Tiny Forests have been immensely popular since the planting of the first Tiny Forest in Zaandam, the Netherlands. After this first Tiny Forest, all sorts of 'Tiny Forest' initiatives have sprung up in the Netherlands and also across the border.
Some of these initiatives that sprung up, turned out to be differing a lot from the ideas of Mr. Sharma and Miyawaki. Mr. Sharma (Afforestt) is an Indian engineer and developed the Tiny Forest concept. He was in turn inspired by the forestry method developed by the Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki.
For decades, Dr. Akira Miyawaki has studied potential natural vegetation. As part of this study, he observed primary forests all around the world. He defines a primary forest as a forest that is free from human intervention. His research has proven that native plants and trees are better able to deal with natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, forest fires, tsunamis, and climate change.
But he didn’t just observe the primary forests; he has also developed a method for rapidly restoring them to their original condition. The most important step in his method is to identify which plant communities grew in the location before people began to intervene there. In his home country of Japan, he found out that such forests are extremely difficult to find. Only 0.3% of the vegetation in Japan has never been disturbed by humans. The Netherlands no longer has pristine forests, but around 3% of our forests still have their original native trees and shrubs.
In order to make sure that small forests that bear the name Tiny Forest are in line with the ideas of Sharma and Miyawaki, IVN and Sharma decided to turn Tiny Forest into a Registered Trademark®. Also, with this trademark, we can ensure that every Tiny Forest has a social approach. With a social approach, we mean that the local community and schoolchildren are involved in planting and maintaining the Tiny Forest.
The image below shows (in a simplified way) what steps are needed to be taken to meet the Tiny Forest requirements. You can find extensive information on how to create a Tiny Forest in the open-source Tiny Forest Handbook. You can find the Tiny Forest handbook the menu section Tiny Forest® open source handbook and downloads. The Tiny Forest handbook also contains a checklist. With this checklist, you can quickly examine whether your forest meets the requirements to be called a Tiny forest.