Coordinates : 8°S 159°E / 8°S 159°E / -8; 159
_ Flag Coat of arms
MOTTO: "To Lead is to Serve"
ANTHEM: God Save Our Solomon Islands _ ROYAL ANTHEM : _God Save the Queen _
and largest city
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES English
ETHNIC GROUPS (1999)
* 94.5% Melanesian * 3.0% Polynesian * 1.2% Micronesians * 1.1% others * 0.2% unspecified
DEMONYM Solomon Islander
GOVERNMENT Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• GOVERNOR-GENERAL Frank Kabui
• PRIME MINISTER Manasseh Sogavare
LEGISLATURE National Parliament
• FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM 7 July 1978
• TOTAL 28,400 km2 (11,000 sq mi) (142nd )
• WATER (%) 3.2%
• 2015 ESTIMATE 642,000 (162nd )
• DENSITY 18.1/km2 (46.9/sq mi) (200th )
GDP (PPP ) 2011 estimate
• TOTAL $1.725 billion
• PER CAPITA $3,191
GDP (NOMINAL) 2011 estimate
• TOTAL $840 million
• PER CAPITA $1,553
HDI (2015) 0.515 low · 156th
Solomon Islands dollar
TIME ZONE (UTC +11)
DRIVES ON THE left
CALLING CODE +677
ISO 3166 CODE SB
INTERNET TLD .sb
SOLOMON ISLANDS is a sovereign country consisting of six major
islands and over 900 smaller islands in
The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1568, the
Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit
them, naming them the _Islas Salomón_. Britain defined its area of
interest in the
The official name of the then
British overseas territory
* 1 Name
* 2 History
* 2.1 Early history * 2.2 European contact (1568) * 2.3 Second World War * 2.4 Independence (1978) * 2.5 Ethnic violence (1998–2003) * 2.6 Earthquakes
* 3 Politics
* 3.1 Judiciary * 3.2 Foreign relations * 3.3 Military * 3.4 Administrative divisions * 3.5 Human rights
* 4 Geography
* 4.1 Climate * 4.2 Ecology
* 5 Economy
* 5.1 Energy
* 6 Demographics
* 7 Culture
* 7.1 Media * 7.2 Music * 7.3 Literature * 7.4 Sport
* 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links
In 1568, the Spanish navigator
Álvaro de Mendaña was the first
European to visit the
During most of the period of British rule the territory was officially named "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate". On 22 June 1975 the territory was renamed "Solomon Islands". When Solomon Islands became independent in 1978 they retained the name. The definite article, "the", is not part of the country's official name but is sometimes used, both within and outside the country.
Main article: History of Solomon Islands Solomon Island warriors, armed with spears, aboard an ornamented war canoe (1895).
It is believed that Papuan -speaking settlers began to arrive around
30,000 BC. Austronesian speakers arrived c. 4000 BC also bringing
cultural elements such as the outrigger canoe . Between 1200 and 800
BC the ancestors of the
EUROPEAN CONTACT (1568)
The first European to visit the islands was the Spanish navigator
Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira , coming from Peru in 1568. The people of
Missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century.
They made little progress at first, because "blackbirding " (the often
brutal recruitment or kidnapping of labourers for the sugar
In 1898 and 1899, more outlying islands were added to the
protectorate; in 1900 the remainder of the archipelago, an area
previously under German jurisdiction , was transferred to British
administration, apart from the islands of Buka and Bougainville ,
which remained under German administration as part of German New
Guinea . Traditional trade and social intercourse between the western
Missionaries settled in the Solomons under the protectorate, converting most of the population to Christianity. In the early 20th century several British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. Economic growth was slow, however, and the islanders benefited little.
Joe Melvin visited in 1892, as part of his undercover
investigation into blackbirding. In 1908 the islands were visited by
SECOND WORLD WAR
With the outbreak of the Second World War most planters and traders
were evacuated to
The Battle of
Jacob Vouza was a notable coastwatcher who, after
capture, refused to divulge Allied information in spite of
interrogation and torture by
Japanese Imperial forces. He was awarded
Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana were the first to find the
John F. Kennedy and his crew of the PT-109 . They
suggested using a coconut to write a rescue message for delivery by
dugout canoe, which was later kept on Kennedy's desk when he became
President of the United States
Local councils were established in the 1950s as the islands stabilised from the aftermath of the Second World War. A new constitution was established in 1970 and elections were held, although the constitution was contested and a new one was created in 1974. In 1973 the first oil price shock occurred, and the increased cost of running a colony became apparent to British administrators.
