Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; the continent includes various archipelagos. It contains 54 recognised sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition; the majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa central Eastern Africa, is accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade, as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster—the earliest Homo sapiens, found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago.
Africa encompasses numerous climate areas. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised all of Africa. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, headquartered in Addis Ababa. Afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of then-known northern Africa to the west of the Nile river, in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean; this name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe, an ancestor of modern Berbers. The name had been connected with the Phoenician word ʿafar meaning "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis has asserted that it stems from the Berber word ifri meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers; the same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, a Berber tribe from Yafran in northwestern Libya. Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province it named Africa Proconsularis, following its defeat of the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War in 146 BC, which included the coastal part of modern Libya.
The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land. The Muslim region of Ifriqiya, following its conquest of the Byzantine Empire's Exarchatus Africae preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east. A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy, indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa; as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of "Africa" expanded with their knowledge. Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa": The 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya. Isidore of Seville in his 7th-century Etymologiae XIV.5.2. Suggests "Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning "sunny".
Massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and the "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace." Michèle Fruyt in 1976 proposed linking the Latin word with africus "south wind", which would be of Umbrian origin and mean "rainy wind". Robert R. Stieglitz of Rutgers University in 1984 proposed: "The name Africa, derived from the Latin *Aphir-ic-a, is cognate to Hebrew Ophir." Ibn Khallikan and some other historians claim that the name of Africa came from a Himyarite king called Afrikin ibn Kais ibn Saifi called "Afrikus son of Abrahah" who subdued Ifriqiya. Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent. During the mid-20th century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation as early as 7 million years ago.
Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to 3.9–3.0 million years BP, Paranthropus boisei and Homo ergaster have been discovered. After the evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens 150,000 to 100,000 years BP in Africa, the continent was populated by groups of hunter-gatherers; these first modern humans left Africa and populated the rest of the globe during the Out of Africa II migration dated to 50,000 years BP, exiting the continent eith
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area, this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined; the centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific, its mean depth is 4,000 meters. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters; the western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur.
The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean; the first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão, via the Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Maluku Islands, in 1512, with Jorge Álvares's expedition to southern China in 1513, both ordered by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca.
The east side of the ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean. He named it Mar del Sur because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would result in the first world circumnavigation. Magellan called the ocean Pacífico because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters; the ocean was called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the eighteenth century. Although Magellan himself died in the Philippines in 1521, Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope, completing the first world circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522. Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered the Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, Papua New Guinea.
In 1542–43 the Portuguese reached Japan. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 explorers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailed to the Philippines and Mariana Islands. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spanish influence was paramount, with ships sailing from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via Guam, establishing the Spanish East Indies; the Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, linking Manila and Acapulco, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions discovered Tuvalu, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa engaged in discovery and trade.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a mare clausum—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines; the 18th cen
Mana, in Austronesian languages, means "power", "effectiveness", "prestige". In most cases, this power and its source are understood to be inexplicable, its semantics are language-dependent. The concept is significant in Polynesian culture and is part of contemporary Pacific Islander culture, its study was included in cultural anthropology—specifically, the anthropology of religion. Links were seen between mana and earlier phases of Western religion: animism at first, followed by pre-animism. According to the POLLEX Project, a protoform for "mana"—noted in historical-linguistic convention as *mana-"—existed in Proto-Oceanic, the precursor of many Pacific languages. Although the path through the tree from Proto-Oceanic to a specific language is not always clear, the word and concept are thousands of years old. According to linguist Robert Blust, "mana" means "storm, or wind" in some languages. Blust hypothesized that the term meant "powerful forces of nature such as thunder and storm winds that were conceived as the expression of an unseen supernatural agency.
As Oceanic-speaking peoples spread eastward, the notion of an unseen supernatural agency became detached from the physical forces of nature that had inspired it and assumed a life of its own." Mana is a foundation of the Polynesian worldview, a spiritual quality with a supernatural origin and a sacred, impersonal force. To have mana implies influence and efficacy—the ability to perform in a given situation; the quality of mana is not limited to individuals. In Hawaiian and Tahitian culture, mana is a spiritual energy and healing power which can exist in places and persons. Hawaiians believe that mana may be gained or lost by actions, Hawaiians and Tahitians believe that mana is both external and internal. Sites on the Hawaiian Islands and in French Polynesia are believed to possess mana—for example, the top rim of the Haleakalā volcano on the island of Maui and the Taputapuatea marae on the island of Raiatea in the Society Islands. Ancient Hawaiian believed that the island of Molokaʻi possesses mana, compared with its neighboring islands.
