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Solomon Islands: equatorial forests and volcanoes

The Solomon Islands are a group of islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean located a few degrees south of the equator. The islands are part of the so-called Melanesia. Made up of a dozen major islands, all of volcanic origin, the Solomon Islands are an independent parliamentary monarchy within the British Commonwealth, the capital is the town of Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal.

The islands stretch between Papua-New Guinea and Vanuatu for about 1,600 km in a north-west south-east direction, and include about thirty major islands and numerous atolls and smaller islets. The main island is that of Guadalcanal (6,470 km²), the island is of volcanic origin. On this island is the highest peak of the archipelago, Mount Popomanaseu (2,332 meters).

ISLANDS COVERED OF RAIN FOREST

Among the most important islands, in addition to the island of Guadalcanal, we find the island of Choiseul (3,837 km²) at the north end of the archipelago. To the east of this is the second largest island after Guadalcanal, the island of Santa Isabel (4,662 km²). While to the south is the island of New Georgia (3,368 km²). To the northeast of Guadalcanal lies the island of Malaita (3,885 km²), while to the southeast is the island of Makira (San Cristobal, 3,125 km²).

The Solomon islands also include the atolls of Rennell and Ontong Java, as well as the islands of Santa Cruz, Bellona and the isolated islands of Tikopia, Anuta, and Fatutaka. The archipelago contains several volcanoes still active today. Among these the most active are the Tinakula volcanoes (851 meters) and the underwater volcano Kavachi, located south of the island of Vangunu.

At the base of the economy of the islands is agriculture, in particular the cultivation of coconut palm (copra) and oil palm. Secondly, breeding (cattle, pigs), fishing (tuna) and the exploitation of forest resources are also fairly developed. The subsoil resources present extensive deposits of bauxite and phosphates.

The Parliament of the Solomon Islands.

  • Area: 28,369 km².
  • Population: 652,000 (2019 data) (Melanesians 95%, Polynesians 3%, Micronesians 1%).
  • State Capital: Honiara (Guadalcanal).
  • Languages: Official language is English. In the archipelago are spoken 74 different languages, among these the most widely spoken is the Pijin a English-Creole.
  • Religion: Christian 97% (Anglican 33%, Catholic 19%, South Seas Evangelical Church 17%, Seventh-day Adventist 11%, United Church 10%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.5%, Other Christians 4%), Indigenous Belives 3%.
  • Currency: Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD).
  • Time: UTC +11 hours.

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