New Caledonia: Political System
New Caledonia was French overseas territory until May 5, 1998. It has been a
French overseas country ever since. The latter has more autonomy than, for
example, an overseas territory.
In contrast to the other overseas territories, New Caledonia has complete
internal autonomy. France is only responsible for the judiciary, education and
defense system, as well as for the police and the currency.
According to Digopaul.com,
the official name of the country is:
Collectivité d´outre mer
The French President is the country's formal head of state. In New Caledonia
itself, this is represented by a High Commissioner.
The congress with 54 members consists of the state parliaments, 32 members from
the South, 17 members from the North and 7 members from the Loyalty
Islands. Elections are made every five years.
The country is divided into three administrative districts. In the north and
south on the main island and in the Loyalty Islands. There are always strong
tensions between the north and south districts.
Anyone born in New Caledonia is a French citizen and can e.g. B. participate in
the elections for the French President.
New Caledonia has two envoys for the National Assembly in Paris and a senator.
The national anthem of New Caledonia is the Marseillaise. The text of the
Marseillaise, both in French and in English translation, can be found
Based on flag descriptions by
Countryaah.com, the official national flag (country flag) of New Caledonia is that of
France. But on July 13, 2010 there was a wish to adopt the flag shown below - in
conjunction with the flag of France. So far the flag has not been officially
New Caledonia: Known People
- Paula Boi, contemporary painter
- Yvon Jauneau, contemporary painter
- Noram Song, contemporary sculptor
- Denise Taivouane, contemporary sculptor, outdoor
- Bob Upigit, contemporary painter
- Maryline Thydjepache, contemporary painter
- Yvette Bouquet, contemporary painter
- Fritz Sarasin, photographer in the 1920s
New Caledonia: animals
As is so often the case on the South Pacific islands, fruit bats such as the
long-tailed fruit bat and bats are the only native mammals. Others like wild
boars, dogs, cats and rats came to the islands through humans.
The national bird of New Caledonia is the kagu, which can only be found
here. At about 55 cm, it is the largest flightless bird in the Pacific Islands
and forms a family of its own, of which it is the only
representative. Characteristic are the long, orange-red legs as well as the red
beak and the hood on the head. The plumage is gray with a bluish tinge. The kagu
living in the forests is now threatened, not least because of the dogs and cats
that have been introduced to New Caledonia and the fact that the kagu only lays
one egg a year.
Other birds found in New Caledonia include flycatchers, spectacled birds,
pigeons, honey-eaters, and parrots. The blackish-green uvea-horned parakeet and
the endemic giant pigeon are on the verge of extinction. The split-winged
pigeon, the New Caledonia wood rail, the New Caledonia lori and the New
Caledonia cave swallow are also endemic. The last three have not been seen for a
long time and are probably already extinct.
The 30 to 35 cm large giant gecko is one of the endemic reptiles (only found
in New Caledonia). It lives on trees in the coastal forests, where it is
difficult to spot thanks to the camouflage of its body pattern. He has a flat
build and large eyes, which are the most important sense organs. Typical of
geckos are the sticky lamellae on the soles of their feet, which allow vertical
climbing even on absolutely smooth surfaces (such as glass). Another
characteristic is the shedding of the tail in danger. The fidgeting tail is
supposed to distract the attacker from the gecko so that he can get to
safety. The tail then grows back. In addition to frogs, mice and lizards, it
also eats flowers and fruits.
There are around 70 species of reptiles in total, 60 of which are
endemic. Most of them are geckos, but there is also an endemic family of skinks.
The non-venomous snakes include the Pacific boa and the genus of worm snakes
from the blind snake family.
There are numerous sea snakes around New Caledonia. Although many are not
dangerous to humans, some of the animals are very poisonous. This includes, for
example, the sea cobra.
Invertebrates, insects, spiders
New Caledonia is rich in snails, although only half of the 400 to 600 species
have been described to date. Most of these snails are endemic, while the largest
species reach a size of 15 cm. The insect world is also very diverse.
Grande Terre is surrounded by a 1,600 km long coral reef. This offers a home
for rays, manta rays, moray eels, sea turtles, reef sharks, seahorses and also
sea snakes. Carp, loaches, eels, pike and the endangered red mullet cavort in
the fish-rich waters.
New Caledonia: plants
The most common trees are the Araucarias, with the Araucaria columnaris, a
30-45 m large pine with up to 2 m long branches, being the most dominant
representative. These are the pine trees that gave the Isle de Pines its name.
Typical trees in the southern hemisphere are the false beeches, also known as
southern beeches. In the west of the main island of Grande Terre, rubber trees
and niaouli trees grow, the latter being typical for the north and west of the
There are extensive areas of mangrove swamps as well as sandalwood forests and
banyan trees. The latter are a botanical specialty and are among the largest
living organisms in the world.
The banyan tree is also known as the strangler fig or Bengal fig. He is a
hemiepiphyte, which means that the rhizome (root stock) of this plant rises up
on tree trunks, but roots in the ground. By being anchored in the ground, the
plant is supplied with nutrients and the aerial roots become thicker and
lignified. Over time they develop into strains with e.g. T. enormous
diameter. When the roots touch, they fuse, creating a dense network around the
host tree. In this way, its main vessels are pinched off and it dies. Banyan
trees are fast-growing and can reach a size of over 30 m. What is more
impressive, however, is its scope. The largest banyan tree is in Calcutta. The
tree is sacred to many peoples because it is regarded as the seat of spirits.
Other trees are pines in the south of Grande Terre and Kauri spruces. These
can live up to 60 m high and up to 2000 years old, with a circumference of up to
13 m. They are also widespread in New Zealand, but the population has shrunk
considerably and so these trees are now under nature protection. The west coast
of Grande Terre is bordered by grassland savannahs.
Avocados, oranges, pineapples and rice are grown for export.
Yams and taro are an integral part of the local diet. The latter is also known
under the name taro. This tuber plant belongs to the arum family and forms
perennial, up to 2 m high bushes with upright growth. Its heart-shaped leaves
are dark green with a fine, white coating and often have a diameter of 60
cm. The tuberous, thickened roots are mainly used, and are prepared like
potatoes. Young taro leaves are also used as vegetables.
Manioc is also known as cassava or bread root. The plant belongs to the milkweed
family. It grows up to 3 m high, has a bushy habit and greenish-yellow
flowers. The starchy, up to 8 cm thick and up to 90 cm long tubers are used. All
parts of the plant contain a toxin that is destroyed by washing out and exposure
to heat. This makes the cassava palatable.
The essential oil of the Niaouli tree is versatile. It has a stimulating
effect on the heart and circulatory system, and its expectorant properties make
it widely used in diseases of the respiratory tract and in flu-like
infections. It is still used for low back pain and is also said to have wound
healing effects. On rare occasions, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur,
and the essential oil should not be used on the face in children.
The breadfruit tree imported from India is widespread. This is bulky and has
large leaves up to half a meter long and fruit clusters weighing up to 5 kg. The
elongated, round breadfruit of the tree has a green, prickly skin and grows at a
height of 2 m. In Europe it is cooked and eaten as a vegetable.