Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences achieved a significant milestone when its Bhubaneswar campus became Odisha’s first Miyawaki forest site with the Miyawaki Afforestation event on 3rd July 2022. As a part of this commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Climate Action and Life on Land, KISS has
undertaken to develop the Miyawaki forest, which shall prove to be a monumental step in its strive towards the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The Miyawaki forest spread over an area of one acre shall offer numerous benefits, such as:
- It is intended to mitigate the adverse impact of pollution in the surrounding locale, particularly Patia and neighbouring parts of Bhubaneswar city. Thus, similar to the Delhi Ridge or the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, it could function as the lungs of the wider area.
- The infamous summer days of Bhubaneswar are getting increasingly hotter each year. The forest shall provide some respite to the more than 30,000 individuals in its close vicinity apart from those in the nearby areas.
- Unlike a typical forest, a Miyawaki forest grows ten times faster and is highly dense. This first-of-its-kind forest in Odisha shall serve as an ecological hotspot attracting countless birds and other animals. It shall mimic a natural forest both in canopy density and species diversity. Critically, the plants and trees belong to the species native to the land rather than invasive and alien species.
- KISS will achieve another unique distinction when it becomes one of the few educational institutions worldwide to have a full-grown forest inside its campus. More importantly, being one of the largest institutions in the world providing holistic education exclusively to indigenous children and youth, the forest gains extra significance for KISS and its various stakeholders, including the children, their families, and the wider indigenous community.
- The children belong to communities that are considered the stewards of the forests, and it is hoped that the Miyawaki forest site at KISS will make a valuable contribution to their lives. KISS maintains that the indigenous peoples can be the forerunners in our fight against the Climate Catastrophe, as there are innumerable best practices that they can teach others to preserve and conserve our natural heritage.