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Samoa:
Geography

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Samoa Page


Background
Definition
New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until 1962, when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the "Western" from its name in 1997.
Location
Definition
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand
Geographic coordinates
Definition
13 35 S, 172 20 W
Map references
Definition
Oceania
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 2,944 sq km
land: 2,934 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Rhode Island
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
403 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October)
Terrain
Definition
two main islands (Savaii, Upolu) and several smaller islands and uninhabited islets; narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in interior
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mauga Silisili (Savaii) 1,857 m
Natural resources
Definition
hardwood forests, fish, hydropower
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 21.13%
permanent crops: 24.3%
other: 54.57% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
NA
Natural hazards
Definition
occasional typhoons; active volcanism
Environment - current issues
Definition
soil erosion, deforestation, invasive species, overfishing
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
occupies an almost central position within Polynesia


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