If there are wild tigers left in India today, it is because of Norman Borlaug. As I noted in a piece I wrote back in 2001,
If you're like most Americans, you've probably never heard of Norman Borlaug despite the fact that he is one of only three living Americans to have won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Borlaug is widely credited for being the father of the Green Revolution, which jumpstarted agriculture in the developing world. Thanks to Borlaug and his sponsors at the Rockefeller Foundation, India and Pakistan doubled and then tripled grain production in the late '60s and '70s. As a result, massive famines were averted in much of the developing world.
Because of his agricultural innovations, Borlaug has probably saved more human lives than anyone who has ever lived.
But Borlaug can claim credit for more than saving human life: He has saved a lot of the natural world as well. Because of dramatic boosts in agricultural output made possible by the Green Revolution, a lot less land has fallen under the plow. Borlaug himself calculates that if 1961 agricultural yields still prevailed today, three times more land in China and the United States, and two times more land in India, would be needed to equal current cereal production.