§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with(a) the President of the United States and (b) others regarding the protection of the Antarctic from physical exploitation; and if he will make a statement. 
§ The Prime Minister
I regularly have discussions with President Bush and others on a wide range of international issues including on the environment.
However, I have not had any recent discussions regarding the protection of the Antarctic environment from physical exploitation.
The 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty sets out a framework for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, including from physical exploitation. Under the Protocol, all activities within Antarctica must be planned and conducted as to limit adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment. The Antarctic Act 1994 ensures adherence to the provisions of the Protocol within the UK.