Following the independence of neighbouring
Papua New Guinea
In September 2012, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the islands to mark the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II.
ETHNIC VIOLENCE (1998–2003)
Commonly referred to as _the tensions_ or _the ethnic tension_, the
initial civil unrest was mainly characterised by fighting between the
Isatabu Freedom Movement (also known as the
In late 1998, militants on the island of
The reformist government of Bartholomew Ulufa\'alu struggled to
respond to the complexities of this evolving conflict. In late 1999,
the government declared a four-month state of emergency. There were
also a number of attempts at reconciliation but to no avail. Ulufa'alu
also requested assistance from
In June 2000, Ulufa'alu was kidnapped by militia members of the MEF who felt that, although he was a Malaitan, he was not doing enough to protect their interests. Ulufa'alu subsequently resigned in exchange for his release. Manasseh Sogavare , who had earlier been Finance Minister in Ulufa'alu's government but had subsequently joined the opposition, was elected as Prime Minister by 23–21 over Rev. Leslie Boseto . However Sogavare's election was immediately shrouded in controversy because six MPs (thought to be supporters of Boseto) were unable to attend parliament for the crucial vote (Moore 2004, n.5 on p. 174).
In October 2000, the
Townsville Peace Agreement , was signed by the
Malaita Eagle Force, elements of the IFM, and the Solomon Islands
Government. This was closely followed by the Marau Peace agreement in
February 2001, signed by the Marau Eagle Force, the Isatabu Freedom
New elections in December 2001 brought Sir
Allan Kemakeza into the
Prime Minister's chair with the support of his People's Alliance Party
and the Association of Independent Members. Law and order deteriorated
as the nature of the conflict shifted: there was continuing violence
on the Weathercoast while militants in
The prevailing atmosphere of lawlessness, widespread extortion, and ineffective police prompted a formal request by the Solomon Islands Government for outside help. With the country bankrupt and the capital in chaos, the request was unanimously supported in Parliament.
In July 2003, Australian and Pacific Island police and troops arrived
In April 2006, allegations that the newly elected Prime Minister
Snyder Rini had used bribes from Chinese businessmen to buy the votes
of members of Parliament led to mass rioting in the capital
Main articles: 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake and 2013 Solomon Islands earthquake
On 2 April 2007 at 07:39:56 local time (
UTC+11 ) an earthquake with
magnitude 8.1 occurred at hypocenter S8.453 E156.957, 349 kilometres
(217 miles) northwest of the island's capital,
On February 6, 2013, an earthquake with magnitude of 8.0 occurred at epicentre S10.80 E165.11 in the Santa Cruz Islands followed by a tsunami up to 1.5 metres. At least nine people were killed and many houses demolished. The main quake was preceded by a sequence of earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 6.0.
Main article: Politics of Solomon Islands Solomon Islands' National Parliament building was a gift from the United States.
Parliamentary representation is based on single-member constituencies. Suffrage is universal for citizens over age 21. The head of government is the Prime Minister , who is elected by Parliament and chooses the cabinet. Each ministry is headed by a cabinet member, who is assisted by a permanent secretary , a career public servant who directs the staff of the ministry.
Land ownership is reserved for Solomon Islanders. The law provides that resident expatriates, such as the Chinese and Kiribati , may obtain citizenship through naturalisation. Land generally is still held on a family or village basis and may be handed down from mother or father according to local custom. The islanders are reluctant to provide land for nontraditional economic undertakings, and this has resulted in continual disputes over land ownership.
No military forces are maintained by
On 13 December 2007, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was toppled by a vote of no confidence in Parliament, following the defection of five ministers to the opposition. It was the first time a prime minister had lost office in this way in Solomon Islands. On 20 December, Parliament elected the opposition's candidate (and former Minister for Education) Derek Sikua as Prime Minister, in a vote of 32 to 15.
Main article: Judiciary of Solomon Islands
The Governor General appoints the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The Governor General appoints the other justices with the advice of a judicial commission. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (based in the United Kingdom) serves as the highest appellate court. The current Chief Justice is Sir Albert Palmer.