Before the unification of Hawaii by King Kamehameha I, battles were fought for possession of the island and its south-shore fish ponds which existed until the late 19th century. A person may gain mana by pono. In ancient Hawaii, there were two paths to mana: violence. Nature is dualistic, everything has a counterpart. A balance between the gods Kū and Lono formed, through. Kū, the god of war and politics, offers mana through violence. Lono, the god of peace and fertility, offers mana through sexuality. In Māori, a tribe with mana whenua must have demonstrated their authority over a territory. In Māori culture, there are two essential aspects of a person's mana: mana tangata, authority derived from whakapapa and mana huaanga, defined as "authority derived from having a wealth of resources to gift to others to bind them into reciprocal obligations". Hemopereki Simon, from Ngāti Tūwharetoa, asserts; the indigenous word reflects a non-Western view of reality. This is confirmed by the definition of mana provided by Maori Marsden who states that mana is:Spiritual power and authority as opposed to the purely psychic and natural force — ihi.
According to Prof. Margaret Mutu mana in its traditional sense means:Power, ownership, influence, respect derived from the god. In terms of leadership Ngāti Kahungunu legal scholar Carwyn Jones comments that, "mana is the central concept that underlies Māori leadership and accountability." He considers mana as a fundamental aspect of the constitutional traditions of Māori society. According to the New Zealand Ministry of Justice: Mana and tapu are concepts which have both been attributed single-worded definitions by contemporary writers; as concepts Maori concepts they can not be translated into a single English definition. Both mana and tapu take on a whole range of related meanings depending on their association and the context in which they are being used. In contemporary New Zealand English, the word "mana", taken from the Māori, refers to a person or organisation of people of great personal prestige and character; the increased use of the term mana in New Zealand society is as a result of the politicisation of Maori issues stemming from the Māori Renaissance.
Missionary Robert Henry Codrington traveled in Melanesia, publishing several studies of its language and culture. His 1891 book The Melanesians: Studies in their Anthropology and Folk-Lore contains the first detailed description of mana. Codrington defines it as "a force altogether distinct from physical power, which acts in all kinds of ways for good and evil, which it is of the greatest advantage to possess or control", his era had defined animism, the concept that the energy in an object derives from a spiritual component. Georg Ernst Stahl's 18th-century animism was adopted by Edward Burnett Tylor, the founder of cultural anthropology, who presented his initial ideas about the history of religion in his 1865 Researches into the Early History of Mankind and developed them in volumes one and two of Primitive Culture. In Tylor's cultural anthropology, other primates did not appear to possess culture. Tylor did not try to find evid
Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity; the term arises from the unattested Vulgar Latin's *superanus, meaning "chief", "ruler". Its spelling, which varied from the word's first appearance in English in the fourteenth century, was influenced by the English "reign"; the concepts of sovereignty have been discussed throughout history, are still debated. Its definition and application has changed throughout during the Age of Enlightenment; the current notion of state sovereignty contains four aspects consisting of territory, population and recognition. According to Stephen D. Krasner, the term could be understood in four different ways: domestic sovereignty – actual control over a state exercised by an authority organized within this state, interdependence sovereignty – actual control of movement across state's borders, assuming the borders exist, international legal sovereignty – formal recognition by other sovereign states, Westphalian sovereignty – lack of other authority over state other than the domestic authority.
These four aspects all appear together, but this is not the case – they are not affected by one another, there are historical examples of states that were non-sovereign in one aspect while at the same time being sovereign in another of these aspects. According to Immanuel Wallerstein, another fundamental feature of sovereignty is that it is a claim that must be recognised by others if it is to have any meaning: The Roman jurist Ulpian observed that: The people transferred all their imperium and power to the Emperor. Cum lege regia, quae de imperio eius lata est, populus ei et in eum omne suum imperium et potestatem conferat The emperor is not bound by the laws. Princeps legibus. Quod principi placuit legis habet vigorem. Ulpian was expressing the idea that the Emperor exercised a rather absolute form of sovereignty, that originated in the people, although he did not use the term expressly. Ulpian's statements were known in medieval Europe, but sovereignty was an important concept in medieval times.
Medieval monarchs were not sovereign, at least not so, because they were constrained by, shared power with, their feudal aristocracy. Furthermore, both were constrained by custom. Sovereignty existed during the Medieval period as the de jure rights of nobility and royalty, in the de facto capability of individuals to make their own choices in life. Around c. 1380–1400, the issue of feminine sovereignty was addressed in Geoffrey Chaucer's Middle English collection of Canterbury Tales in The Wife of Bath's Tale. A English Arthurian romance, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell, uses many of the same elements of the Wife of Bath's tale, yet changes the setting to the court of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; the story revolves around the knight Sir Gawain granting to Dame Ragnell, his new bride, what is purported to be wanted most by women: sovereignty. We desire most From men both lund and poor, To have sovereignty without lies. For where we have sovereignty, all is ours, Though a knight be so fierce, And win mastery.
It is our desire to have master Over such a sir. Such is our purpose. Sovereignty reemerged as a concept in the late 16th century, a time when civil wars had created a craving for stronger central authority, when monarchs had begun to gather power onto their own hands at the expense of the nobility, the modern nation state was emerging. Jean Bodin in reaction to the chaos of the French wars of religion, presented theories of sovereignty calling for strong central authority in the form of absolute monarchy. In his 1576 treatise Les Six Livres de la République Bodin argued that it is inherent in the nature of the state that sovereignty must be: Absolute: On this point he said that the sovereign must be hedged in with obligations and conditions, must be able to legislate without his subjects' consent, must not be bound by the laws of his predecessors, could not, because it is illogical, be bound by his own laws. Perpetual: Not temporarily delegated as to a strong leader in an emergency or to a state employee such as a magistrate.
He held that sovereignty must be perpetual because anyone with the power to enforce a time limit on the governing power must be above the governing power, which would be impossible if the governing power is absolute. Bodin rejected the notion of transference of sovereignty from people to the ruler, and the sovereign is not above natural law. He is above only positive law, he emphasized that a sovereign is bound to observe certain basic rules derived from the divine law, the law of nature or reason, the law, common to all nations, as well as the fundamental laws of the state that determine, the sovereign, who succeeds to sovereignty, what limits the sovereign power. Thus, Bodin’s sovereign was restricted by the constitutional law of the state and by the higher law, considered as binding upon every human being; the fact that the sovereign must obey divine and natural law imposes ethical constraints on him. Bodin held that the lois royales, the fun
Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent
Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent was a French naturalist. He was born at Agen; as a precocious naturalist, aged 15, he was instrumental in freeing from prison Pierre André Latreille, whose early work he had read, saving Latreille's life. He was sent as naturalist with Captain Nicolas Baudin's expedition to Australia in 1798, but left the vessel at Mauritius, spent two years in exploring Réunion and other islands in the Indian Ocean. Joining the army on his return, he was present at the battle of Ulm and battle of Austerlitz, in 1808 went to Spain with Marshal Soult. In 1815, he opposed the Bourbons, he was proscribed after the Bourbon restoration. But after several years of exile, he was allowed to return to Paris in 1820. In 1829 he headed a scientific expedition to the Peloponnese, in 1839 he had charge of the exploration of Algeria, he was editor of the Dictionnaire classique d'histoire naturelle. His own publications include Essais sur les Iles Fortunées, Voyage dans les Iles d'Afrique, Voyage souterrain, ou description du plateau de Saint-Pierre de Maestricht et de ses vastes cryptes, L'Homme, essai zoologique sur le genre humain, in which he adopted a polygenist perspective.
