|Surface||829 200 km²|
|Climax|| Punka Jaya|
5 030 m
| env. 5 200 000 hab.|
env. 6 hab./km²
New Guinea is an island ofClose Oceania, in the west ofPacific Ocean, located at the north ofAustralia, in what is called wrongly Melanesy since Jules Dumont d' Urville. New Guinea is the third larger island of the world after Australia and it Greenland.
It is bordered in the south by the strait of Torres and the sea of Arafura, who separate it from Australia, in the east by the sea of Solomon and the sea of Bismarck and in north by the Pacific Ocean. New Guinea is divided into two parts. The western half of the island is made up of the province ofIrian Jaya (formerly West Irian) ofIndonesia and half east includes/understands the largest part of the State independent of New Guinea-News-Guinea. Surface of the island east of approximately 829 200 km², for a population estimated at 5 200 000 inhabitants.
The island is directed the North-West towards south-east. It is approximately 2 400 km long for 700 km broad, north in the south. A long assembly line separates the island from is in west in two almost equal halves. It reaches the altitude of 5 030 m with Punka Jaya, in the Maoke mounts, in the western part of the island. Glaciers cover the highest tops. The coasts are marshy and a great part of the interior of the grounds is covered with wet and dense forests, composed of a tropical vegetation where ebony is found, sandalwood, cedar and camphor trees. The plains are fertile, but the absence of an infrastructure of transport obstructed their development up to now. The basement contains gold layers, of money, of platinum and copper, as well as oil reservoirs and natural gas.
Located immediately at the south of the equator, New Guinea has a tropical and wet climate. Annual precipitations are included/understood in the various zones of the island between 760 and 5 840 mm on the mountains, very high figure. Fauna is similar with that of Australia; even if the mammals are represented little, it is remarkable for the great number of species of birds magnificiently coloured, and in particular birds of paradise. The plains and the coastal marshes of the island are infested mosquitos.
The island was populated here approximately 40 or 50 000 years, initially by Australian Aboriginals then by populations papoues which replaced them. Last arrived pouplations, more recently, Austronésiens, only the coasts and the islands avoisinnantes occupied any. The way of life of certain populations of the interior evolved only little /moved since the age of the stone. The first European to discover the island was Antonio d' Abreu, a Portuguese navigator, in 1511, and the first to be accosted there was the Spanish explorer Jorge de Menezes in 1526. The Spaniards asserted the island in 1546 and named it Nova Guinea (in Latin), because they thought that the natives were the same ones as those of the tribes of West Africa. New Guinea became a point of fall for many other explorers. The reports/ratios which they submitted of the area and scientific interest that they caused were at the origin of many forwardings which followed. In 1793, the Company of the Eastern Indies asserted the island in the name of the United Kingdom. The claim was disputed by Netherlands and, in 1828, the Dutch Company of the Eastern Indies took possession of the western half of New Guinea.
The north-eastern part, including/understanding all the territories which were not under English or Dutch sovereignty, was annexed by Germany in 1884 under the name of Kaiser-Wilhems-Land. This same year, The United Kingdom took possession of south-east but, in 1906, this part was conceded in Australia like forming part of New Guinea. The Australian troops occupied the German area in 1914, who by decision of the Company of the Nations became later a territory under Australian mandate, and famous the Territory of New Guinea.
During Second World war, New Guinea was invaded by Japan and of many Japanese troops remained there until September 1945. In 1946, the Territory of New Guinea was declared Trust Territory of The United Nations, administratively directed by Australia. The Netherlands gave up the control of the western part in 1962, who became the province indonésienne of Irian Jaya. The east part became independent as New Guinea-News-Guinea in 1975. The interior of the island was really explored only in the current of the XXe century, and certain areas of the interior remain little known.