See also “First Day Cover” - “Postmark”
In 1991, the Protocol for the Antarctic Treaty on Environmental Protection was signed in Madrid. This treaty was created to reinforce the Antarctic Treaty System and respond to the need for increasing environmental protection on the other side of the world.
In this pact, it was established that Antarctica should be considered a natural reserve “devoted to peace and science”. Seven years later, on 14 January 1998, it would enter into force for the 28 countries that had signed it and, over the years until 2015, it has been ratified by nine other countries.
Its main purpose is to protect this part of the world specifically for its environmental value, and also as an area for conducting scientific research, helping us better understand the global environment.
It establishes the manner in which all member states must ensure the area’s safety and how they must respond to catastrophes or in the event of an emergency. They must also control tourism so that it is not harmful to the special environment of the Antarctic continent.
The issued stamp commemorates the entry into force of what is also known as the Madrid Protocol. A blue background represents the oceans surrounding the continent. In the centre, the image of Antarctica is surrounded by all the flags of the countries participating in this treaty. Rays come out from the silhouette, recalling the emblem adopted by the Antarctic Treaty in 2002. The Spanish flag appears in a corner of the stamp, as well as the dates 1998-2018.
This Treaty is very important because of all that it means. Thanks to this protection, a grear deal of research is being carried out in the extreme conditions which are essential for meaningful results. Spain has two permanent bases in this remote area of the world, where numerous projects are developed. These are the Juan Carlos I and Gabriel de Castilla Antarctic Bases.