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Bougainville(bo͞o`gənvĭl, Fr. bo͞ogăNvēl`), volcanic island (1990 est. pop. 154,000), c.3,880 sq mi (10,050 sq km), SW Pacific, largest in the Solomon Islands chain. With Buka and smaller neighboring islands, it forms an autonomous region of Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea
, officially Independent State of Papua New Guinea, independent Commonwealth nation (2015 est. pop. 6,672,000), 183,540 sq mi (475,369 sq km), SW Pacific.
..... Click the link for more information. . Bougainville is rugged and densely forested. There are several good harbors, with the main port at Kieta. The economy is mainly agricultural; major exports are copra, ivory nuts, green snails, cocoa, tortoise shells, and trepang. Copper mining was important until 1989 when an insurrection closed down the mine. The center of administration is at Sohano, a coral island in the Buka Passage.
The island was explored in 1768 by the French navigator Louis de BougainvilleBougainville, Louis Antoine de
, 1729–1811, French navigator. He accompanied Montcalm to Canada as aide-de-camp, and he later (c.1764) established a colony on the Falkland Islands but had to surrender the settlement to Spain (1766).
..... Click the link for more information. . Unlike the rest of the Solomon IslandsSolomon Islands,
independent Commonwealth nation (2015 est. pop. 587,000), c.15,500 sq mi (40,150 sq km), SW Pacific, E of New Guinea. The islands that constitute the nation of the Solomon Islands—Guadalcanal, Malaita, New Georgia, the Santa Cruz Islands, Choiseul, Ysabel
..... Click the link for more information. , which became British territory, Bougainville and Buka became part of German New Guinea in 1884. Occupied by Australian forces during World War I, Bougainville was mandated to Australia by the League of Nations in 1920. During World War II the island was the last Japanese stronghold in the Solomons. It became part of Papua New Guinea in 1973, despite strong secessionist sentiment. A bloody secessionist uprising, begun in the late 1980s and sparked by copper mining, persisted through much of the 1990s; in 1998 a cease-fire, monitored by Australian-led forces, went into effect. A peace accord granting Bougainville broad autonomy and promising a referendum on independence by 2020 was signed in 2001. Peacekeeping forces were replaced by a smaller transition team in 2003, a constitution was adopted in 2004, and a government was elected in 2005. The autonomous government faced challenges from former fighters on both sides of the uprising, but negotiations led to a number of peace agreements. In the referendum in Dec., 2020, the autonomous region voted overwhelmingly for independence.
a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean; the largest of the Solomon Islands. Part of New Guinea, a protectorate of Australia. Area, 10, 000 sq km; population, 71, 700 (1966). The terrain is mountainous; there are elevations to 3, 123 m (Mount Balbi). Vegetation consists of tropical rain forests. Coconuts and bananas are cultivated. There are tin deposits on the island, and gold is mined there. The island is named after the French mariner L. A. de Bougainville.
a deep-water depression near the south-western foot of Bougainville Island (Solomon Islands) in the Pacific Ocean. Length, about 300 km; depth, to 9,140 m. It is connected to the New Britain depression on the northwest at an angle of about 70°. Bougainville is one of the few deep-water depressions situated on the inner side of the island arc rather than on the outer, or oceanic, side.