From March 2014 Justice Edwin Goldsbrough will serve as the President
of the Court of Appeal for Solomon Islands. Justice Goldsbrough has
previously served a five-year term as a Judge of the High Court of
Main article: Foreign relations of Solomon Islands
The political stage of
Papua New Guinea
Although the locally recruited British Solomon Islands Protectorate Defence Force was part of Allied Forces taking part in fighting in the Solomons during the Second World War, the country has not had any regular military forces since independence. The various paramilitary elements of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) were disbanded and disarmed in 2003 following the intervention of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands ( RAMSI ). RAMSI has a small military detachment headed by an Australian commander with responsibilities for assisting the police element of RAMSI in internal and external security. The RSIPF still operates two Pacific class patrol boats (RSIPV _Auki_ and RSIPV _Lata_), which constitute the de facto navy of Solomon Islands.
In the long term, it is anticipated that the RSIPF will resume the defence role of the country. The police force is headed by a commissioner, appointed by the governor general and responsible to the Minister of Police, National Security ">
See also: Human rights in the Solomon Islands
There are Human Rights concerns and issues in regards to education, water, sanitation, women and persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Solomon Islands.
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The country's islands lie between latitudes 5° and 13°S , and
longitudes 155° and 169°E . The distance between the westernmost and
easternmost islands is about 1,500 kilometres (930 mi). The Santa Cruz
Islands (of which
Tikopia is part) are situated north of
The islands' ocean-equatorial climate is extremely humid throughout the year, with a mean temperature of 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) and few extremes of temperature or weather. June through August is the cooler period. Though seasons are not pronounced, the northwesterly winds of November through April bring more frequent rainfall and occasional squalls or cyclones. The annual rainfall is about 3,050 millimetres (120 in).
The islands contain several active and dormant volcanoes. The Tinakula and Kavachi volcanoes are the most active.
Main article: Economy of Solomon Islands A proportional representation of the Solomon's exports.
Solomon Islands' per-capita GDP of $600 ranks it as a lesser
developed nation, and more than 75% of its labour force is engaged in
subsistence and fishing. Most manufactured goods and petroleum
products must be imported. Until 1998, when world prices for tropical
timber fell steeply, timber was Solomon Islands' main export product,
and, in recent years,
Other important cash crops and exports include copra and palm oil . In 1998 gold mining began at Gold Ridge on Guadalcanal. Minerals exploration in other areas continued. In the wake of the ethnic violence in June 2000, exports of palm oil and gold ceased while exports of timber fell. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc , nickel, and gold.
Solomon Islands' fisheries also offer prospects for export and domestic economic expansion. A Japanese joint venture, Solomon Taiyo Ltd., which operated the only fish cannery in the country, closed in mid-2000 as a result of the ethnic disturbances. Though the plant has reopened under local management, the export of tuna has not resumed. Negotiations are underway that may lead to the eventual reopening of the Gold Ridge mine and the major oil-palm plantation.
Tourism, particularly diving, is an important service industry for Solomon Islands. Tourism growth is hampered by lack of infrastructure and transportation limitations.
A team of renewable energy developers working for the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and funded by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), have developed a scheme that allows local communities to access renewable energy, such as solar, water and wind power, without the need to raise substantial sums of cash. Under the scheme, islanders who are unable to pay for solar lanterns in cash may pay instead in kind with crops.
Main article: Demographics of the Solomon Islands
As of 2006 , there were 552,438 people in Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islander boys from
The majority of Solomon Islanders are ethnically Melanesian (94.5%). Polynesian (3%) and Micronesian (1.2%) are the two other significant groups. There are a few thousand ethnic Chinese .
Further information: Languages of the Solomon Islands
While English is the official language, only 1–2% of the population
speak English. The lingua franca is Solomons
Pijin , which is related
Tok Pisin of
Papua New Guinea
The number of local languages listed for
Polynesian languages are spoken on Rennell and Bellona to the south, Tikopia , Anuta and Fatutaka to the far east, Sikaiana to the north east, and Luaniua to the north ( Ontong Java Atoll , also known as Lord Howe Atoll ). The immigrant population of Gilbertese (i- Kiribati ) speaks a Micronesian language .
