The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises, TAAF) is an overseas territory (French: Territoire d’outre-mer or TOM) of France. It consists of:
- Kerguelen Islands (Archipel des Kerguelen), a group of volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean, southeast of Africa, approximately equidistant between Africa, Antarctica and Australia;
- St. Paul and Amsterdam islands (Îles Saint Paul et Amsterdam), a group to the north of Kerguelen;
- Crozet Islands (Îles Crozet), a group in the southern Indian Ocean, south of Madagascar;
- Adélie Land (Terre Adélie), the French claim on the continent of Antarctica;
- the Scattered Islands (Îles Éparses), a dispersed group of islands around the coast of Madagascar.
Approximately 150 (in the winter) to 310 (in the summer) persons live in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands but they are only military personnel, officials, scientific researchers and support staff. The territory has legally no permanent civilian population.
On 5 July 2019, the French Austral Lands and Seas were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The status of overseas territory allows the TAAF to issue its own postage stamps. A philatelic commission meets annually to determine the program for the next two years. The commission chooses 12 to 15 stamps and miniature sheets that will be issued on the 1st January of each year and will be available for sale for two years.
2020 Stamp Programme
- 02 January 2020: Management of Lobster Fishery at Saint Paul Island
- 02 January 2020: Bernard Morlet, Geophysicist
- 02 January 2020: Bird — Dimorphic Egret
- 02 January 2020: Robert Guillard Research Station, Adelie Land
- 02 January 2020: Cabanes D’Entrecasteaux, Amsterdam Island
- 02 January 2020: The Pierced Rock of Crozet
- 02 January 2020: Fish — White-Blooded Fish (Channichthyidae)
- 02 January 2020: Minerals — Amethyst
- 02 January 2020: Concordia Logistics Base
- 02 January 2020: Great Albatross (Diomedea)
- 02 January 2020: The Finger Of Sainte-Anne, Kerguelen
- 02 January 2020: View of Aurora Australis at Dumont d’Urville Base
- 02 January 2020: Commerson’s Dolphin
- 02 January 2020: Antarctic Squid and Octopus
- 02 January 2020: Naval Frigate Nivôse