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Papua New Guinea:
Geography

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Papua New Guinea Page


Other pages in this profile of Papua New Guinea:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
The eastern half of the island of New Guinea - second largest in the world - was divided between Germany (north) and the UK (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997 after claiming some 20,000 lives.
Location
Definition
Oceania, group of islands including the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia
Geographic coordinates
Definition
6 00 S, 147 00 E
Map references
Definition
Oceania
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 462,840 sq km
land: 452,860 sq km
water: 9,980 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly larger than California
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 820 km
border countries: Indonesia 820 km
Coastline
Definition
5,152 km
Maritime claims
Definition
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation
Terrain
Definition
mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m
Natural resources
Definition
gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0.49%
permanent crops: 1.4%
other: 98.11% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
NA
Total renewable water resources
Definition
801 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.1 cu km/yr (56%/43%/1%)
per capita: 17 cu m/yr (1987)
Natural hazards
Definition
active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Ring of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis
Environment - current issues
Definition
rain forest subject to deforestation as a result of growing commercial demand for tropical timber; pollution from mining projects; severe drought
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast


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