforest website and other mini forest groups in France mini big forest When Toulouse in transition.

In the evening the rain got stronger. But the enthusiasm of the volunteers showed no signs of slowing down. Almost half of his 250 square metres, which they hoped to replant that weekend, had been dug up and seedlings had been placed. If Boomforest’s budget allows, we’d like to plant more plants in the total allotted 800 square meters.

Over the next few months, in the spring and fall, regular Boomforest volunteers return to newly planted forests to remove weeds that may compete with the young trees and monitor their progress.

In just three years, the new forest will be autonomous. Boomforest hopes that 10 years from now, it will look like the natural forest it did 100 years ago.

Vala hopes that her grandson will return to the forest in the spring.

“I hope he comes here and says, ‘Look, I really did something here.'”

On January 14, 2023, volunteers braved the cold and rain to plant saplings on 250 square meters of land given to them by the Val-de-Marne authorities.
On January 14, 2023, volunteers braved the cold and rain to plant saplings on 250 square meters of land given to them by the Val-de-Marne authorities. © Charlotte Wilkins, FRANCE 24

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments