United Nations Stamps
The United Nations published an international postage stamp set and informational booklet about global warming, exclusively using photographs from Gary Braasch's book Earth Under Fire and his climate documentary project World View of Global Warming. The stamp issue in October 2008 was part of the UN's "Year of Planet Earth" environmental focus.
The set of six stamps was presented in New York at an international philatelic meeting, the Fall Postage Stamp "Mega Event" at Madison Square Garden. Within 18 months, all 4.2 million stamps printed were sold.
The photo subjects of the stamps, issued in two denominations each in U.S. currency, Swiss Franks and Euros, are a dried lake in China and the Great Barrier Reef (U.S.); Antarctic glaciers and Arctic polar bear (SFr); and Chinese steel mill and dried-up reservoir in Oregon (Euro).
The United Nations is the only organization in the world which is neither a country nor a territory that is permitted to issue postage stamps. The stamps are miniature works of art created by artists from around the world, which have won international design awards. Only rarely has a single photographer contributed all the images for the stamps and the informational booklet that accompanies them – in this case 30 photographs in all.
Photojournalist Braasch said, "This is a great honor and I am pleased that my work on climate change coincides with the UN's international focus. I have already contributed to the work of the UN Climate Convention, but the stamps offer a chance to bring information to a great many more people around the world."
The stamps may be used for regular postage in the United States only if mailed from the UN Post Office in New York, but are widely used and collected internationally. The issue included First Day Covers, information booklets in three languages and a special package which included Braasch's book Earth Under Fire.
As of 2010, all the stamps and Covers have sold out, but the information booklets are still available on line from the UN.