Three hundred British scientists have signed a petition urging their government to support a plan to declare Antarctica a world park where mining and mineral exploitation would be banned forever.

The "statement of concern" was presented at a news conference by the environmental group Greenpeace on Thursday, three days before the start of an international conference in Madrid of the 41 signatory nations to the Antarctic Treaty.Joe Farman, credited with discovering the ozone hole while a member of Britain's Antarctic Survey, was among the scientists signing the petition.