Vanuatu (formerly called New Hebrides) is a nation and group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It is composed of over 80 islands with 2,528 km of coastline and a total surface area of 14,760 km², making it slightly larger than the state of Connecticut.
Vanuatu's geographic coordinates are 16°00′S 167°00′E / 16°S 167°E. It is part of Oceania. Its immediate neighbours include the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia, and Australasia is the closest continent.
Vanuatu is a mountainous archipelago of volcanic origin with narrow coastal plains. The highest of all the mountains is Mount Tabwemasana at 1,877 meters. Its tropical climate is moderated by southeast trade winds, and its natural resources include, hardwood forests, and fish. As of 1993, 75% of its land area is covered by forests and woodland, 10% is devoted to crops, and a further 2% each to permanent pastures and other arable land. Natural hazards include tropical cyclones or typhoons from January to April and volcanic activity which sometimes causes minor earthquakes.
A majority of the population does not have access to a potable and reliable supply of water. Deforestation is another major concern on the islands. Vanuatu is party to a number of international agreements, including agreements on Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, and Ship Pollution.
Closely tied to the Law of the Sea, Vanuatu lays maritime claim to 24 nautical miles (nm) of contiguous zone, 12 nm of territorial sea, and 200 nm of continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
Islands of Vanuatu
Australia · Cook Islands · East Timor · Fiji · Indonesia · Kiribati · Papua New Guinea · Marshall Islands · Federated States of Micronesia · Nauru · New Zealand · Niue · Palau · Samoa · Solomon Islands · Tonga · Tuvalu · Vanuatu
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