Thursday, January 14, 2016

Republic of South Africa 2015
XIV World Forestry Congress

ISSUE DATE: 7 September 2015
CIRCULATION: 50 000 sheets
STAMP SIZE: 38 x 38 mm
 STAMP DESIGN: Annemarie Wessels

Forests are essential to life on our planet and are a source of income and livelihood to many. They provide mitigation and adaption to climate change, adequate supplies of fresh water, biodiversity in nature, food and shelter for humans and animals. Yet this life-sustaining resource is under unprecedented pressure from people, climate and competing socio-economic demands.

In September this year, the World Forestry Congress will be held in South Africa for the first time. Hosted by the South African Government, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the XIV World Forestry Congress will take place in Durban from 7 to 11 September. The main theme for this year's congress is ""Forests and people: investing in a sustainable future.""

The World Forestry Congress was first held in Rome in 1926, and has since become the largest and most significant gathering of the world's forest sector. Held every six years, its objectives are to inform, direct and influence international action in forestry; to elevate the sector's role in global development and to project a new vision for the future. This congress will be crucial, as the world will be entering a new development era with the post-2015 sustainable development goals.

South Africa has a productive forestry sector, which contributes about 1% to the country's Gross Domestic Product. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is the custodian of our forest resources, which cover more than 40 million ha of the country's land surface area.

The forestry sector employs around 165 900 workers and provides about 62 700 direct jobs and 30 000 indirect jobs. Forestry provides livelihood support to 652 000 people in the country's rural areas. The pulp and paper industry provides about 13 200 direct and 11 000 indirect employment opportunities.

South Africa also boasts world-class forestry research infrastructure and personnel, with almost 2% of the forestry industry's turnover (private and public sectors) devoted to research. The forest research function within the DAFF has been coordinating a number of research projects focusing on sustainable management of forest resources.

The stamps.
The set of five stamps was designed by Annemarie Wessels, who worked closely with the DAFF. The stamps cover the main topics to be discussed at the congress, such as transforming livelihoods and forest governance, as well as indigenous forest plants, trees and animals.

Stamp 1 - Transforming livelihoods.
Forests sustain small and medium enterprises such as small arts and crafts businesses and entrepreneurs and recreational activities such as tree canopy tours, hiking, biking, and sightseeing.

Stamp 2 - Forest products.
Logs are harvested from a forest plantation. Almost all timber products in South Africa are produced in forest plantations, thus limiting the pressure of timber harvesting on natural forests.

Stamp 3 - Forest governance.
Monitoring forest ecosystems and produce through science and research such as measuring growth of seven-week ferns.

Stamp 4 - Forest dwellers (conservation).
Indigenous forest dwellers from different South African regions

Indigenous animals found in South Africa's natural forests, such as:

- Samango monkey (Cercophitecus mitis)
- Knysna Dwarf chameleon (Bradypodion damaranum)
- Blue Duiker (Philantomba monticola)
- Emperor Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio ophidicephalus zuluensis)
- Other forest animals include doves, bush pigs, leopards and elephants.

Stamp 5 - Forest flora and fungi.
This stamp features a forest recovering after forest fires showing examples of indigenous plants, flowers, fungi and trees.

- Outeniqua yellow wood (Podocarpus falcatus)
- James flower (Plectranthus fruticosus)
- Falling star lilies (Streptocarpus candidus)
- Tropical Cinnabar bracket fungi (Pycnoporus sanguineus)
- Lepiota mushrooms (Lepiota species). 

Stamp images and description thanks to South African Post Office

South African Post Office COLLECTORZPEDIA