Environmental protection Land and Sea: the crested giant gecko and the coral reef
This plate of 5 diptychs, with international postage validity, brings to an end OPT-NC’s programme of new issues for this year 2022. This issue has been beautifully illustrated by the artist and graphic designer Charlotte Mollet, who is passionate about biological sciences.
The Caledonian coral reef inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list
In a time of global warming, the protection of our marine environment is a priority, and so OPT-NC has devoted one of the two stamps in this issue to its encircling coral reef, an opportunity to focus on this fundamental element of our environment. In New Caledonia, the coral reef creates one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world with a total area of 4,500 km2, nearly half of which is in the south province, and is one of the three largest reef systems in the world. This richness and diversity have meant that since 2008, a large part of the Caledonian coral reef, a total of six areas, has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As a result, they are subject to measures of protection and development by institutions, communities, customary groups and associations.
The crested giant gecko: a remarkable and endemic species
OPT-NC is once again dedicating the edition of one of its stamps to the crested giant Gecko. Since a first publication in 2003, it must be said that this remarkable species endemic to New Caledonia has been classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This gecko was thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in 1994. Since then, conservation programs have been launched to preserve the species, which is now found only on the Isle of Pines, and around Mount Koghi and in Blue River Provincial Park on the mainland. The main causes of the scarcity of this brown, 13-centimetre-long species of Gecko, is the introduction of the electric ant into its environment and the degradation of their habitat, mainly in humid forest areas.