Safeguard for Antarctic

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The Independent Online
A 50-year moratorium on mining and oil exploration in the Antarctic took effect yesterday with environmentalists hailing it as the most advanced step yet towards protecting the planet.

It took the governments of the 26 countries that adopted the protocol in Madrid in 1991 more than six years individually to ratify the ban. Japan last month was the final signatory to approve it, clearing the way for implementation.

- Reuters, Madrid