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Solomon Islands: equatorial forests and volcanoes

The Solomon Islands are a group of islands in the southwest Pacific ocean located a few degrees south of the equator, the islands are part of the so-called Melanesia. Formed by about ten major islands, all of volcanic origin Solomon Islands are an independent parliamentary monarchy within the British Commonwealth, the capital Honiara is on the island of Guadalcanal.

The islands stretch for about 1,600 km north-west south-east, include thirty major islands and several smaller islands and atolls, the main island Guadalcanal (6,470 km²), home of the state capital, the city of Honiara, is an island of volcanic origin, it has the highest peak of the archipelago, Mount Popomanaseu (2,332 metres).

Among the major islands, as well as the island of Guadalcanal, at the northern end of the archipelago is the island of Choiseul (3,837 km ²), to the east of this is the second largest island after that of Guadalcanal, Santa Isabel (4,662 km ²), while to the south is the island of New Georgia (3,368 km ²). To the northeast of Guadalcanal lies the island of Malaita (3,885 km ²), and to the south-east is the island of Makira (San Cristobal, 3,125 km ²).

Are also part of the Solomon Islands the atolls of Rennell and Ontong Java, the islands Santa Cruz, Bellona and the isolated islands of Tikopia, Anuta, and Fatutaka. The archipelago contains several volcanoes still active, including the most active volcanoes are Tinakula (851 meters) and Kavachi a submarine volcano in the south of the island of Vangunu.

At the base of the islands economy is agriculture, especially the cultivation of palm trees (copra) and oil, fairly well developed are breeding (cattle, pigs), fishing (tuna) and the exploitation of forest resources. The subsoil resources have extensive deposits of bauxite and phosphates.

  • Area: 28,369 km².
  • Population: 552,000 (2005 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.

This post is also available in: German

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