Papua New Guinea Geography 2011

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Page last updated on January 12, 2011

Oceania, 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:

total: 462,840 sq km
country comparison to the world: 54
[see also: Area - total country ranks ]
land: 452,860 sq km
[see also: Area - land country ranks ]
water: 9,980 sq km
[see also: Area - water country ranks ]

Area - comparative:
slightly larger than California

Land boundaries:
total: 820 km
[see also: Land boundaries - total country ranks ]
border countries: Indonesia 820 km

5,152 km
[see also: Coastline country ranks ]

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

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

mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
[see also: Elevation extremes - lowest point country ranks ]
highest point: Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m
[see also: Elevation extremes - highest point country ranks ]

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

Land use:
arable land: 0.49%
[see also: Land use - arable land country ranks ]
permanent crops: 1.4%
[see also: Land use - permanent crops country ranks ]
other: 98.11% (2005)
[see also: Land use - other country ranks ]

Irrigated land:
[see also: Irrigated land country ranks ]

Total renewable water resources:
801 cu km (1987)
[see also: Total renewable water resources country ranks ]

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.1 cu km/yr (56%/43%/1%)
[see also: Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) - total country ranks ]
per capita: 17 cu m/yr (1987)
[see also: Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) - per capita country ranks ]

Natural hazards:
active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Ring of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis
volcanism: Papua New Guinea experiences severe volcanic activity; Ulawun (elev. 2,334 m, 7,657 ft), one of Papua New Guinea's potentially most dangerous volcanoes, has been deemed a "Decade Volcano" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Rabaul (elev. 688 m, 2,257 ft) destroyed the city of Rabaul in 1937 and 1994; Lamington erupted in 1951 killing 3,000 people; Manam's 2004 eruption forced the island's abandonment; other historically active volcanoes include Bam, Bagana, Garbuna, Karkar, Langila, Lolobau, Long Island, Pago, St. Andrew Strait, Victory, and Waiowa

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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

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

NOTE: The information regarding Papua New Guinea on this page is re-published from the 2011 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Papua New Guinea Geography 2011 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Papua New Guinea Geography 2011 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 09-Feb-11
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