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Oceania is a geographic region comprising Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and Australasia. Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania covers an area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and has a population of 40 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia Pacific region, Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.


The islands at the geographic extremes of Oceania are Bonin Islands, a politically integral part of Japan; Hawaii, a state of the United States; Clipperton Island, a possession of France; the Juan Fernández Islands, belonging to Chile; the Campbell Islands, belonging to New Zealand; and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, belonging to Australia. Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial market of Australia and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and human development index, to the much less developed economies that belong to countries such as of Kiribati and Tuvalu, while also including medium-sized economies of pacific islands such as Palau, Fiji and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, with Sydney being the largest city of both Oceania and Australia.


The first settlers of Australia, New Guinea, and the large islands just to the east arrived between 50,000 and 30,000 years ago. Oceania was first explored by Europeans from the 16th century onward. Portuguese navigators, between 1512 and 1526, reached the Tanimbar Islands, some of the Caroline Islands and west Papua New Guinea. On his first voyage in the 18th century, James Cook, who later founded the Hawaiian Islands, went to Tahiti and followed the east coast of Australia for the first time. The Pacific front saw major action during the Second World War, mainly between the belligerents the United States, its ally Australia, and Japan.


The arrival of European settlers in subsequent centuries resulted in a significant alteration in the social and political landscape of Oceania. In more contemporary times there has been increasing discussion on national flags and a desire by some Oceanians to display their distinguishable and individualistic identity. The rock art of Australian Aborigines is the longest continuously practiced artistic tradition in the world. Puncak Jaya in Papua is often considered the highest peak in Oceania. Most Oceanian countries have a parliamentary representative democratic multi-party system, with tourism being a large source of income for the pacific islands nations.

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updated Sun. April 22, 2018

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Gloria Walkler was one of 65 Australian cancer patients buried at the Nikao cemetery on the Cook Islands' largest island, Rarotonga, after seeking treatment from Milan Brych. Brych was convicted of practicing medicine without a licence in California and relocated to the Cook Islands after being ...
Three of Australia's five main maritime trade routes pass through the Pacific Islands region. According to figures obtained from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, these three trade routes account for around 45 per cent of Australia's maritime exports. In 2016-17 this totalled ...

Samoa was never a British colony, but never the less Britain has had strong links with the Pacific region dating back to the 19th century. JENNY MEYER: How do you think this will benefit the Pacific Islands themselves given that really the UK is now not going to have the weight of the European Union ...
By contrast, China's engagement in the small, comparatively resource-poor and remotely situated islands of the South Pacific has mostly diplomatic motivations (with the possible exception of its engagement in Papua New Guinea) and has been enabled by the actions of the island states' traditional ...
The Pacific Commonwealth islands on the front line of the plastic waste crisis. Plastic waste Pacific Commonwealth islands Vanuatu Tuvalu The island of Tuvalu has become overwhelmed by its plastic waste Credit: A Plastic Ocean. Mike Wright. 20 April 2018 • 5:04pm. Theresa May this week urged the ...
Turnbull quells fears over China military base on Vanuatu, touts Pacific Islands-Australia fibre optic cables ... Minister Turnbull says there are no plans for a Chinese military base in Vanuatu, and touts the planned fibre optic cable connection between Australia, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

One Ambae resident, Nadia Kanegai, said islanders were frightened and could not wait to get away. “The ashfall, like part of west Aambae was covered and it was dark [because] of the smoke and the population there was remaining inside and could not come outside,” she told RNZ Pacific. “And there was ...
But as Mr Turnbull was meeting Pacific Island leaders, simmering tensions with Beijing caused primarily by Australia's foreign interference laws boiled over. China's Ambassador to Australia in Canberra, Cheng Jingye, cited "systematic, irresponsible, negative remarks" in the second half of last year had ...
In a second speech at Chatham House on the same day, the minister highlighted the difficulties Pacific Islands states currently face. ... the 15 countries most at risk are in the Pacific, and that these risks are compounded by the distant geographies of these Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and limited ...
Dan McGarry writes in the Vanuatu Daily Post about how Australia can look to lead in the Pacific. Bal Kama has a good take over at the Devpolicy Blog. Graeme Smith delivers yet another incisive article, with a great title, for Inside Story. And Graeme Dobell has a interesting piece at ASPI's The Strategist.
About 200 employees of United's catering department at Denver International Airport, or 35 percent of its 570 staffers, are from the Pacific Islands. They hail from places such as Micronesia, Guam, Samoa and the Philippines, which are all practically on the opposite side of the globe and cost between ...
The U.S. Census Bureau also aimed marketing at Pacific Islanders with posters of a girl in traditional island dress and a celebrity ocean navigator from the Micronesian island of Chuuk. Getting Tongans and other islanders to answer the census meant overcoming some fear. “You have this white person ...
In the 18th century, however, Captain Cook stumbled across sweet potatoes again — over 4,000 miles away, on remote Polynesian islands. European explorers later found them elsewhere in the Pacific, from Hawaii to New Guinea. The distribution of the plant baffled scientists. How could sweet potatoes ...
With their UK counterparts, they had been sharing experiences of Westminster-style parliamentary democracies. An MP in Bougainville's autonomous regional parliament, David Braun Vatavi, said as a relative newcomer to politics, he was learning a lot from his Pacific neighbours. "What challenges, they're ...
We examined the timeliness of the primary, mental health, and specialty care provided by the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System. Most veterans in our review received timely primary and mental health care. We found some delays and weaknesses in the referral process to community providers, such as ...
With the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) set to conclude discussions tomorrow, the secretary general of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, Franҫois Martel, has launched a scathing attack on the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The majority of nations from the South Pacific ...
The PGSC is made up of national geospatial and surveying authorities of Pacific Island Countries and territories. Current members are: Cook Islands, Nauru, Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Republic of Marshall Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Tuvalu ...

Penny Wong is right to declare that any move by China to establish a military presence in Vanuatu or elsewhere in the Pacific Islands would be a 'potential ... This exhibits remarkably little critical reflection about whether the dominant rules-based international order serves the best interests of Pacific Island ...
More than a century later, a US guided missile destroyer proudly carrying Dewey's name continues to patrol the waters of the Pacific Ocean, projecting ... A US Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter picked our team up from White Beach Naval Station on the Japanese island of Okinawa for the journey to the ...
THE Pacific Island nations will work together to enhance the level of all sports in the region. Speaking at the Pacific Islands sports minister's meeting at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi yesterday, Fiji's Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou said the nations in the region were working towards a ...
Tonga, along with most Pacific Island countries, already has quota and tariff-free access to the Australian and New Zealand markets for many of their industries under the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA). The reciprocity within PACER Plus would open ...
Coral Expeditions has announced a new 16-night voyage aboard the Coral Discoverer, sailing to the islands of the South Pacific. "The itinerary will ... The Coral Discoverer will also sail to Guadalcanal Island, a backdrop for some of the most historical battles of World War II, the company said. The 16-day ...
One resident of the town of Lungga left a testimonial on earthquake tracking website CSEM-EMSC which said: “There was shaking for around 10 seconds.” A tsunami alert has not been called by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. South American centres say no threat is expected to the west coast of the ...
SUVA, Fiji 28 March 2018 – Six weeks after it was hit by a Category 4 cyclone, Tonga is now trained in the use of the new online tool for measuring disaster losses, the Sendai Framework Monitor. Rolling out the Sendai Framework Monitor is part of Pacific-wide efforts to implement the global plan for ...
Pacific island countries with insufficient or inappropriate landfill space to store waste, inadequate waste treatment facilities, and financial inability to ship recyclable waste are eligible to ... The CNCo, headquartered in Singapore, has provided sustainable shipping solutions to the Pacific islands for 80 years.
The patriotic surprise was a welcome home for Renstrom, who was coming back from visiting some of the Pacific islands where he fought. “On some of the beaches that he actually landed on he was able to share some stories that I hadn't heard before,” said his son John Renstrom. The trip was organized ...
Pacific island links: Ambae evacuation, violence in Mendi, French Polynesia and more. By Euan Moyle, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Pacific Islands Program. Almost a month after Papua New Guniea's deadly earthquake, aftershocks and damage to essential infrastructure are still hindering aid delivery ...
14 March 2018: Pacific island countries agreed to establish a regional hub to further implementation and enhancement of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The 3rd Pacific Regional NDC Dialogue fleshed out the elements of the Regional Pacific NDC Hub, and provided an opportunity for Pacific ...
Minister Carmel Sepuloni said she is expecting to see a design that reflects the strength of the relationship between New Zealand and the island countries. She is expecting wonderful designs to be put forward. "I think over the years there has been a growing recognition of the role that Pacific Islands people ...
The New Zealand government has committed $NZ6 million ($F8.84 million) to improve the University of the South Pacific's digital e-learning sector. ... a grant of $NZ6 million to totally re-engineer USPNet and replace all the satellite dishes to create a 21st century learning network for the Pacific Islands.
A new study has revealed sexual harassment is driving workers out of the Cook Islands tourism industry. The finger is being pointed not only at drunk customers but at suggestive and overly sexualised marketing, the increasingly skimpy costumes worn at cultural shows and tourists' misunderstanding of ...
In higher education, Pacific Islanders' inclusion in “Asian-Pacific Islanders” closes them off to attention and support in attaining educational achievement. Robert Teranishi, professor of education and Asian American studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, says the API umbrella perpetuates the ...
PRESENTATION: Tara Miller Owens, coastal processes and hazards specialist for the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program, presents coastal management case studies on Maui on Monday, March 26, at the Conference on Island Sustainability at the Hyatt Regency Guam. Alana Chargualaf/The ...
A U.S. Navy destroyer today sailed within 12 miles of a disputed artificial island claimed by China in the South China Sea, according to a U.S. defense official. The USS Mustin's passage past Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands is the latest Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) conducted by the U.S. ...
