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Malaysia and Pakistan both attended for the first time. The meetings focused on the impact of climate change on Antarctica and adopted guidelines for ensuring that tourism activities are conducted safely and sustainably. The first study of the environmental impacts of tourism on Antarctica was reviewed. Participants shared information on major research activities and welcomed the report on joint inspections conducted by the United States and Russia since the previous meeting. They also agreed to develop by 2013 a manual on practical approaches to clean up sites of past activity from before the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that, pending its entry into force, as far as possible and in accordance with their legal system, the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate.
It was first recorded near the Beardmore Glacier by Frank Wild on the Nimrod Expedition, and now low-grade coal is known across many parts of the Transantarctic Mountains. The Prince Charles Mountains contain significant deposits of iron ore. The most valuable resources of Antarctica lie offshore, namely the oil and natural gas fields found in the Ross Sea in 1973. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.