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Papua New Guinea Geography

    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

    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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)