Map - Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Bougainville)

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Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Bougainville)

Bougainville, officially the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and previously known as North Solomons, is an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea. The largest island is Bougainville Island (also the largest of the Solomon Islands archipelago). The region also includes Buka Island and assorted outlying nearby islands including the Carterets. The interim capital is Buka, though it is expected that Arawa will become the permanent capital in the future. The population of the region is 249,358 (2011 census).

Bougainville Island is ecologically and geographically part of the Solomon Islands archipelago but is not politically part of the nation of Solomon Islands. Buka, Bougainville, and most of the Solomons are part of the Solomon Islands rain forests ecoregion. The region's biodiversity is heavily threatened by mining activities, mostly conducted by foreign investors.

The island was named after the French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who made expeditions to the Pacific. He is also the namesake of the tropical flowering vines of the genus Bougainvillea. In 1885, the island was taken over by a German administration as part of German New Guinea. Australia occupied it in 1914 during World War I. After the war the League of Nations designated it as a mandatory power and administered the island from 1918 until the Japanese invaded it in 1942 during World War II.

During World War II, the island was occupied by Australian, American and Japanese forces. It was an important base for the RAAF, RNZAF and USAAF. On 8 March 1944, during the Pacific War, American forces were attacked by Japanese troops on Hill 700 on this island. The battle lasted five days, ending with a Japanese retreat.

Australia took over administration of the island when that war ended in 1945, managing it until Papua New Guinea independence in 1975. Bougainville was appointed as a United Nations mandatory power, Australia having accepted dominion sovereignty under the Statute of Westminster 1931 in the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942 and therefore being formally empowered to do so. It administered British and German New Guinea, but was not the official colonial power.

 

Map - Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Bougainville)

Latitude / Longitude : 6° 0' 0" S / 155° 0' 0" E | Time zone : UTC+10 | Currency : PGK | Telephone : 675  

Photograph

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White Island, Bougainville
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Autonomous Region of Bougainville
Autonomous Region of Bougainville
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Autonomous Region of Bougainville
Autonomous Region of Bougainville
Autonomous Region of Bougainville
Autonomous Region of Bougainville
Autonomous Region of Bougainville
Autonomous Region of Bougainville
Autonomous Region of Bougainville
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Country - Papua New Guinea

Flag of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (PNG;, ; Papua Niugini; Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

At the national level, after being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975. This followed nearly 60 years of Australian administration, which started during World War I. It became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1975 with Elizabeth II as its queen. It also became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations in its own right.
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