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Vanuatu Geography Profile 2018

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LocationOceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates16 00 S, 167 00 E
Map referencesOceania
Areatotal: 12,189 sq km
land: 12,189 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Connecticut
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline2,528 km
Maritime claimsmeasured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climatetropical; moderated by southeast trade winds from May to October; moderate rainfall from November to April; may be affected by cyclones from December to April
Terrainmostly mountainous islands of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremesmean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m
Natural resourcesmanganese, hardwood forests, fish
Land useagricultural land: 15.3%
arable land 1.6%; permanent crops 10.3%; permanent pasture 3.4%
forest: 36.1%
other: 48.6% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land0 sq km (2012)
Population distributionthree-quarters of the population lives in rural areas; the urban populace lives primarily in two cities, Port-Vila and Lugenville; three largest islands - Espiritu Santo, Malakula, and Efate - accomodate over half of the populace
Natural hazardstropical cyclones (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began on 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis
volcanism: significant volcanic activity with multiple eruptions in recent years; Yasur (361 m), one of the world's most active volcanoes, has experienced continuous activity in recent centuries; other historically active volcanoes include, Aoba, Ambrym, Epi, Gaua, Kuwae, Lopevi, Suretamatai, and Traitor's Head
Environment - current issuesmost of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; deforestation
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notea Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes and there are several underwater volcanoes as well

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018