This volume represents the outcome of the conference, "Antarctica - an exploitable resource or too valuable to develop?", which was held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. The book begins with an overview of the development of the Antarctic Treaty system and the background to the present debate about the Minerals Convention. Next the environmental and scientific importance of Antarctica is explained and what little is known about its mineral resources is discussed. Three chapters are devoted to examining the political and environmental arguments for and against the Minerals Convention, including the environmentalists' perspective. Some of the legal issues are then explored and the concluding chapter looks at possible future developments. The appendices provide useful background documents and information. This approach aims to provide an overview of the debate about future environmental protection of Antarctica, particularly in relation to possible exploitation of its, as yet unknown, mineral resources. The book is suitable for use by both the academic and general reader interested in Antarctica and environmental issues generally.