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A forest grown in the middle of Karachi to combat extreme weathers

Karachi: Miyawaki, the Japanese methodology of growing different kinds of plants together is a small pit is gaining popularity all over the world. Using the same technology, Pakistani entrepreneur, Shahzad Qureshi, has given birth to a small forest in the middle of the city which he believes is the best way to combat extreme weathers. 

Speaking to ARY News, Shahzad said, “We took a small initiative two years back based on a Japanese methodology Miyawaki. There is no chemical, fertilizer, no pesticide and no added aid we provide to the plants.”

Shahzad said the trigger point of his initiative was the heatwave which killed around 2,000 people in Karachi, “I found a solution of it on the internet. I came across a Ted Talk of 6 minutes of Shebendu Sharma in which Shebendu explained how he is planting small forests in his city. I invited him to come over and do a pilot for us. We started this pilot in 2015. It had its teething issues but eventually, you can see nature has taken over. The trees made space for themselves. Some got strong, some got weak, some stayed small but they will remain together as a jungle. Some trees dried out but we let that happen cause it is a natural cycle. Eventually it will start becoming a sanctuary for wildlife”

But time and again, Shahzad is faced with one question that why a jungle? Why so many trees together instead of single trees planted independently? He says, “Jungle because it invites a lot of wildlife. Species except us who had grown up with us, who used to live with us they all had their houses. Slowly, we cut all their houses down and made our houses. So where do those species go? Slowly, all these species start getting extinct or they start entering our houses wherever they find comfort.”

Not just this, a jungle is also important because it, “Captures 30 times more carbon dioxide and produce 30 times more oxygen. This is why we need a forest. Together they live better.”

Now almost three years old, Qureshi’s forest has almost 1,200 trees, “We have adopted this park and we are trying to put forward a different model about how parks in the cities should be like. We will create a forest of 50,000 trees which will be self-sustaining and independent. I urge you all to be a part of it. We have gathered plants of 50 different native species. Come and donate a tree only for Rs. 950 and we will take care of it for 3 years.”

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