New UN stamps highlight vital role of forests

“For centuries, stamps have been valued for their role in chronicling human history,” said Jan McAlpine, Director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat within DESA, as the UN Postal Administration (UNPA) today issued a series of eight stamps to commemorate the International Year of Forests 2011. These vibrant new stamps illustrate the importance of trees and forests in people’s lives.

“Just as the rings within trees hold the history of life on earth; stamps mark historic milestones. This beautiful stamp series issued by the UN Postal Administration visually evokes the spirit of the International Year of Forests and transports it to the far corners of the world,” continued Ms. McAlphine.

The new stamps are the last in a series of releases issued during the 60th Anniversary Year of UNPA. The International Year features the theme of “Forests for People”, showcasing success stories of people tackling challenges and inspiring action for forests around the world.

“Throughout 2011,” McAlpine added, “we have been celebrating the complex links between forests and people, the commemorative stamp series will help raise further awareness of how evolving human needs and our planet’s health are deeply intertwined with the present and future well being of forests.”

Designed by internationally celebrated artist, Sergio Baradat, these new stamps highlight the beauty of forests, and their vital link to life on earth. “Sergio’s colourful designs remind us all that one third of the Earth’s land surface is covered by trees,” said Postal Authority Chief David Failor. “The stamps also remind us that mankind plays an important role in maintaining the balance provided by forests.”

The global observance of the Year comes at a time when there has been a much wider recognition of the role that sustainably managed forests play in everything from mitigating climate change to providing wood, medicines and livelihoods for people around the world.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also said, “By declaring 2011 as the International Year of Forests, the United Nations General Assembly has created an important platform to educate the global community about the great value of forests – and the extreme social, economic and environmental costs of losing them”.