And Resume de la géographie de la Peninsule. He was a proponent of transmutation of supporter of Lamarckian evolution. According to historian Adrian Desmond "Bory was a leading anti-Cuvierian materialist who blended the best of Lamarck's philosophy with Geoffroy's higher anatomy."From 1822, Bory edited the Dictionnaire classique d'histoire naturelle. This volume contained information about Lamarck and the species debate and is notable for having traveled with Charles Darwin on the Beagle. European and American voyages of scientific exploration Mamelon Baynes, T. S. ed.. "Jean Baptiste George Marie Bory de Saint-Vincent". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. P. 66. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Bory de Saint-Vincent, Jean Baptiste George Marie". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4. Cambridge University Press. P. 276
The Southern Hemisphere is the half of Earth, south of the Equator. It contains parts of five continents, four oceans and most of the Pacific Islands in Oceania, its surface is 80.9% water, compared with 60.7% water in the case of the Northern Hemisphere, it contains 32.7% of Earth's land. Owing to the tilt of Earth's rotation relative to the Sun and the ecliptic plane, summer is from December to March and winter is from June to September. September 22 or 23 is the vernal equinox and March 20 or 21 is the autumnal equinox; the South Pole is in the center of the southern hemispherical region. Southern Hemisphere climates tend to be milder than those at similar latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, except in the Antarctic, colder than the Arctic; this is because the Southern Hemisphere has more ocean and much less land. The differences are attributed to oceanic heat transfer and differing extents of greenhouse trapping. In the Southern Hemisphere the sun passes from east to west through the north, although north of the Tropic of Capricorn the mean sun can be directly overhead or due north at midday.
The Sun rotating through the north causes an apparent right-left trajectory through the sky unlike the left-right motion of the Sun when seen from the Northern Hemisphere as it passes through the southern sky. Sun-cast shadows turn anticlockwise throughout the day and sundials have the hours increasing in the anticlockwise direction. During solar eclipses viewed from a point to the south of the Tropic of Capricorn, the Moon moves from left to right on the disc of the Sun, while viewed from a point to the north of the Tropic of Cancer, the Moon moves from right to left during solar eclipses. Cyclones and tropical storms spin clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Coriolis effect; the southern temperate zone, a subsection of the Southern Hemisphere, is nearly all oceanic. This zone includes the southern tip of South Africa; the Sagittarius constellation that includes the galactic centre is a southern constellation and this, combined with clearer skies, makes for excellent viewing of the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere with brighter and more numerous stars.
Forests in the Southern Hemisphere have special features which set them apart from those in the Northern Hemisphere. Both Chile and Australia share, for example, unique beech species or Nothofagus, New Zealand has members of the related genera Lophozonia and Fuscospora; the eucalyptus is native to Australia but is now planted in Southern Africa and Latin America for pulp production and biofuel uses. 800 million humans live in the Southern Hemisphere, representing only 10–12% of the total global human population of 7.3 billion. Of those 800 million people, 200 million live in Brazil, the largest country by land area in the Southern Hemisphere, while 141 million live on the island of Java, the most populous island in the world; the most populous nation in the Southern Hemisphere is Indonesia, with 261 million people. Portuguese is the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere, followed by Javanese; the largest metropolitan areas in the Southern Hemisphere are São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney.
The most important financial and commercial centers in the Southern Hemisphere are São Paulo, where the Bovespa Index is headquartered, along with Sydney, home to the Australian Securities Exchange, home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Buenos Aires, headquarters of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, the oldest stock market in the Southern Hemisphere. Among the most developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere are Australia, with a nominal GDP per capita of US$51,850 and a Human Development Index of 0.939, the second highest in the world as of 2016. New Zealand is well developed, with a nominal GDP per capita of US$38,385 and a Human Development Index of 0.915, putting it at #13 in the world in 2016. The least developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere cluster in Africa and Oceania, with Burundi and Mozambique at the lowest ends of the Human Development Index, at 0.404 and 0.418 respectively. The nominal GDP per capitas of these two countries don't go above US$550 per capita, a tiny fraction of the incomes enjoyed by Australians and New Zealanders.
