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French Polynesia:
Geography

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French Polynesia Page


Other pages in this profile of French Polynesia:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
The French annexed various Polynesian island groups during the 19th century. In September 1995, France stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing on the Mururoa atoll after a three-year moratorium. The tests were suspended in January 1996. In recent years, French Polynesia's autonomy has been considerably expanded.
Location
Definition
Oceania, archipelagoes in the South Pacific Ocean about half way between South America and Australia
Geographic coordinates
Definition
15 00 S, 140 00 W
Map references
Definition
Oceania
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls)
land: 3,660 sq km
water: 507 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly less than one-third the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
2,525 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical, but moderate
Terrain
Definition
mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Orohena 2,241 m
Natural resources
Definition
timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0.75%
permanent crops: 5.5%
other: 93.75% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
10 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards
Definition
occasional cyclonic storms in January
Environment - current issues
Definition
NA
Geography - note
Definition
includes five archipelagoes (four volcanic, one coral); Makatea in French Polynesia is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Nauru


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