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The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter fighting of World War II occurred on this archipelago. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society. In June 2003, then Prime Minister Sir Allan KEMAKEZA sought the assistance of Australia in reestablishing law and order; the following month, an Australian-led multinational force arrived to restore peace and disarm ethnic militias. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has generally been effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.


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Geography

Location
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea

Geographic coordinates
8 00 S, 159 00 E

Map references
Oceania

Area World Ranking: 144
Total 28,896 sq km
Land 27,986 sq km
Water 910 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries
0 km

Coastline
5,313 km

Maritime claims
Measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
Territorial sea 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone 200 nm
Continental shelf 200 nm

Climate
Tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather

Terrain
Mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point Mount Popomanaseu 2,310 m

Natural resources
Fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel

Land use
Arable land 0.62%
Permanent crops 2.04%
Other 97.34% (2005)

Irrigated land
NA

Total renewable water resources
44.7 cu km (1987)

Natural hazards
Typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis
Volcanism
Tinakula (elev. 851 m) has frequent eruption activity, while an eruption of Savo (elev. 485 m) could affect the capital Honiara on nearby Guadalcanal

Environment - current issues
Deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified
None of the selected agreements

Geography - note
Strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea; on 2 April 2007 an undersea earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale occurred 345 km WNW of the capital Honiara; the resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of Western and Choiseul provinces with dozens of deaths and thousands dislocated; the provincial capital of Gizo was especially hard hit


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  Solomon Islands (Honiara):


  GPS points from Solomon Islands (Honiara)

Hautonima Makira-ulawa Province

Liuliu Solomon Islands (general)

Neembuna Solomon Islands (general)

Paluluna Solomon Islands (general)

Patupaele Solomon Islands (general)

Patutoko Island Solomon Islands (general)

Tsapuru Makira-ulawa Province

Chokare River Solomon Islands (general)




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