Unesco Green Citizens
Project begin: 10/12/2015

A small forest, that fits into the size of a tennis court, can help restore ecosystems. This is the Tiny Forest method!

Leading organisation: IVN environmental education
The country where the team is based: Netherlands
Covered Countries: Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, Denmark, Czechia
Theme: Biodiversity, Hydrology
Sub-themes: Forests and desertification, Groundwater management, Natural disasters risk reduction, Participatory science/citizen science, Urban areas
Tag: #Women #Youth
Selection: 2022
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Tiny Forest is a method created by Indian engineer Shubhendu Sharma, based on the method of Japanese Akira Miyawaki to restore natural and native forests. In 2015, IVN Environmental Education in the Netherlands invited this engineer to come and plant the first Tiny Forest in Europe.

Together with the municipality of Zaanstad, school children and local residents, IVN plants the first Tiny Forest in the city. Five years later, the results are positive, growth is fast and biodiversity is stimulated.

900 species of plants and animals identified

Since then, dozens of Tiny Forests have been created in the Netherlands, in collaboration with municipalities, residents and schools that use them for outdoor classroom.

With the Miyawaki planting method, one starts with testing the soil and selecting right native species for the planting location. In cities the soil is often compacted. It is important to create loose, nutritious soil with good drainage. After the soil is prepared, a planting day is organized with the community and school children. 600 native trees are planted on 200 m2. After the planting day the forests need 2-3 years of maintenance, before they become self-sustaining. Research by Wageningen University shows that these forests are biodiverse (more than 900 species of plants and animals have been identified), store 250kg/CO2 per year, cool the city on warm days and retain water. These Tiny Forest allow children and local communities to reconnect with nature.

In the Netherlands, 150 schools now have their own Tiny Forest. IVN has helpt 65+ garden owners to plant a Tiny Forest in their backyard and created 2 Tiny Forests in business parks with outdoor working spaces.

The concept is inspiring. IVN has assisted organizations and individuals in Belgium, Czech republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Wales to create their own Tiny Forest.

Are you also inspired by these Tiny Forests?


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