Forests have always played an important role in human history. Their beneficial roles are clearly acknowledged in many ancient and religious texts of the South Asian countries. For example, Lord Buddha, the philosopher who founded Buddhism, which emanated from and is widely practised in the South Asian countries, said:
The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demand for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life’s activity; it affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axeman who destroys it.
By Asit K. Biswas, 1992. Article published in Contemporary South Asia, Volume 1, Issue 2, pages 249-258. DOI: 10.1080/09584939208719684