Globally, there is increasing realization of the dependence of humans on ecosystems and the role by forests in providing important ecosystem services. Forests are the chief source of livelihood in developing countries in general and mountains in particular. The Indian Himalaya holds key to India's ecological security and is the major provider of various forest products and hydropower.

Generally, the mention of the world tribal gives vivid images of indigenous people living amidst dense jungles, and using a variety of forest resources for their sustenance. Such ecosystem people who enjoy the bounty of nature are the fortunate ones, as there are others who are not so lucky.