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Articles in Islands

Violence against Women in Solomon Islands

By Martin W. Lewis | March 27, 2012 | 4 Comments

According to Australia Network News, a recent World Bank report lists Solomon Islands as suffering from more violence against women than any other country. The Bank’s recent Gender Equality and Development Report states that 64 per cent of women in the Melanesian country claim that they have been victims of domestic violence.

Divided Islands, Large and Small

By Martin W. Lewis | | 12 Comments

The recent GeoCurrents news post on electronics factories in Tierra del Fuego brought up the issue of a politically divided island. I did a quick mental count and came up with eight examples of such islands: New Guinea, Borneo, Ireland, Hispaniola, Timor, Cyprus, Saint Martin, and Tierra del Fuego (or, more properly, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, to differentiate …

Niue’s Demographic Dilemma

By Martin W. Lewis | March 13, 2012 |

The health minister of the remote Pacific island of Niue recently visited New Zealand to try to convince Niueans living there to allow the demolition of their abandoned houses back home. He came equipped with photographs of the islands derelict houses. According to Radio New Zealand, “Vegetation and vermin have overtaken dozens of homes, creating what officials describe as an eyesore and a health risk.”

Remarkable Sardinian Statues Reconstructed

By Martin W. Lewis | March 4, 2012 | 2 Comments

Archeologists on the Italian island of Sardinia have completed the painstaking reconstruction of “small yet unique army of life-size stone warriors which were originally destroyed by enemy action in the middle of the first millennium BC.”

The US Virgin Islands after the Shuttering of the Hovensa Refinery

By Martin W. Lewis | February 28, 2012 |

Until recently, Hovensa in the U.S. Virgin Islands was one of the world’s largest petroleum refineries, with a capacity of almost 500,000 barrels per day. As of this month, Hovensa is no longer refining oil, but is merely serving as a storage facility.

Alaskan Sovereignty Issues: Wrangles Over Wrangel

By Martin W. Lewis | February 25, 2012 | 3 Comments

Sovereignty issues have recently been appearing in Alaskan newspapers. On February 22, the Alaska Dispatch noted that former U.S. senate candidate Joe Miller was lambasting Barak Obama for relinquishing control of several sizable “oil-rich” Alaskan islands, ostensibly because of the Obama administration’s hostility to the petroleum industry.

Protests on the island of Réunion

By Rebecca Hecht | February 24, 2012 |
Wikipedia Map of France and its Overseas Possessions

French news outlets are reporting “spontaneous and unorganized” outbursts of violence on the island of Réunion, one of France’s overseas departments. Protests against the high cost of living and rising prices of fuel exploded several days ago.

South Georgia Rat Crisis

By Martin W. Lewis | February 14, 2012 |

The world’s largest rat extermination program is currently underway in South Georgia Island, a British sub-Antarctic territory that is also claimed by Argentina.

Gaddafy’s Fall and the Drop of Migration to Malta

By Martin W. Lewis | February 10, 2012 |

Malta has long been a major node in the movement of unlicensed migrants to Europe. Maltese authorities, however, have recently announced that that landings have essentially come to and end.

Scotland Vs. the Shetland and Orkney Islands

By Martin W. Lewis | February 9, 2012 | 8 Comments

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has gained enough power to have arranged for a vote on Scottish independence in 2014. But although the party has made major gains in recent years…

Contested French Islands and Sea-Space in the Western Indian Ocean

By Martin W. Lewis | October 31, 2011 |
Map of Europa Island

As was recently discussed in GeoCurrents, France’s incorporation of Mayotte as an overseas department has been attributed by some to the quest for geo-strategic advantage. It is difficult to see, however, exactly what advantage is gained. It is true that the possession of Mayotte gives France an extensive maritime realm by way of the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) that …

Conflict in the Comoros

By Martin W. Lewis | October 28, 2011 | 4 Comments
Wikipedia Map of the Invasion of Anjouan in the Comoros

Although Mayotte is a troubled island, its difficulties are minor compared to those of the other islands in the Comoro Archipelago, which collectively form an independent state. By some accounts, the Comoros is the most coup-wracked country in the world, having suffered twenty military assaults on its government since independence in 1975. Its instability is almost matched by its poverty; …

When Is an Island Not An Island? Caribbean Maritime Disputes

By Martin W. Lewis | March 21, 2011 | One Comment
caribbean maritime disputes map

Matters of basic geographical definition can be extremely important in international disputes and negotiations, especially when it comes to maritime claims. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, any country can claim a 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around every island that it controls, usually splitting the differences with

Unnoticed Unrest in Turks and Caicos and the Canadian Connection

By Martin W. Lewis | March 19, 2011 | 4 Comments
turks and caicos political map

Massive unrest across much of the Middle East, coupled with the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan, have tended to crowd other important international stories out of the news, such as the on-going debacle in Ivory Coast. While the emphasis on Japan and the Arab world is understandable, other topics deserve attention as well

The Mystique of Mustique

By Martin W. Lewis | March 17, 2011 |

Mustique Island, in the country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, rarely makes the news – unless one counts celebrity gossip sheets. In those sources, the island appears fairly frequently. On March 16, 2011, for example, it was reported that there was a good chance that the “royal couple,” Prince William and

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