International tiger preservation forum (2)

The second international tiger preservation forum took place as scheduled on September 5, 2022 and, also as scheduled, most of the participating countries issued at this occasion a stamp related to this forum illustrated with tigers. A first list had been provided earlier. This is now a complementary information page with new details provided mainly by Enzo Cafaro (Italy).

Eventually, 10 countries are participating to this joint parallel issue [P20220905]. Among the 14 countries where tigers still live in the wild, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam, we already know that Thailand decided not to participate. No information is available from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Indonesia.

Myanmar, Russia and Vietnam have issued their stamps on September 5, 2022. India issued its stamp already on September 1, 2022, while Cambodia will issue it stamps only on September 22, 2022. Exact dates of issue for Laos, Malaysia, and North Korea are still to be confirmed, but seem to be September 5 as well. In parallel, Russia is preparing a mixed folder containing the mint stamps from (almost) all 10 countries.

Indian stamp pays tribute to ‘Collarwali’, a tigress from Pench Tiger reserve, Madhya Pradesh, who gave birth to 29 cubs in her life time, among which 25 survived to adulthood. She passed away in January 2022.

Below, additional pictures of stamps released or to be released by these countries are depicted.

On September 5, 2022, China PR issued a set of stamps entitled Tiger cultural relics. The 6 stamps represent a) the Shang-Fu double-tailed bronze tiger, b) a spring and autumn jade tiger-shaped pendant, c) the Han Baihu ’tiledang’ with tiger (grey pottery), d) the Bronze Tiger Festival object with Cuojin inscription of Han dynasty, e) a white glaze brown flower crouching tiger pillow and f) a puppet flying tiger. There is no hint about a relationship with the tiger preservation forum, but if no other stamp is issued by China PR, we will have to consider that the stamps released at this same date may be part of the joint issue (same date of issue, same topic). However, more information is needed here.

The site from Yonhap News refers also to another souvenir sheet issued by North Korea on September 5, 2022, next to the souvenir sheet with different 4 stamps. Here also, more details are needed.

International tiger preservation forum

The second International Forum for the Preservation of the Tiger Population is supposed to take place in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 5, 2022. About one year ago, JSC Marka, the Russian postal administration initiated the creation of a joint issue related to this event with all participating countries. Officially, it is announced that 10 countries will participate to this joint issue that is supposed to be released on September 5, 2022, and a few of them have already shown the designs of their stamps.

Taking in account the present international situation, it is time to make some review of the different announcements, but also to use this opportunity to ask the local collectors to provide as much as possible reliable information on top of what is described below. None of the stamp designs seen so far are identical. Most of the information described here has been provided by Enzo Cafaro (Italy).

The forum runs a web site and has a dedicated logo. Decision to held this second international meeting in Vladivostok was taken on September 3, 2019. The 1st International Tiger Forum took place in St. Petersburg on 21–24 November 2010. The Forum web page explains that today, there are only 14 countries where tigers still live in the wild: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

So first let us start with the countries that have already announced their participation and provided the design of their stamp. Russia is of course the first with a single stamp issued in miniature sheets of 8 stamps and bearing the logo. Vietnam will issue two different stamps, North Korea a souvenir sheet containing a block of 4 different stamps and Malaysia a souvenir sheet with one stamp. All of them will bear the logo but the exact date of issue of September 5, 2022 is only confirmed for Russia, even if JSC Marka claims all participants will release the stamp the same day.

Some other countries have provided the design, but the stamps are missing the logo. We should not forget that the year 2022 is the Chinese Lunar year of the Tiger and dozen of countries have issued stamps depicting tigers, without any link to this forum. So, most of the tiger stamps issued in 2022 are not part of this joint issue. In the following cases, Cambodia (one stamp and one souvenir sheet, available perforated or not, but only one to be confirmed for release on September 5) and Laos (2 stamps) show either within the stamp or within the margins of the miniature or souvenir sheets a text referring to the preservation of the species.

Lastly, there are a few other countries that have been announced by Russia (JSC Marka) as being participant to the joint issue, but have not released information themselve, nor confirmed participation on their side. These countries include China PR, India, Myanmar and Nepal. On top of these ten countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia and Thailand could also participate. Information from these additional countries are also missing.

Roughly, we have now one full month to confirm if this joint issue will really exist and which country will participate. With the information we have collected so far it should become a Parallel [P] issue. Any additional detail is of interest. Thanks in advance.

China – Mexico 2022 architecture

At the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States of Mexico, both countries have issued a set of two commemorative stamps on February 14, 2022. The first stamp represents the Star Observatory located in Gaocheng Town, Dengfeng City, Henan Province. It was founded in the early Yuan Dynasty by astronomer Guo Shoujing. It is the oldest existing and well-protected astronomical observatory in China. The second stamp represents the Kukulcan Pyramid located in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, the ancient city of Chichen Itza. Both sites were included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. 

The stamps have a design showing the buildings in the dark and are quite difficult to represent on the screen. In fact, with the Chinese stamps, the design is improved by combining the pictures with light effects. The text of the stamp “Star Observatory” is made of extra-bright silver ink, the background halo and stars use colorless white fluorescence to highlight the night scene effect. In the “Chichen Itza temple” stamp, the text is made of extra-bright gold ink, and the background light is colorless orange fluorescence, which highlights the radiant effect of the sun. Additionally, both stamps are perforated on both sides with special star- or sun-shaped holes.

Failed opportunities

The programme of new stamps from Belarus included a potential joint issue with China and another with Vietnam, both expected to be released during the month of January at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relationships. The Belarus stamps were issued respectively on January 12, 2022 and January 24, 2022, but there is absolutely no news from either China PR nor Vietnam for event-associated stamps. There are great chances that these issues will remain unilateral and that the entries will have to be removed from the list described in the catalogue (Vol 15). At least, here are the pictures of the Belarus stamps.

An other opportunity was mentioned by Cesar Ittman (The Netherlands). During the year 2022, France celebrates the 200th anniversary of the death of the famous author Moliere. France issued a first stamp on January 17, 2022, at the same time as Monaco, while Czech Republic issued a stamp on January 20, 2022. There is absolutely no claim from one of these countries for a joint issue. These are just stamps issued at the occasion of an anniversary and it would not be surprising to see much more other stamps released to honor Moliere during this year without any joint character.

The first true joint issue to be released this year is scheduled for February 14, 2022, not earlier. This is quite late compared to previous years.

Don Birschel (USA) explored older issues and asked about the relevance of some 2006 China-Africa Forum stamps as joint. Indeed, some of these stamps show the same design, but this is a logo and none of the countries have claimed a joint issue character. So again, this is an exemple of a non-approved joint issue. Here are the pictures of the stamps from countries that celebrated this event: Algeria (November 6, 2006), China (November 3), Egypt (November 5), Eritrea (November 3) and Ivory Coast (November 28).

Iran – China 2021

Kazem Alamdari (Iran) was able to provide information about and pictures of the Iranian stamps issued on December 11, 2021 jointly with China PR [T20211211]. The Iranian stamps were issued as se-tenant pairs with a printing run of 60,000 pairs.

This modification led to the change of version of Vol 14 (to V3.02). At the same time Vol 15 was also updated with the description of the first joint issue of the year (China – Macau Tiger year issue).

2022 Year of the Tiger

On January 5, 2022, appeared the first joint stamps of the year. As for previous years, China PR issued two stamps at the occasion of the change of Lunar calendar, in 2022 Year of the Tiger, at the same date as Macau, issuing four stamps and one souvenir sheet with a round stamp. A high number of countries are issuing stamps at this occasion, but Macau and China are the only postal administrations which got used to produce a mixed first day cover with the stamps from both countries (not including the souvenir sheet).

Rindert Paalman (the Netherlands) noticed that the issue of 2021 (Year of the Ox) was missing in the catalogue. This will be corrected within the next days and will correspond to an important addition which will affect for the first time the upgrading of one catalogue volume. As Macau and China PR are politically dependent countries, these issues will be filed in the category [D].

By checking for earlier issues reported in the catalogue, it appeared that for the year 2019 (Year of the Pig), the entry was mistakenly filed as [P20190105] which has to be renamed as [D20190105].

A check of Lunar Year stamps issued by China and Macau before 2019, showed that both countries issued stamps usually on January 5 of each year, since at least year 2000, but we have not seen mixed FDCs for such products. So, earlier Lunar Year stamps from these two countries will not be reported in the catalogue, unless someone provides proof of the existence of mixed FDC covers corresponding to these stamps.