The most widespread religions in the Southern Hemisphere are Christianity in South America, southern Africa and Australia/New Zealand, followed by Islam in most of the islands of Indonesia and in parts of southeastern Africa, Hinduism, concentrated on the island of Bali and neighboring islands. The oldest continuously inhabited city in the Southern Hemisphere is Bogor, in western Java, founded in 669 CE. Ancient texts from the Hindu kingdoms prevalent in the area definitively record 669 CE as the year when Bogor was founded. However, there is some evidence that Zanzibar, an ancient port with around 200,000 inhabitants on
Western New Guinea
Western New Guinea known as Papua, is the Indonesian part of the island of New Guinea. Since the island is named as Papua, the region is sometimes called West Papua. Lying to the west of the independent state of Papua New Guinea, it is the only Indonesian territory to be situated in Oceania; the territory is in the Southern Hemisphere and includes nearby islands, including the Schouten and Raja Ampat archipelagoes. The region is predominantly covered with ancient rainforest where numerous traditional tribes live such as the Dani of the Baliem Valley, although a large proportion of the population live in or near coastal areas, with the largest city being Jayapura. Following its independence proclamation in 1945, the Republic of Indonesia took over all the former Dutch East Indies territories, including Western New Guinea. However, the Dutch retained sovereignty over the region until the New York Agreement on 15 August 1962, which returned Western New Guinea to Indonesia; the region became the province of Irian Jaya before being renamed as Papua in 2002.
The following year, the second province in the region, West Papua in Manokwari, was inaugurated. Both provinces were granted special autonomous status by the Indonesian legislation. Western New Guinea has an estimated population of 4,363,869, with majority of whom are Papuan people; the official and most spoken language is Indonesian. Estimates of the number of tribal languages in the region range from 200 to over 700, with the most spoken including Dani, Yali and Biak; the predominant religion is Christianity followed by Islam. The main industries include agriculture, oil production, mining. Speakers align themselves with a political orientation when choosing a name for the western half of the island of New Guinea; the official name of the region is "Papua" according to International Organization for Standardization. The independence activists refer to the region as "West Papua", while the Indonesian officials has used "West Papua" to name the westernmost province of the region since 2007; the region has had the official names of Netherlands New Guinea, West New Guinea, West Irian, Irian Jaya, Papua.
The region is 1,200 kilometres from east to 736 kilometres from north to south. It has an area of 420,540 square kilometres, which equates to 22% of Indonesia's land area; the border with Papua New Guinea follows the 141st meridian east, with one section defined by the Fly River. The island of New Guinea was once part of the Australian landmass and lie on the Sahul; the collision between the Indo-Australian Plate and Pacific plate resulting in the Maoke Mountains run through the centre of the region and are 600 km long and 100 km across. The range includes about ten peaks over 4,000 metres, including Puncak Jaya, Puncak Mandala and Puncak Trikora; the range ensures a steady supply of rain from the tropical atmosphere. The tree line is around 4,000 m and the tallest peaks feature small glaciers and are snowbound year-round. Both north and west of the central ranges the land remains mountainous – 1,000 to 2,000 metres high with a warm humid climate year-round; the highland areas feature alpine grasslands, jagged bare peaks, montane forests, fast flowing rivers, gorges.
Swamps and low-lying alluvial plains of fertile soil dominate the southeastern section around the town of Merauke. Swamps extend 300 kilometres around the Asmat region; the province has 40 major rivers, 12 lakes, 40 islands. The Mamberamo river runs through the north of the province; the result is a large area of rivers known as the Lakes Plains region. The southern lowlands, habitats of which included mangrove and freshwater swamp forest and lowland rainforest, are home to populations of fishermen and gatherers such as the Asmat people; the Baliem Valley, home of the Dani people, is a tableland 1,600 m above sea level in the midst of the central mountain range. The dry season across the region is between May and October. Strong winds and rain are experienced along the north coast in November through to March. However, the south coast experiences an increase in wind and rain between April and October, the dry season in the Merauke area, the only part of Western New Guinea to experience distinct seasons.
Coastal areas are hot and humid, whereas the highland areas tend to be cooler. Lying in the Asia-Australian transition zone near Wallacea, the region's flora and fauna include Asiatic and endemic species; the region is 75% forest and it has a high degree of biodiversity. The island has an estimated 16,000 species of 124 genera of which are endemic; the mountainous areas and the north are covered with dense rainforest. Highland vegetation includes alpine grasslands, pine forests and scrub; the vegetation of the south coast includes mangroves and sago palms, in the drier southeastern section, eucalypts and acacias. Marsupial species dominate the region; the region is the only part of Indonesia to have kangaroos, marsupial mice and ring-tailed possums. The 700 bird species include cassowaries (along the southe