Other topics treated in the ATCM and the CEP deal mostly with activities in Antarctica besides scientific research.
In recent years the ATCM has discussed issues arising from biological prospecting in Antarctica. The extreme environmental conditions in Antarctica have caused many species of flora and fauna and micro-organisms to evolve unique characteristics and capabilities which may be used for biotechnological development. The 28th ATCM adopted a resolution calling on the Treaty Parties to remind their national Antarctic programmes and other research institutes engaged in Antarctic biological prospecting activities of the provisions of Article III.1 of the Treaty concerning scientific exchanges and the availability of scientific observations and results from Antarctica.
The Protocol for Environmental Protection declares that “Any activity relating to mineral resources other than scientific research shall be prohibited” (Art. 7). Although that is the current rule, the Consultative Parties negotiated in the 1970s and 1980s (before the Protocol was adopted) a regime for the exploitation of the mineral resources of Antarctica. This is the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities (CRAMRA), which was signed in Wellington on June 2, 1988.
The Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties expressed "their intention to work together to better understand changes to the Earth´s climate and to actively seek ways to address the effects of climate and environmental change on the Antarctic environment and dependend and associated ecosystems". (From Washington Ministerial Declaration on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty adopted at Washington, April 6, 2009)