The United Nations have declared 2011 to be the International Year of Forests. The first stamp shows tree-rings in a log (Siberian larch from Hallormsstaður forest) and symbolises the forest as a resource, as a producer of wood.
The second stamp shows a close-up of a leaf, symbolizing ecosystem services of forests, specifically the sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere.
Modern Icelanders tend to think of forests as landscape features but seldom as a resource. In the past though, Icelandic forests were especially important as resources, providing building material, fuel wood, charcoal for iron working and fodder for livestock. With afforestation, Iceland is rebuilding its forest resource.
Forests also provide a variety of ecosystem services, including water and soil protection and provision of habitats for a great many species. The leaves and needles draw carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and in that way, forests help to reduce the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere.
Title: Europa 2011 – Island
Date of Issue: 17 March 2011
Denominations: 165 ISK, 220 ISK