Vanuatu: Political System
Vanuatu is a parliamentary republic. The Prime Minister, representing the
majority party, rules the country. His cabinet is made up of members of
parliament, which consists of 52 members.
Parliament is elected every four years and the Prime Minister for five
years. There are six parties that are represented in parliament. The political
landscape is very changeable. Political alliances of today can turn into enmity
tomorrow because, as almost everywhere in the Pacific, the personal advantage or
the advantage of the tribes is sought on the political stage. In addition to the
parliamentary institutions, there is an influential chief council, which
consists of the individual tribal leaders and pays attention to the preservation
of traditional customs.
According to Digopaul.com,
the official name of the country is:
The state is made up of the following six provinces:
Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea and Torba
Based on flag descriptions by
Countryaah.com, the music and the lyrics of the national anthem of Vanuatu are by François
Vincent Ayssav (born 1955). The anthem became the country's official anthem in
1980 due to a competition.
In the original text (Bislama) it reads:
Yumi, Yumi, yumi I glad long talem se
Yumi, yumi, yumi ol man blong VanuatuGod i givim ples ya long yumi,
Yumi glat tumas long hem,
Yumi strong mo yumi fri long hem,
Yumi brata evriwan!refrain
Plante fasin blong bifo i stap,
Plante fasin blong tedei,
Be yumi i olsem wan nomo,
Hemia fasin blong yumi!
Yumi save plante wok i stap,
Long ol aelan blong yumi,
God i helpem yumi evriwan,
Hem i papa blong yumi,
As well as in English translation
We (, We, We) are happy to proclaim
We (, We, We) are the People of Vanuatu!
God has given us this land;
This gives us great cause for rejoicing.
We are strong, we are free in this land;
We are all brothers.
We have many traditions
And we are finding new ways.
Now we shall be one person,
We shall be united for ever.
We know there is much work to be done
On all our islands.
May God, our Father, help us!
And in the English translation
We, We, We are happy to announce
We, We, We are the people of Vanuatu!
God has given us this land;
That gives us every reason to cheer;
We are strong, we are free in this land;
We are all brothers.
We have many traditions
and we find new ways.
Now we are one people,
we should stay united forever.
We know there is still a lot of work to be done
on all of our islands.
May God our Father help us!
Vanuatu: People you know
The American lieutenant Michener, who was stationed on the
island of Ambrym during World War II, wrote the book "Tales of the South
Flying foxes, also known as flying foxes, are very common on Vanuatu. These
are 6 to 40 cm tall, crepuscular mammals with a dog-like head and large
eyes. They have a short tail, which is often completely absent. The fruit bats
feed mainly on fruits, although some species are nectar suckers.
The dugongs (manatees) are Vanuatu's largest mammals and the only marine
herbivorous mammals in the world. They are also the only representatives of the
fork-tailed manatee family. The animals, which can grow up to 4 m tall and weigh
900 kg, feed exclusively on the seaweed that they chop up with the two horny
chewing plates. They have poor eyesight and outwardly unrecognizable
ears. Nevertheless, they can hear very well underwater. The males can be
recognized by the two "tusks" protruding from under the upper lip. These shy
animals can live up to 50 years old and older. They are hunted for their tough
skin and the layer of fat that is processed into oil. On Vanuatu, however, the
animals are only allowed to be hunted for certain ceremonies and sometimes not
at all. Therefore, although they are not very common here, but widespread. You
can watch them well on the island of Tanna at Port Resolution.
Herds of wild horses can be seen on the island of Erromango. These live on the
White Grass Plaints, a savanna-like plain.
The pigs originally brought in by humans, which are now indigenous animal
species, were of particular importance. They were the islanders' most valuable
possession and a valid currency almost everywhere on Vanuatu.
Basically all reptiles living on Vanuatu are harmless. The most common of
them are geckos.
Crocodiles live on some of the northern islands such as Espiritu Santo and Vanua
Lava as well as on the Banks Islands, but they are rarely seen. The non-toxic
Pacific Boa is found on Vanua Lava .
One of the most dangerous fish is the stonefish belonging to the scorpion
fish, which is easy to miss because it is overgrown with algae and buried in the
sand. It is littered with spines, with the back spines containing a neurotoxin,
which is very poisonous. If you step on the fish, the poison is injected into
the body. This leads to nerve paralysis with water formation under the skin,
cardiac arrhythmias up to cardiac arrest, peripheral vasodilatation and often to
There are several cases where encountering a stonefish has resulted in a
fatal outcome. As a first aid measure you should remove the sting, clean the
wound and then immerse the injured area in hot water. This method has proven
itself as it has a pain-relieving effect and prevents or inhibits the spread of
the poison. In any case, additional medical help must be sought.
You also have to be careful with the lionfish, which is also very poisonous.
Cone snails are animals whose dangerousness should not be
underestimated. They have barbed poison arrows that can also pierce
clothing. The neurotoxin contained in the arrows of some species can lead to
death, similar to the stonefish. The cone snails live mainly in the mud and on
sandbanks and feed on worms, mollusks and other marine organisms. Only
fish-hunting species and some of the species that hunt invertebrates can be
dangerous to humans. Nevertheless, it is not advisable to pick up the
beautifully drawn snail shells, as the residents quickly defend themselves with
arrow shots. The cone snails are found all over the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
There are three types of poisonous sea snakes in the ocean. They often crawl
ashore at night and hide under rocks. In general, however, the snakes are rather
shy and attacks on people are therefore rare.
