Published 25th November 2021

2021 Stamp Set: 30th Anniversary of the Environmental Protocol

The British Antarctic Government are happy to present our new stamp set to celebrate the signing of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Environmental Protocol). This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the Environmental Protocol, which provides a comprehensive framework for the protection of the Antarctic environment.

This unique international agreement protects the Antarctic environment and designates Antarctica as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. It prohibits mining and mineral resource activities in the Antarctic Treaty area except for scientific research purposes. Its six Annexes put in place measures for the protection of the Antarctic environment, including for the effective assessment of any environmental impact, the conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora and the protection and management of areas deemed to be of outstanding environmental, scientific, or historic value.

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66p Protecting Historic Sites – Bransfield House

Following a conservation survey in 1994, British ‘Base A’ – Port Lockroy was recognised for its historical importance and designated as Historic Site and Monument No. 61 under the Antarctic Treaty. In 1996 a team from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), funded by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT), renovated the buildings and since then the site has been open to visitors during the Antarctic summer (November to March).

Managed by the UKAHT as a ‘living museum’ it includes a small gift shop and the UK’s most southerly public Post Office – affectionately known as the Penguin Post Office. All profit from the shop proceeds goes towards renovation of other historic sites in Antarctica.

78p Protecting Wildlife – Emperor Penguin

The emperor penguin is the giant of the penguin world, reaching 122cm in height and weighing from 22 to 45kg.  Endemic to Antarctica, Emperors are rarely seen in subantarctic waters.

The diet of an emperor penguin consists primarily of fish, krill and squid. An emperor penguin can remain submerged for up to 18 minutes and they are able to dive to a depth of 535 m. The emperor penguin is also the only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter trekking 50 – 120 km over the ice to breeding colonies. The female lays a single egg which is incubated by the male while the female returns to the sea to feed.  Parents take turns foraging at sea and caring for their chick. The lifespan of an emperor penguin is typically 20 years. Although they have a high survival rate compared to other penguins, with an average of 95% surviving the year, emperors are the least common Antarctic penguin, with only about 200,000 breeding pairs.

£1.26 Conducting Science – Twin Otter 

The de Havilland Twin Otter aircraft is a high wing, twin engine, turboprop aircraft capable of carrying up to twenty passengers in the commuter role.

The version operated by the BAS is the wheel/ski equipped aircraft which has the capability to land on snow and ice or hard runways. These rugged aircraft are the backbone of the BAS Antarctic operations. They carry the scientists out into their field locations, they resupply them or move them during the season, and then recover the party to Rothera or Halley stations at the completion of their projects. They also carry airborne surveying equipment and can also provide an Antarctic search and rescue capability.

£1.40 Protecting Antarctica’s Wilderness – Wiencke Island

In much of the Antarctic region, a continent of 14 million km2 surrounded by the vast Southern Ocean, there is no or little evidence of past or present human activity. The notion of Antarctica as a wilderness is enshrined in the Environmental Protocol through commitments to protect Antarctica’s wilderness values.

Technical details:

Designer      Bee Design
Photography68p Hannelore

78p Sue Flood

£1.40 Lucy Dorman

£1.26 BAS
Process  Lithography
Perforation14 per 2cms
Stamp size42.58 x 28.45mm
Sheet Layout   10
Release date  23 November, 2021
Production CoordinationCreative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd