30 June, 2006

15 June 2006 PR No. 9/2006

Four young Scots have won a competition to design a new set of postage stamps for the British Antarctic Territory.  More than 125 children entered the competition, held to celebrate the UK’s hosting of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Edinburgh from 12-23 June. This is the first time that this major international meeting has been held in the UK since 1977.

The winners will be presented with their prizes on Saturday 17 June onboard the Royal Navy’s ice patrol vessel HMS Endurance by Captain Lambert, and will then enjoy a celebratory lunch on the bridge of British Antarctic Survey’s RRS James Clark Ross.  The winning designs can be seen at Ocean Terminal and onboard HMS Endurance.  Both ships will be berthed at Ocean Terminal Leith and are open to the public on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June and to schools on Monday 19 June.

The four winners are: 6-year old Erica Currie of Eastertoun Primary School in Bathgate, West Lothian; Meghan Joyce (age 10) of Abbeyhill Primary School in Edinburgh; Lorna MacDonald (age 11) of the James Young High School in Livingston, West Lothian; and Danielle Dalgleish (age 13) of Lochgilphead High School in Lochgilphead, Argyll. Each will each receive a prize of £50 and their schools will receive £100.

The stamp design competition was co-ordinated by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) in association with the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The winning designs were chosen by representatives from Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), British Antarctic Survey and the Crown Agents.

1.         Photo opportunity. The prize giving will be at 11:00 on Saturday 17 June on HMS Endurance, berthed at Ocean Terminal, Leith. Media wishing to attend should contact Linda Capper, Press Officer, British Antarctic Survey, mob: 07714 233744

2. The winning stamp designs are available within the British Antarctic Territory, from the Crown Agents (www.sovereignstamps.co.uk) or from the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau (www.falklands.gov.fk).

3. The UK will host the annual meeting of the Antarctic Treaty Parties – the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in June 2006 for the first time in 27 years.  The meeting will be held in the Edinburgh International Convention Centre from 12-23 June and up to 350 delegates from 45 Countries are expected to attend.

4. The British Antarctic Territory covers the Antarctic Peninsula, south of 60°S from 20°W to 80°W.  All sovereign claims on Antarctica are held in abeyance under Article VI of the Antarctic Treaty.  The UK was the First State to become a Party to the Treaty, which entered into force in 1961.

5. The competition to design stamps for the British Antarctic Territory was launched on 9th June 2005 and the closing date for entries was 30th September 2005.  All schools in Scotland were invited to participate.  125 entries were received and one design from each of the four age groups (under 8s; 9-10s, 11-12s and over 13s) was chosen to be made into an official British Antarctic Territory stamp. The stamps were released to the Territory on 26 February this year.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Polar Regions Unit takes a leading role in international Antarctic affairs.  It is responsible for the administration of the Antarctic Treaty. 

British Antarctic Survey is a world leader in research into global issues in an Antarctic context. It is the UK’s national operator and is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council.  It has an annual budget of around £40 million, runs nine research programmes and operates five research stations, two Royal Research Ships and five aircraft in and around Antarctica. More information about the work of the Survey can be found on our website:  www.antarctica.ac.uk

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)The learned society and professional body for geography and geographers. Established in 1830 to promote ‘the advancement of geographical science’, today we are a dynamic world centre for geographical learning – supporting research, education, expeditions and fieldwork, as well as promoting public engagement and informed enjoyment of our world. www.rgs.org.