Date of Issue : 7 September 2015
World Forestry Congress , Durban
This month in September , the World Forestry Congress was 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 took place in Durban from 7 to 11 September. The main theme for this year’s congress was “Forests and people: investing in a sustainable future”.
New stamps in a souvenir sheet issue by South African Post aims to raise awareness of the environment and especially forests that are the lungs of our planet.The set of five stamps was designed by Annemarie Wessels, who worked closely with the DAFF. The stamps cover the main topics of discussion 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).
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.
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 was crucial, as the world was entering a new development era with the post-2015 sustainable development goals.