Exploring Our World: People, Places, and Cultures

Chapter 30: Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica Today

Student Web Activity

"Islands of Melanesia"

In this chapter, you learned about modern-day Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica. You learned that Oceania is made up of many islands. Geographers group Oceania into three main island regions—Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Three of Melanesia’s island countries are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.

Destination Title: The World Factbook

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
Need help using your browser for this activity? Click here for tips.

Start at the home page of the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook. Click on “Guide to Country Profiles” located in the menu on the left side of the screen. When the new window pops up, do the following:

  • Find the drop-down menu at the top of the page. It is labeled “Select a country or location.”
  • Scroll down the menu until you find “Papua New Guinea.” Then click on it.
  • When the new page opens, find and write down the following information about Papua New Guinea.
  • Under the heading “Geography,” find information about “Environment – current issues.”
  • Under the heading “Economy,” find information about “GDP—composition by sector.” GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product, which is the total value of all goods and services produced in the country.
  • Repeat the process to find information about the environment and the GDP of Fiji and the Solomon Islands.

After you have read through the information, answer the following questions.

Which of the countries suffer from severe drought?
What environmental problem affects Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands?
What are the three sectors under Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?
Industry accounts for what percentage of Fiji’s GDP?
Which of the countries’ economies is most dependent on industry? Explain.
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