Commemorating International Year of Forests, United Nations Issues Stamp Series Highlighting Vital Role of Planet’s Woodland Areas

13 October 2011

Commemorating International Year of Forests, United Nations Issues Stamp Series Highlighting Vital Role of Planet’s Woodland Areas

13 October 2011
Economic and Social Council
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Commemorating International Year of Forests, United Nations Issues


Stamp Series Highlighting Vital Role of Planet’s Woodland Areas


The United Nations Postal Administration issued today a series of eight stamps to commemorate the International Year of Forests, illustrating the important role trees and forests play in people’s lives. 

The vibrant new stamps are the last in a series of releases issued during the sixtieth anniversary year of the United Nations Postal Administration.  The International Year of Forests, which is on the theme “Forests for People”, showcases success stories of people tackling challenges and undertaking inspiring action to sustain and preserve forests around the world.

“For centuries, stamps have been valued for their role in chronicling human history,” says Jan McAlpine, Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat.  “Just as the rings within trees hold the history of life on Earth, stamps mark historic milestones”.  She continued, adding that the stamp series visually evokes the spirit of the International Year and transports it to the far corners of the world.

She went on to note that throughout 2011 the Forum and its partners have been celebrating the complex links between forests and people.  The commemorative stamp series will, she explains, 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, the 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,” says Postal Authority Chief David Failor.  “The stamps also remind us that mankind plays an important role in maintaining the balance provided by forests,” he adds.

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

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has 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”.

The world's forests cover one third of the Earth's land surface and help to maintain the fertility of agricultural land, protect water sources and reduce the risks of natural disasters.  It is estimated that 1.6 billion people, a quarter of the world’s population, depend on forests for their livelihood.

Yet millions of hectares of forests are lost every year due to deforestation and forest degradation, which impact ecosystem services and also account for up to 20 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.  Tropical forests provide a vast array of medicinal plants used in healing and health care; more than a quarter of modern medicines originate from tropical forest plants.

For more information on the International Year of Forests please visit and

For more information on the United Nations Postal Administration please visit

For more information or interviews, please contact Dan Shepard, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.:  +1 212 963 9495 or +1 212 963 6816, fax:  +1 212 963 1186, e-mail:; or Mita Sen, United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat, tel.:  +1 917 367 5069, fax:  +1 917 367 3186, e-mail:

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.