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Conservationist shares stunning before-and-after clip of restored nature reserve: ‘So much transformation in just 1 year and 6 months’

“Can you imagine this forest after two years?”

"Can you imagine this forest after two years?"

Photo Credit: TikTok

The restoration of a forest is a beautiful sight to behold.

Mzanzi Organics (@mzanziorganics), a social enterprise focusing on urban farming and forest making, recently shared an amazing before and after of a huge area in Cape Town, South Africa.

@mzanziorganics Before and After! So much transformation in just 1 year and 6 months! Can you imagine this forest after two years? After two years the canopy of the forest will start forming 🙂 this is the Miyawaki method of afforestation. We planted 3 indigenous trees per sqm in a total 200sqm. Total 600 trees and shrubs, all indigenous to South Africa #urbanforest #pocketforest #rewildinggeneration #beforeandafter #climatechangesolutions #mzanziorganics ♬ الصوت الأصلي – الصَمِت"𓁹

“So much transformation in just 1 year and 6 months!” they wrote. “Can you imagine this forest after two years? After two years the canopy of the forest will start forming. This is the Miyawaki method of afforestation. We planted 3 indigenous trees per sqm in a total 200sqm. Total 600 trees and shrubs, all indigenous to South Africa.”

Mzanzi Organics touted the makeover as an urban forest or pocket forest and noted the rewilding generation — another hashtag they used — can help mitigate changes in the climate by turning to similar solutions. 

Each year, forests absorb billions of metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, a planet-warming gas that is the main contributor to human-caused rising global temperatures, according to the United Nations Development Programme. Forests also cover nearly 33% of Earth and provide habitat for 80% of amphibians, 75% of birds, and 68% of mammals.

These ecosystems support more than 1.6 billion people with timber, food, fuel, jobs, and shelter. From 2001 to 2019, they sucked up twice as much CO2 as they gave off, UNDP stated. But the woodlands are under threat from deforestation and degradation, so it is vital to preserve, restore, and manage them.

Logging, land encroachment, and deforestation make for a double whammy: All those activities actively pollute the environment, and they also remove one of our best countermeasures to droughts, floods, wildfires, and the spread of zoonotic infectious diseases.

Forests help prevent erosion, contribute to the global water cycle, and filter pollution and chemicals as well.

No wonder tiny forests are popping up all over the globe.

The Miyawaki method, which Mzanzi Organics used, is partly responsible. It calls for soil to be analyzed and improved before the seedlings of tree species, sub-species, shrubs, and ground-covering herbs are selected and planted 30 to 50 times more densely than the norm in commercial forestry.

The area is monitored, watered, and weeded for a few years as the flora compete for space, light, and water, which makes for growth that is 10 times faster than what traditional afforestation techniques yield, up to three feet per year.

As this TikTok showed, the results can be stunningly effective in a short period.

“Amazing progress, looks beautiful!” one user commented.

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