So far over 120 species have been counted, of which around 12 are endemic
(only occurring on Vanuatu). On the Banks Islands you can see nesting big foot
fowl, which the Polynesians call Malau. These inconspicuous birds are about 30
cm long and have a simple, gray-colored plumage. They can usually only be
recognized by the prints on the large feet and the melodious duet singing of the
couples. The special thing about Malau is that it doesn't hatch its eggs itself,
but uses various external heat sources. He places them near hot springs or in
places that have a higher temperature due to geothermal energy. Its diet
consists mainly of insects, but snails, seeds and fallen fruits are also on the
menu. Since the Malau is not very adaptable,
Invertebrates and insects
Butterflies are very numerous on Vanuatu. Numerous mosquitoes, flies, ants,
bees and wasps can also be found here.
The coconut crabs, which are widespread on the Torres Islands and are now almost
extinct, are the largest living land crabs in the world. They are closely
related to the hermit crabs. However, the coconut crab only has the protective
snail shell on its abdomen when it is young and instead forms a chitin blanket
with age. In this way she can reach the amazing height of 40 cm, with a wingspan
of 1 m.
Another name of the remarkable crab is palm thief, which stems from the fact
that for a long time it was believed that the crabs climb on palm trees in order
to snip the coconuts from them and then eat them on the ground. While it is true
that they can actually climb the palm trees to eat the coconuts on top, it also
happens that the fruit will fall off in the process. However, it is wrong to
assume that the coconut crab climbed up with the intention of doing just
that. Rather, it is chance in the sequence of events that has led to the
widespread idea of a palm thief. In addition to coconuts, the menu of the
mostly nocturnal coconut crab also includes fruits from other trees such as the
In addition to dolphins, whales and dugongs, yellowfin tuna, barracudas,
swordfish, marlins and numerous sharks enrich the underwater world. In addition,
triggerfish or parrot fish live here, to name just these of the other, often
very colorful fish,
caution is advised between Ambryn and Malakula, as the large tiger shark is
common here. The great white shark can also be expected here and there.
The most common tree on Vanuatu is the banyan tree, called nabanga in the
local language. It is a botanical specialty and is one of the largest living
organisms in the world. It 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 has a circumference
of 300 m and is in Calcutta.
The tree is sacred to many peoples because it is regarded as the seat of
Numerous mangroves, coconut trees, casuerines and panda nut trees grow near
the sea. The latter is known in German as "screw palm", which describes the
arrangement of its leaves. On the lower part of the trunk, the trees develop
strong aerial roots.
Kauri and fern trees can be found inland. Entire kauri forests grow on the
island of Erromango. Kauri trees can live up to 60 m high, up to 2,000 years old
and reach a circumference of up to 13 m. The tree has gray bark and is also
found in New Zealand. However, its population has shrunk considerably, and so
it is now a nature reserve.
Fruits found on Vanuatu include mangoes, oranges, limes, lemons, raspberries,
pineapples, as well as watermelons, bananas and prickly peas (also known as sour
Papaya, sweet potato and taro are also widespread. The latter is also known
under the name taro. It is an integral part of the local diet. This bulbous
plant belongs to the arum family and forms perennial, up to 2 m high bushes with
upright growth. Their heart-shaped leaves are dark green with a fine white
coating and often have a diameter of up to 60 cm. The tuberous, thickened roots
are mainly used, and are prepared like potatoes. Young taro leaves are also used
as vegetables. The fruit of the pawpaw (German: three-lobed paupau) is also
The frangipani is also one of the useful plants, as its strongly fragrant
flowers are used to make perfumes. Rare flower oil is also extracted from them.
The kava plant is a robust, slightly succulent (water-storing) perennial shrub
that is related to the spice pepper and can reach a height of over 2 m. The
trunk is branched and has up to 16 heart-shaped leaves. Kawa has a strongly
developed rootstock from which the ceremonial drink kava is prepared. The roots
are used fresh or dried and finely ground beforehand.
The large slotted drums by Ambrym are often carved out of the blackish trunk of
the breadfruit tree, which symbolize the rank of their owner and at the same
time also function as signaling instruments.
The roots and shoots of the kawa plant contain kawa-lactones, which have a
relaxing, antispasmodic and pain-relieving effect. Therefore, the plant is also
used as a remedy.
More plants, poisonous plants
There are numerous ferns on Vanuatu such as the nest fern. The hibiscus,
bougainvillae and frangipanis, called wax flower in German, ensure
blooming. This plant, which is also widespread in Central America, is available
in the form of large shrubs or small trees. It belongs to the dog poison family
and stands out for its pink-white and intensely fragrant flowers. Their very
long (up to 30 cm), tapering and dark green leaves are also striking. In Asia,
the frangipani is considered a temple or sacrificial plant and is a symbol of
The breadfruit tree imported from India is widespread. This has a bulky habit
and large leaves up to half a meter long, as well as fruit clusters weighing up
to 5 kg. The elongated, round breadfruit of the tree has a green, prickly skin
and grows 2 m high. In Europe it is cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The banyan
tree is also not native, but originally comes from India. Caution is advised
with the frangipani, as it contains a toxic milky juice.