Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers

2008 is slowly reaching an end, so this is time to speak about one of the important philatelic events that will take place in the first quarter of 2009.
As a closing action of the 2007-2009 International Polar Year, not less than 40 countries will issue a stamp or souvenir sheet with a common theme: Preserver the Polar Regions and Glaciers. Each country will be free to decide the design of the stamps, the only rule is that it must include the logo of the campaign, a protected ice crystal that must be put on the left part of the design.
Most of the Nordic Countries (Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway …) who issued a common block of stamps in March 2007 for the IPY’s opening are involved in this issue, as well as the countries pretending claims in Antarctica (like Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand …) or having stations on the White Continent (Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Ecuador, India, Japan, South Africa, Uruguay).
Some other countries having temporary research programs in the Polar Regions are also joining the stamp issue (like Estonia, Hungary or Switzerland for example). The program is still open to other goodwill countries involved in polar matters.

As an appetizer ;-), here is a picture of the souvenir sheet that will be issued by Aland on the 22nd of January 2009.


The souvenir sheet commemorates the 100th anniversary of the introduction of electricity in Mariehamn, Aland. Due to the very high prices for the electric current produced, this is not before the end of the 70s that the most remote parts of Aland have been connected to the main electrical network. The souvenir sheet pictures a more ecologic way to produce electricity: wind turbines. 22 wind turbines are installed in Aland.
The symbol of this joint issue, an ice crystal, can be seen in the upper left corner. The wind turbine is embossed and the rest of the sheet is supplied with Metal FX effect.

If you are interested to see more of the design of the stamps that are planned to be issued, you can check
this page on the Finnish post website.

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