Oceania is formed by fourteen independent countries and 16 territories formed by thousands of islands spread over the Pacific Ocean, belonging to several countries, such as the USA, the United Kingdom, France and a North American state ( Hawaii ).
Oceania can be divided into three major groups of islands: Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia.
- Melanesia: islands that are closest to Australia, among which New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia (French dependence) and Fiji stand out. On many islands in Melanesia, the inhabitants are still collectors of natural products; they live on the proceeds of hunting and wild pig breeding, thus demonstrating a still primitive stage of life.
- Polynesia: islands located in the southernmost part of the tropical Pacific, between Ecuador and the Tropic of Capricorn, such as the archipelagos of Samoa, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marquesas, Cook and others. They are inhabited by elements with Asian characteristics, who live from hunting, fishing and livestock.
- Micronesia: these are small islands located in the southeast of Japan, between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer, especially the Mariana Islands, Carolinas, Marshall and others. Many of these islands belong to the USA and are used as naval and air bases.
According to CountryAAH, Oceania has 38 million inhabitants and 5.0 residents /km 2 . The largest cities are Sydney and Adelaide ( Australia ), Auckland ( New Zealand ), Brisbane (Australia), Honolulu (Hawaii) and Melbourne (Australia).
The largest demographic concentrations are in New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia. Australia and New Zealand have 78% of the population of Oceania. The great Australian Desert (Vitória) is practically unpopulated, being one of the largest unpopulated regions on Earth.
In general, the economic activity of the islands of Oceania is based on tourism, fishing, the production of vegetable oils, tropical fruits (banana, pineapple, coconut), oilseeds, cocoa and coffee.
Also noteworthy are the mineral resources explored in Nauru (phosphates), New Caledonia (nickel), Fiji (copper and gold), Solomon Islands (gold, silver, copper) and others.
The 180 ° Meridian, which crosses the Pacific Ocean and Oceania, is used as a reference for changing dates on the planet – it is the International Date Line.
Polynesia is located in the eastern part of Oceania,) closest to that meridian. It is the region of the world where the last hours of each day are recorded.
Micronesia and Melanesia are in the western part of Oceania; are the areas where each new day on the planet begins.
Micronesia is a country made up of 600 small islands, with mountainous territory, tropical climate, prone to droughts and typhoons. Micronesia faces a shortage of drinking water and depends on the United States for the supply of fuel, infrastructure and security.
In the Marshall Islands are the atolls of Bikini and Eneuetak, where the USA conducts nuclear tests (1946 to 1958), making them an area of great radioactive contamination.
Palau stands out for its coral richness and marine fauna, one of the richest in the world, which attracts many tourists from oceania.
Nauru ‘s phosphate deposits are almost depleted. After decades of predatory exploitation, 80% of the country is uninhabitable and uncultivable, with huge craters resulting from mining activity. Nauru imports food, durable goods and even water. In 2002, the OECD included Nauru on the list of tax havens. In 2002, Nauru receives Afghan refugees, for whom Australia offers financial assistance, for not having received these refugees. Nauru is the smallest republic on the planet and the population is 100% urban.
Papua New Guinea is a mountainous, volcanic territory, equatorial climate and dense tropical forests. And the most extensive and populous country in Melanesia.
Tuvalu is formed by 9 coral atolls, as no point is more than 5 meters above sea level, Tuvalu is in danger of submerging in the coming years because of the rise in the level of the oceans due to the greenhouse effect.
Solomon Islands have high mountain ranges and active volcanoes. The economy is based on subsistence agriculture, in addition to exporting wood and fishing.
Tonga is an archipelago formed by 170 volcanic and coral islands, covered by tropical forests.
Vanuatu is located in the Pacific Fire Circle, with a high frequency of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and earthquakes, which impairs tourism. 70% of GDP corresponds to the financial services sector (tax haven).
Fiji stands out for its fertile soils, which favor the cultivation of sugar cane. The tropical climate and clear waters attract tourists.
In 2000/2001, Fiji faced strong tension between the Fijian natives, landowners, and the descendants of Indians, who have the economic power, dominating the sugar cane processing trade and industries.
To reduce fishing dependency, Kiribati develops agriculture and tourism.
Kiribati is made up of 33 coral islands and several atolls. In 1999, two uninhabited coral reefs are covered by seawater as a result of the greenhouse effect and rising sea levels.
In Samoa (formerly Western Samoa), the threat of destruction of tropical forests has led to the development of environmental protection programs in recent years.