Discover New Caledonia
New Caledonia is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, part of the Melanesian sub-region. Discovered and named by explorer Captain James Cook (it’s said the terrain reminded him of Scotland) in 1776, the island of New Caledonia became a French colony in 1853 and a French Overseas Territory in 1946.
Slavery replaced the sandalwood trade around 1842 and continued until 1904. People, mainly men, from New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, and other South Pacific islands were kidnapped or tricked into working as slaves, mainly on the sugar plantations of Queensland, Australia. This practice continued until about 1904 with indentured servants being called Kanakas, after the Hawaiian word for "man." The indigenous population has attempted to free themselves from French rule on several occasions, including the Kanak Revolt of 1878.
New Caledonia is an incredibly important hotspot for biological diversity in because of its unique and complex ecological systems. Unlike its neighbours it is not volcanic, but a fragment of an ancient continent that drifted away some 250 million years ago. As such its flora and fauna have evolved in isolation, and are now quite unique. A wide variety of endemic species have flourished here.
Financial aid from France contributes about 20% of GDP. Tourism in New Caledonia is underdeveloped, thus, has low significance as compared to other Pacific countries. Most of the land is unsuitable for agriculture, hence takes up 20% of imports. The manufacturing sector contributes to the economy in a low scale. New Caledonia is rich in nickel resource, with its soil containing 25% of the world.