ALAPPUZHA: Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) is promoting Miyawaki forest model to increase the forest cover of the district.
Pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, it has acceptability across the globe as a sustainable model to fight climate change.
Inspired by its success in Bengaluru and Chennai, KSSP hopes to double greenery of the coastal Alappuzha with the National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers and concerned citizens.
P.V. Joseph of KSSP said that the main objective of the campaign was to make sure dense vegetation across the district since it has no natural forest.
KSSP will give specialised training to the people on the technique to grow a 'forest' at home.
"We also focus on public institutions, schools and local landlords who can easily reserve at least one cent to implement the model," he said.
"It grows ten times faster and 30 times denser compared to others. It will help plant dozens of native species in the same area, and becomes maintenance-free after the first three years."
For the last decade, many in Bengaluru have successfully launched the Miyawaki method growing some 4.5 lakh trees.
However, the project does not enthuse all.
N.N. Gopikuttan, secretary, the Kerala Kavu Paristhithi Samrakshana Samithi, says artificial forests will not substitute natural woods, in medicinal properties and the ability to bring rain.
"Instead of building new ones with foreign technique, we have to enrich sacred groves numbering over 1.5 lakh in the state - millions of years old and never replaceable. They can regenerate if there is a concerted effort," he said.
Alappuzha is host to some 1,200 sacred groves of an acre each, the highest in the state, grown by many aristocratic families as part of customs and beliefs. But they are on a decline.
Indiscriminate grazing and uncontrolled felling of trees for firewood have contributed to the dwindling groves.
Sacred groves in Kerala are home to 475 species of birds, 100 mammals, 156 reptiles, 91 amphibians, 196 fishes and 150 varieties of butterflies.
Though there were about 10,000 groves in the princely state of Travancore, only over 1,200 remain now.