The Chipko (hug the tree) movement began in northern India in 1974 when, after realising the increasingly disastrous floods and landslides were being caused by deforestation, a group of Reni village women hugged the trees to prevent them being cut down.
Since then a grassroots popular movement has spread and this simple strategy has saved many forests. "What do the forests bear? Soil and water and pure air. Soil and water and pure air Sustain the earth and all she bears" sang the women in one such confrontation.