A massive floating island of plastic between California and Hawaii is growing rapidly and is now three times the size of France, a new study finds. PHOTO: A photo provided ... A photo provided by NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center shows debris in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii in 2008. A 2014 study ...
The United Nations triennial review of its least developed country (LDC) category in March recommended that two Pacific Island states — Solomon Islands and Kiribati — be removed from the list (alongside Bhutan and Sao Tome and Principe). The LDC represent the poorest and weakest states in the ...
I had grown up on the eastern coast of Australia, and the Pacific nurtured my love for the ocean, its life and those who live on its islands. ... Just recently, it was reported that highly contaminated radioactive nuclear waste is leaking on Runit Island, near the Marshall Islands, halfway between Australia and ...
Known as the “Moana Taka Partnership”, this MOU allows for CNCo vessels to carry containers of recyclable waste from eligible Pacific island ports, pro bono, to be sustainably treated and recycled in suitable ports in Asia Pacific. “This historic partnership will be of great benefit to our Pacific islands, and ...
Ten representatives from ten Pacific Island countries, including Tonga, are working with experts to improve data collection and planning to improve the lives of the most vulnerable families and children, at a workshop this week, 19-27 March. The workshop comes after UNICEF released a report warning ...
Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman has been given a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice. ABC's Pacific Beat spoke with Dan McGarry from the Vanuatu Daily Post on the political implications of the sentence. Natuman is refusing to step ...
A consortium involving a local renewable energy company is moving forward with a project to add 8 megawatts of solar power in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. San Antonio-based Buenavista Renewables LLC and Guam-based Micronesia Renewable Energy Inc. secured a $4.2 million loan from ...
“Our Pacific islands face an immense waste management challenge. With many geographical limitations, the Moana Taka Partnership can help us address the problem of taking our recyclable waste off island for proper recycling. This is a great step, or shall we say paddle, in the right direction.”.
The Imperial Pacific Resort & Hotel was under construction in September in Saipan, the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth in the Western Pacific ... Ten days later, Zhou found himself on the tiny Pacific island of Saipan, a U.S. Commonwealth, working 14-hour days with few breaks on a casino ...
And now, many of the remains of that civilization may be erased, the United Nations warns, by the rising sea levels rapidly eroding Easter Island's coasts. ... Similar fates are faced by islanders throughout the Pacific Ocean and along its margins, in places like the tiny Marshall Islands that are disappearing ...
They all shared the same vision of having a regional shipping line serving the Pacific Island countries. That same year, PFL held its first meeting at Tonga College and registered its office in Samoa. “Over the years, PFL expanded from three members to 12 including all the forum states of the Pacific Islands,” ...
For more than a century it has offered a bracing view of the wider world: of Aboriginal tribes, of African ceremonies and of far-flung Pacific islands where young ... Ms Goldberg said the archives also turned up “an excess of pictures of beautiful Pacific island women”, but Professor Mason does chart some ...
The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) has published a position paper in regards to shipping emissions negotiations taking place at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The paper is an outcome of the Pacific Maritime Technical Officers Workshop on Shipping Emissions hosted by PIDF in ...
The Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) wants to help Pacific Island nations manage their fisheries. The multilateral development bank's president, Jin Liqun, believes the Islands have “limited capacity” to do so on their own, so need the international community's help. Speaking at ...
Aftershocks are continuing in Papua New Guinea as the death toll from its recent earthquake rises to more than 100 and aid starts to reach the most remote areas affected by the disaster. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has asked Australia to conduct a formal inquiry into the cause of the earthquake amid ...
Prince Philip ReutersPrince Philip sits in a train on a journey marking the 175th anniversary of the first train journey by a British monarch. Prince Charles is to visit the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu next month, where his father Prince Philip is revered as a god. He has been touring Australia, where –. Sorry ...


 

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