Following are some important uses of forests:
Discuss the major uses of forest?

(i) Food: Forests provide food in the form of roots leaves, fruits, and tubes both to human and other animals.

(ii) Fuel: Wood obtained from forests is used as a fuel for cooking and keeping us warm especially in villages even today. Around 80% of the total fuel used in the world is wood. The origin of fossil fuels (coal and petroleum) is from forests which were Somehow buried under earth millions of years ago.

(iii) Timber: Timber obtained from forests is used for building houses, bridges, boats, ships, furniture railway sleepers, poles, spot goods, agricultural tools, toys and plywood for doors, windows etc.

(iv) Paper: Different kinds of papers such as stationary paper, newspaper, sanitary paper and packing paper are obtained from bamboos and eucalyptus trees.

(v) Commercial products: Useful product's such as essential oil (khas, sandal) for cosmetics, camphor (from laurel tree) tanninus dyes, lac, gums and resins for individual uses, soap substitutes (ritha, shikakai) silk, honey (from forest insects), ivory, born and hides from forest animals, druges, species, poisons, insecticides etc. and many other useful products are obtained from forests.

(vi) Production of oxygen: Green plants of the forest produce Oxygen as a by product of photosynthesis which is essential for the respiration of animals. They are rightly called as earths lungs.

(vii) Environmental maintenance: Forests keep the environment cool by regulating transpiration of plants and by increasing the choices of rainfall. Humid conditions increase the chances of survival of plants in scorching heat of summer.

(viii) Shelter: A large variety of animals like insects, reptiles, birds and manamals live in forests are the homes for million of wild animals and plants. About seven million species are found in the tropical forests alone.

(ix) Soil conservation: Forests help in the conservation of soil due to following factors:

(a) The roots of trees and plants build soil particles

(b) The fallen leaves decrease the speed of rain water flow

(c) They decrease the wind velocity which would otherwise erode the soil.

(x) Soil fertility: The fallen leaves of forest trees decay to form humus which increase the fertility of soil.

(xi) Control of hydrological cycle: The water, in streams, springs, wells and rivers is regulated by humus of the decaying leaves. It absorb large amount of water which is released gradually maintaining the hydrological cycle in nature

(xii) Pollution moderation: Air pollution is reduced due to absorption of Co, and other toxic gases by plants. It has also been reported that forests absorb noise. Forests are helpful in controlling air and noise pollution both.

(xiii) Reducing global warming: The forests act as a sink for Co, which is responsible for green house effect and global warming.

(xiv) Aesthetic importance: Greenery of the forests places humans due to their esthetic sense. Forests stimulate the art of literature and music and thus have aesthetic importance.