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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.


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Geography

Location
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand

Geographic coordinates
13 35 S, 172 20 W

Map references
Oceania

Area World Ranking: 178
Total 2,831 sq km
Land 2,821 sq km
Water 10 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly smaller than Rhode Island

Land boundaries
0 km

Coastline
403 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 12 nm
Contiguous zone 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone 200 nm

Climate
Tropical; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October)

Terrain
Two main islands (Savaii, Upolu) and several smaller islands and uninhabited islets; narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in interior

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point Mount Silisili 1,857 m

Natural resources
Hardwood forests, fish, hydropower

Land use
Arable land 21.13%
Permanent crops 24.3%
Other 54.57% (2005)

Irrigated land
NA

Natural hazards
Occasional typhoons; active volcanism
Volcanism
Savai'I Island (elev. 1,858 m), which last erupted in 1911, is historically active

Environment - current issues
Soil erosion, deforestation, invasive species, overfishing

Environment - international agreements
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
Occupies an almost central position within Polynesia


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  Samoa (Apia):


  GPS points from Samoa (Apia)

Le Pu Samoa (general)

Mount Maungaloa Samoa (general)

Muualuga Point Samoa (general)

Palapala Samoa (general)

Saleaumua Road Samoa (general)

Nofoalii Samoa (general)

Fausaga Samoa (general)

Matavai Samoa (general)




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