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First Miyawaki forest in the Middle East was a success


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Deema Assaf spent 10 years forging a career as an architect in Amman. [...] At the heart of Deema’s mission is saving Jordan’s native species.

Many of the plants that she works with are endangered with only around 30 left in the whole country. “If one of those species was to disappear, the whole ecosystem would collapse, so to maintain life in Jordan, we need these native species.”

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“We had dense forests in Jordan, with amazing biodiversity, including elephants, rhinos and the Asiatic lion; different animals that used to coexist with people he
re,” she explains. “That made me see the landscape in a different light and the potential of that landscape if human intervention was not affecting it in a negative way.

Deema teamed up with the Japanese environmentalist Nochi Motoharu in the hope of bringing some green to the desert city. The pair wanted to experiment with a unique way to create forests, which is called the Miyawaki method.

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Developed in Japan in the 1970s by the Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, the method plants native species close together so that they can grow faster in a protective environment. It essentially mimics how nature works, allowing a 100-year-old forest to be grown in just 10 years.

The project was a success, and within two years the saplings had grown into a dense forest with trees of three and four metres. Making the site the first Miyawaki Forest in the Arab world.

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Source - https://www.euronews.com/2021/10/04/meet-the-jordanian-architect-who-grew-an-100-year-old-forest-in-10-years

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HEARTSTOP

This is really cool!

However, I have to say sometimes people exaggerate a lot to try and make their work seem more valuable for some reason (which they don't need at all in this case, because it speaks for itself how amazing it is).

Sure, it's awful that we could lose some of these species. And it's amazing that these people are fighting this good cause. But I highly doubt "the whole ecosystem would collapse" if there are "only around 30 left". The difference they make is minimal in the great scope of things, let's be real.

And species disappear all the time to give place to new ones, that's how evolution works. All we need to do is try to not affect the natural course of things too much, which humans are not good at.

Edited by HEARTSTOP
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ARTPOPe
1 hour ago, HEARTSTOP said:

Sure, it's awful that we could lose some of these species. And it's amazing that these people are fighting this good cause. But I highly doubt "the whole ecosystem would collapse" if there are "only around 30 left". The difference they make is minimal in the great scope of things, let's be real.

And species disappear all the time to give place to new ones, that's how evolution works. All we need to do is try to not affect the natural course of things too much, which humans are not good at.

You couldn't be more wrong with that.

Ecosystems, especially local ones, are often quite fragile and a single species going extinct, whether it be an animal, plant or fungus can prove fatal to the rest of that ecosystem in the long run, as often species live in symbiosis together.
 

Spoiler

In a local, enclosed forest, Plant species A creates a canopy, giving life saving shade to Plant species B, C, D, E, F, G. Some of those give life saving fruits to the only Animal species in the forest: Animal species A, whose excrements a) serve as fertilizer to many of the plants/food to microbes in the ecosystem and b) are responsible for spreading seeds to grow new plants throughout the area.
What happens if Plant species A and its life saving shade goes extinct?
The other plant species will suffer and might not adapt to the new environment very well.
Eventually Plant species B (and its life saving berries to Animal species A) might go extinct as well. Now Animal species A still has other Plant species and their fruits to go to, but what if due to Plant species B going extinct, Fungus species A can no longer survive, since its symbiosis partner has gone extinct?
Now that Fungus species A is going extinct too, along with some of the soil health, the other plant species might get weaker due to the soil health decreasing.
The weaker plants then become more susceptible to diseases and pests. Some of which may thrive only in a warmer and drier environment. And how did the environment become warmer and drier? Due to Plant species A and its cooling shade going extinct.
Suddenly all the plant species that give life saving berries to Animal species A have gone extinct. Animal species A will now go extinct as well.
With Animal species A gone, there are no more excrements to fertilize the plants or feed the microbes. Soil health decreases further, plants become even weaker, plants go extinct one after another. Eventually it becomes a barren land with no life.

Obviously this is just an example and very much a simplification as well as taking it to an extreme, but it's basically the way it goes. This principle of a single or handful of species vanishing from ecosystems and then creating a domino effect, heavily affecting other species' survival has been observed many times before.

