Forest birds of South Africa on stamps

Forests are integral to the quality of human life and the environment. They provide food, fuel, shelter, clean water, medicine and employment for people. Forests are also home to 70 percent of the world's terrestrial animals and plants. To raise awareness and strengthen sustainable forest management, as well as development and conservation of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations, the United Nations declared 2011 the International Year of Forests. To coincide with this, the South African Post Office chose forest birds as its theme for a new set of stamps in the South African bird series.

In South Africa, indigenous forests cover only about 0,25 percent of South Africa's land surface. With a few exceptions, such as the forests of the Knysna area and the KwaZulu-Natal coastal dune systems, forests are small, usually occupying less than 1 000 ha. These forests provide shelter to some of South Africa's most spectacular birds.

The birds depicted on the set of five stamps are the green twinspot, olive bush-shrike, Cape parrot, Knysna turaco (lourie) and the African crowned eagle. The artwork is by Andre Olwage.

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