Encyclopedia > Geography of Papua New Guinea

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Geography of Papua New Guinea

Location: Southeastern Asia, group of islands including the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia

Geographic coordinates: 6 00 S, 147 00 E

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: 462,840 sq km
land: 452,860 sq km
water: 9,980 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than California

Land boundaries:
total: 820 km
border countries: Indonesia 820 km

Coastline: 5,152 km

Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation

Terrain: mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m

Natural resources: gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries

Land use:
arable land: 0.1%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 92.9%
other: 6% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Rim of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis

Environment - current issues: rain forest subject to deforestation as a result of growing commercial demand for tropical timber; pollution from mining projects; severe drought

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note: shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast

See also : Papua New Guinea



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