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- Salomon, islands

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- Salomon, islands, island country of Oceania (Melanesia), situated in the Occidental Pacific, east of the New Guinea. It is an archipelago consisted of a double string of islands aligned from the northwest to the southeast, on 645 000 km2. It includes the big islands of Choiseul, Santa Isabel, Guadalcanal (the biggest of islands alomon), Malaita, Makira ( San Cristobal), Vella Lavella, the group of new-Georgia, Santa Cruz's archipelago (the most oriental), islands Florida, small archipelago of Russell, as well as multitude of the other small islands (Ontong Java, Rennell, etc.). Melanesians represents 94 p. 100 of the population. English is official language. Island Salomon is a parliamentary democracy member of the Commonwealth. The big islands, of volcanic origin, are mountainous, damaged and covered with a dense forest. They prolong the volcanic bow of the archipelago Bismarck (in Papua New Guinea) and peak in the mountain Popomanaseu in 2 331 m of height ( Guadalcanal). Certain small isolated islands are coral atolls ( Ontong Java). The climate is equatorial, warm and very wet. The capital of the union is Honiara, on the island of Guadalcanal. Economy rests(bases) on the agriculture, the industry of the wood and the peach(fishing). Only 1 p. 100 of the lands are cultivable. Main commercial cultures are the copra, the palm tree with oil, the cocoa, the sugar cane. They coexist with subsistence crops (coconut, manioc, sweet potato, igname, taro, rice, pineapple, banana). The wood and the canned food of fishes (tuna) are important resources. Reserves of bauxite and phosphate were discovered(found) recently. The archipelago is lived with Melanesians since four thousand years. Neyra's Mendaea was discovered(found) in 1568 by the Spanish navigator Á lvaro. The most northerly islands were visited in 1768 by Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who gave its name to the island of Bougainville ( Papua New Guinea). A German protectorate was established in 1885 on the northerly islands Salomon as well as the British protectorate on the Southern islands in 1893. In 1899, the set(group) of islands Salomon became British ownership with the exception of Buka and of Bougainville> remained German. These were occupied in 1914, at the beginning of First World war, by Australia then placed under Australian mandate, in 1921 , by League of Nations. During Second World war, the Japanese occupied the major part of the archipelago (in January, 1942). In October, 1942 took place one of the biggest battles of the war of the Pacific ( Santa Cruz's air and sea victory). Guadalcanal was resumed by the Americans, after very hard fights, during winter 1942-1943. The island was evacuated by the Japanese on February 8, 1943, dates which marked their first fold in the seas of the South. The archipelago was reconquerred according to the said tactics " Of the jump of sheep " During 1943 and until January, 1944. In 1975, the northerly island Salomon, administered by Australia, obtained their independence within Papua New Guinea. The British island Salomon reached the internal autonomy in 1976 then the independence in 1978, within the framework of the Commonwealth. Total surface: 27 556 km2; population (estimation 1993): 285 796 inhabitants.