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Solomon Islands

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Oceania : Melanesia : Solomon Islands
Flag
Image:bp-flag.png
Quick Facts
CapitalHoniara
Governmentparliamentary democracy tending toward anarchy
CurrencySolomon Islands dollar (SBD)
Areatotal: 28,450 sq km
water: 910 sq km
land: 27,540 sq km
Population494,786 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageMelanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca; English is official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population
note: 120 indigenous languages
ReligionAnglican 45%, Roman Catholic 18%, United (Methodist/Presbyterian) 12%, Baptist 9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 7%, other Protestant 5%, indigenous beliefs 4%

The Solomon Islands are a South Pacific archipelago east of Papua New Guinea. They occupy a strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea.

solomon islands Travel Guide :

Solomon Islands

Regions

Image:bp-map.png
Map of Solomon Islands
  • ChoiseulChoiseul (Lauru)
  • Florida and Russell IslandsFlorida and Russell Islands
  • GuadalcanalGuadalcanal
  • MalaitaMalaita
  • New Georgia IslandsNew Georgia Islands
  • Renell and BellonaRenell and Bellona
  • San Cristobal
  • Santa Cruz IslandsSanta Cruz Islands
  • Santa IsabelSanta Isabel
Solomon Islands

Cities

HoniaraHoniara - capital

Solomon Islands

Other destinations

Ports and harbors 
Aola Bay, Lofung, Noro, Viru Harbor, Yandina
Solomon Islands

Understand

Population 
494,786 (July 2002 est.)
Ethnic groups 
Melanesian 93%, Polynesian 4%, Micronesian 1.5%, European 0.8%, Chinese 0.3%, other 0.4%
Solomon Islands

History

The Solomon Islands came under a British protectorate in the 1890s. The islands were the scene of many battles during World War II, including the battle of Guadalcanal.

Independence 
7 July 1978 (from UK)
National holiday 
Independence Day, 7 July (1978)
Constitution 
7 July 1978

Following independence in 1978, government corruption and ethnic tensions came to the fore. The Solomons have seen near anarchy in recent years, despite attempts to restore stability. Tensions between the Guadalcanalese islanders and the Malaitan ethnic group have frequently bubbled over to a state of civil war.

Solomon Islands

Geography

Geographic coordinates 
8 00 S, 159 00 E
Area 
total: 28,450 sq km
water: 910 sq km
land: 27,540 sq 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
Highest point 
Mount Makarakomburu 2,447 m
Natural resources 
fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
Land use 
arable land: 1.5%
permanent crops: 0.64%
other: 97.86% (1998 est.)
Natural hazards 
typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earth tremors; volcanic activity
Environment - current issues 
deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
Solomon Islands

Get in

Solomon Islands

By plane

Airports 
31 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 30
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 20 (2002)
Solomon Islands

By boat

Solomon Islands

Get around

Solomon Islands

By car

Highways 
total: 1,360 km
paved: 34 km
unpaved: 1,326 km (includes about 800 km of private plantation roads) (1996 est.)
Solomon Islands

By bus

Solomon Islands

Talk

The islands are home to more than 120 indigenous Melanesian languages, with most citizens speaking the local Melanesian pigin as a lingua franca. English is the official language, but spoken by only 1 or 2% of the population.

Solomon Islands

Buy

Solomon Islands

Economy

Economy - overview 
The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of their livelihood. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. However, severe ethnic violence, the closing of key business enterprises, and an empty government treasury have led to serious economic disarray, indeed near collapse. Tanker deliveries of crucial fuel supplies (including those for electrical generation) have become sporadic due to the government's inability to pay and attacks against ships. Telecommunications are threatened by the nonpayment of bills and by the lack of technical and maintenance staff many of whom have left the country.
GDP 
purchasing power parity - $800 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
-10% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 42%
industry: 11%
services: 47% (2000 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
7.9% (2001 est.)
Labor force 
26,842
Labor force - by occupation 
agriculture 75%, industry 5%, services 20% (2000 est.)
Budget 
revenues: $38 million (2001)
Industries 
fish (tuna), mining, timber
Electricity - production 
32 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 100% (2000)
Electricity - consumption 
29.76 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
cocoa, beans, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs; timber; fish
Exports 
$165 million f.o.b. (1999 est.)
Exports - commodities 
timber, fish, copra, palm oil, cocoa
Exports - partners 
Japan 22%, China 15%, Philippines 13%, South Korea 12%, UK 12%, Thailand 5% (2000)
Imports 
$152 million f.o.b. (1999 est.)
Imports - commodities 
plant and equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners 
Australia 27%, Singapore 25%, NZ 5.5%, Japan 5.3%, US 5.1% (2000)
Debt - external 
$137 million (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient 
$28 million mainly from Japan, Australia, China, and NZ (2001 est.)
Currency 
Solomon Islands dollar (SBD)
Currency code 
SBD
Exchange rates 
Solomon Islands dollars per US dollar - 5.3728 (December 2001), 5.0889 (2000), 4.8381 (1999), 4.8156 (1998), 3.7169 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year
Solomon Islands

Eat

Solomon Islands

Drink

Solomon Islands

Sleep

Solomon Islands

Learn

Solomon Islands

Work

Solomon Islands

Stay safe

The security situation in the Solomons can and does change quite rapidly. Prospective visitors should think very carefully about whether a trip to the islands is actually a good idea, and should stay in contact with officials if they decide to travel.

Legal system 
English common law, which is widely disregarded
Military branches 
no regular military forces; Solomon Islands National Reconnaissance and Surveillance Force; Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP)
Solomon Islands

Stay healthy

Malaria is the biggest health issue in the Solomon Islands. Travelers to the area should take anti-malarial pills before, during and after their stay.

Solomon Islands

Respect

Solomon Islands

Contact

Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jeremiah MANELE
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017
telephone: 1 (212) 599-6192, 6193
FAX: 1 (212) 661-8925
Diplomatic representation from the US 
the US does not have an embassy in Solomon Islands (embassy closed July 1993); the ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accred to the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
8,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
658 (1997)
Telephone system 
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 3, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios 
57,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
0 (1997)
Televisions 
3,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
.sb
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
1 (2000)
Internet users 
8,400 (2002)
Solomon Islands

External links



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