Transition from feudalism to capitalism brought with it the idea of commodifying the nature and so along with land even the forests started being commodified. A Forest is defined as a long stretch of land thickly covered with trees. This word is believed to have originated from Latin phrase forestis silva, where forestis connoted outside and silva meant woodland, referring to the area used by a Latin Emperor for hunting purposes.

Eventually this term was modified into forest. The meaning and utility of forest has evolved over the years. Historically, this term connoted a vast stretch of uncultivated area exclusively meant for hunting. Eventually it got referred to as wooded land. The most contemporary meaning of forests differentiates them from woodland referring to forests as those covered with trees whose branches are interlocked with other trees preventing the light from penetrating through them.

Of the many contributions made by forests to the human life the most basic and important one is that of providing environmental stability and security indicating the need of preserving them. However, the increasing wood consumption from these forests is decreasing their numbers wherein between 1980 and 1995, 180 million hectares of forestland was used up as estimated by The United Nations.

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