CITES and postal stamps
1993 the CITES Secretariat has worked with the United Nations Postal
Administration (UNPA) to produce an annual series of 12 stamps of
animals and plants included in the CITES Appendices. This series
is published in Geneva, New York and Vienna, with special postmarks
for first-day covers. The stamps are sold either individually or
in a special booklet that contains information provided by the Secretariat
on each of the species and provided in English, French and German.
factors gave rise to the idea of launching the Endangered Species
series. First UNPA selects themes that reflect the activities of
the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Second stamps representing
animals or plant species are traditionally popular amongst stamp
collectors, many of whom will collect one animal in particular.
It was decided from the onset to issue these series every year and
11 years on their popularity has not abated. "The Endangered
Species stamps are one of the best-selling series of all those produced
by the United Nations", said Mr Peter Torelli, Officer-in-Charge
of UNPA at Geneva. Artists from all over the world are called upon
every year to illustrate the species selected.
are popular with children and adults alike and stamp collecting
is a widely spread hobby across the world, cultures and age groups.
The Secretariat therefore believes that they are a good way of making
the Convention more widely known outside the community of people
traditionally involved in CITES. As a matter of fact, some Parties
have followed suit and produced stamps illustrated with CITES species
and bearing the CITES logo, such as Japan and Chile on the occasion
of the eight and 12th meetings of the Conference of the Parties
respectively, or Poland in 2001.
Secretariat encourages other Parties to follow this example. Indeed,
outside meetings of the Conference of the Parties, which receive
quite a lot of media coverage, the general public can rarely read
or hear about the Convention, and then often only in association
with large Customs seizures or other events that may stress the
illegal side of international wildlife trade. For that reason, and
because of the wide range of people interested in stamps, the Secretariat
believes that stamps can be a 'gentle' and positive way of making
the Convention more widely known.