In fact, one can do it as an experiment at home: Jarrariums.

Self sustaining ecosystems in a jar. If done right, its ecosystem can go on forever.
Though sometimes outside influences change the cycle/balance within the jar and suddenly the entire thing goes south. The many ecosystems in our world are not much different to be honest.

Biodiversity is important and we should do everything we can to keep as many species alive as possible, especially since loss of biodiversity, mainly due to human reckless and selfishness, proceeds faster than new species can evolve.

OT: This is incredible! :applause:
Reminds me of that one man in India planting an entire forest by himself and that forest now being home to many animal species.

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Ziggy
3 hours ago, HEARTSTOP said:

This is really cool!

However, I have to say sometimes people exaggerate a lot to try and make their work seem more valuable for some reason (which they don't need at all in this case, because it speaks for itself how amazing it is).

Sure, it's awful that we could lose some of these species. And it's amazing that these people are fighting this good cause. But I highly doubt "the whole ecosystem would collapse" if there are "only around 30 left". The difference they make is minimal in the great scope of things, let's be real.

And species disappear all the time to give place to new ones, that's how evolution works. All we need to do is try to not affect the natural course of things too much, which humans are not good at.

Yes, things disappear all the time which is affecting the ecosystem...

the thing is, this is framed within the scope of biodiversity and how it is advantageous to human survival. The world will go on, sure, but it might not be a world habitable to human living is what is being said here.

and yes, they talk about the importance of their work because this work is criminally underfunded. It’s not a lie but grants and pr like this is done to secure future funding for work that legitimately needs to be done. It’s not a stretch so much as a artful presentation of the facts. The ecosystem would certainly collapse...for human habitation. The big takeaway is that everything is important to the functioning of a certain ecosystem. They might shift, that is nature, but humans are not very resilient creatures biologically. When we talk about ecosystem collapse, it is talking about evolution like you said and a certain system evolving past human habitation.

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Jordan is a nation in the Middle East with a pretty large area that has fertile ground and a very similar biodiversity to the Mediterranean nations. Its climate is very tolerant to plants. So it is not surprising that this was a success. I would be shocked if they could manage to pull this off in the Gulf States. THAT would literally be a miracle.

Either way, anywhere that I see more plants being grown makes my heart so happy. We need to save nature that we have everywhere.

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weed

It's a little weird to me that it's a "Miyawaki forest" when they just... grew the trees near each other lol but very exciting and happy for them. The environment/ecosystem should always have importance

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ARTPOPe
1 hour ago, dit said:

I would be shocked if they could manage to pull this off in the Gulf States. THAT would literally be a miracle.

Some are trying

https://www.saudigreeninitiative.org/targets/greening-saudi/

There are also other, more local projects going on in Oman, Bahrain and the UAE.

Obviously those are much more challenging, due to the harsher environment there, but kudos to them for trying!

Some of them make use of water saving grow boxes, which is quite interesting: https://www.groasis.com/photos-1/countries?lang=en

If only their governments made more resources available for these projects.

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17 hours ago, weed said:

It's a little weird to me that it's a "Miyawaki forest" when they just... grew the trees near each other lol but very exciting and happy for them. The environment/ecosystem should always have importance

It understand that, I worded it like that because there is a limit of characters here :poot: A Miyawaki forest isn't a forest of a specific species of tree as it may sound, but a particular type of forests that are small but dense and with numerous species. It was proved that they are useful in conserving endangered species because they grow fast and are super diverse.

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On 10/18/2021 at 3:33 AM, dit said:

Jordan is a nation in the Middle East with a pretty large area that has fertile ground and a very similar biodiversity to the Mediterranean nations. Its climate is very tolerant to plants. So it is not surprising that this was a success. I would be shocked if they could manage to pull this off in the Gulf States. THAT would literally be a miracle.

Either way, anywhere that I see more plants being grown makes my heart so happy. We need to save nature that we have everywhere.

They planted the forest in central Jordan (temperate-dry hot summer climate according to Kobben), so you are right!

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