The giant panda has been the hallmark of WWF, founded in Switzerland in 1961, since its inception. Consequently, it is fitting that a panda should adorn the special stamp designed by Pierre Aerni for the world's largest environmental protection organization. The rare animal's main source of food is also an element of the motif. The mandatory Helvetia lettering at the left-hand edge is composed of bamboo shoots.
The diversity of nature is highlighted by four special stamps on vegetable blossoms or the honeycomb-shaped stamp featuring the western honey bee. Other highlights of the current stamp issue include the special stamps marking the UN International Year of Chemistry and the 100th anniversary of Max Frisch.
The Festus and Mercury stamp is an exclusive. Sven Nordquist, the Swedish author of the cult picture books whose subtle humour also delights adults, designed the stamp exclusively for Swiss Post. The stamp pays homage to Swiss cheese and shows tomcat Mercury carving an Emmental cheese out of wood. The motif is a fanciful declaration of love for Switzerland.
The current stamp issue is rounded out by three special stamps marking the 50th anniversary of the Swiss Cerebral Palsy Foundation and this year's 14th World Gymnaestrada in Lausanne, and a special stamp highlighting the millennium of the city of Neuchatel.