Main article: Religion in the Solomon Islands
The religion of
Another 5% adhere to aboriginal beliefs. The remaining adhere to
Female life expectancy at birth was at 66.7 years and male life expectancy at birth at 64.9 in 2007. 1990–1995 fertility rate was at 5.5 births per woman. Government expenditure on health per capita was at US$99 (PPP). Healthy life expectancy at birth is at 60 years.
Blond hair occurs in 10% of the population in the islands. After years of questions, studies have resulted in the better understanding of the blond gene. The findings show that the blond hair trait is due to an amino acid change of protein TYRP1 . This accounts for the highest occurrence of blond hair outside of European influence in the world. While 10% of Solomon Island's people display the blond phenotype about 26% of the population carry the recessive trait for it as well.
Children at the school in Tuo village, Fenualoa .
From 1990 to 1994, the gross primary school enrolment rose from 84.5
percent to 96.6 percent. Primary school attendance rates were
Efforts and plans made by the Department of Education and Human Resource Development to expand educational facilities and increase enrolment have been hindered by a lack of government funding, misguided teacher training programs, poor co-ordination of programs, and a failure of the government to pay teachers. The percentage of the government's budget allocated to education was 9.7 percent in 1998, down from 13.2 percent in 1990.
Male educational attainment tends to be higher than female
The University of the South Pacific has a
Main article: Culture of the Solomon Islands A Malaitan Chief.
In the traditional culture of the Solomon Islands, age-old customs are handed down from one generation to the next, allegedly from the ancestral spirits themselves, to form the cultural values of the Solomon Islands.
Radio is the most influential type of media in
There is one daily newspaper _ Solomon Star _ and one daily online news website _Solomon Times Online (www.solomontimes.com)_, 2 weekly papers _Solomons Voice_ and _Solomon Times_, and 2 monthly papers _Agrikalsa Nius_ and the _Citizen's Press_. Television
There are no TV services that cover the entire Solomon Islands, but satellite TV stations can be received. However, in Honiara, there is a free-to-air channel called One Television, and rebroadcast ABC Asia Pacific (from Australia's ABC) and BBC World News . As of Dec 2010, residents could subscribe to SATSOL, a digital pay TV service, re-transmitting satellite television.
Melanesian music in the
Further information: Solomon Islands literature
Main article: Sport in the Solomon Islands
Rugby Union is played in Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands
national rugby union team has been playing internationals since 1969.
It took part in the
National teams in association football and the related futsal and
beach soccer have proved among the most successful in Oceania. The
Solomon Islands national football team is part of the OFC
confederation in FIFA. They are currently ranked 184th out of 209
teams in the FIFA World Rankings. The team became the first team to
On 14 June 2008, the
Solomon Islands national futsal team , the
Kurukuru, won the
The Solomon Islands\' beach soccer team , the Bilikiki Boys, are statistically the most successful team in Oceania. They have won all three regional championships to date, thereby qualifying on each occasion for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup . The Bilikiki Boys are ranked fourteenth in the world as of 2010 , higher than any other team from Oceania.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for SOLOMON ISLANDS _.
* Geography portal
* ^ Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division
(2009). "World Population Prospects, Table A.1" (PDF). 2008 revision.
United Nations. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "Solomon Islands". International Monetary Fund.
Retrieved 21 April 2012.
* ^ "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations
Development Programme. 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Alvaro de Mendaña de Neira, 1542?–1595". Princeton
University Library. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
* ^ _Commonwealth and Colonial Law_ by Kenneth Roberts-Wray,
London, Stevens, 1966. P. 897
* ^ "Lord GORONWY-ROBERTS, speaking in the House of Lords, HL Deb
27 April 1978 vol 390 cc2003-19". Retrieved 19 November 2014.
* ^ _A_ _B_
British Solomon Islands (Name of Territory) Order 1975
(S.I. 1975 No. 808)
* ^ Sheppard, Peter J. "
Lapita Colonization Across the Near/Remote
Boundary" _Current Anthropology_, Vol 53, No. 6 (Dec 2011), p. 800
* ^ Kirch, Patrick Vinton (2002). _On the Road of the Winds: An
Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands_. Berkeley, California:
University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23461-8
* ^ "_From primitive to postcolonial in