The primates are here because the forests were here. Great apes, monkeys and lemurs, collectively the primates, have lived arboreally since 50 million to 55 million years ago, totally dependent on a complex woody environment. It is here that they passed many tests, mastered challenges and survived!
If humans evolved from local content and did not land from spaceships or were plonked down instantaneously in a pretty spot as Adam and Eve, their slow growth path is an even greater miracle than that conceived by creationists.
Physically there came some changes: walking upright with buttocks reshaped; the opposing thumb for holding objects; a larger brain to perform miracles and wreak havoc. Then a long industrious climb of inventing tools, taming animals, acquiring language, thinking abstractly, building houses and cities, preserving thought in writing, drawing to achieve beauty and invention, creating universities to transmit knowledge and enhance capacity, doing research to know and to craft, mastering complex systems and contemplating the road from the roots of the species to possible futures.
In growing up, humanity overcame its dependence on forests as children do with parents. Mistaking their own adolescence for maturity, humans lost respect for forests, destroying them. Belatedly, growing up a little more, they discovered eternal dependence on nature, the value of biodiversity.
Whether too little, too late, will be discovered fairly soon. The human brain, the distinctive feature of the species, will then be tested at a higher level than ever before (Collis, 1950; http://anthro.palomar.edu).