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Explain how the following five factors have influenced settlement and the economies of major countries of Southeast Asia and Oceania.

  • A. absolute and relative locations
  • B. climate
    Oceania
    Oceania
  • C. major physical characteristics
  • D. major natural resources
  • E. population size

Oceania:
Australia
New Zealand
Micronesia
Fiji
Nauru
Kiribati
Marshall Islands
Palau
Papua New Guinea
Samoa
Solomon Islands
Tonga
Tuvalu
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia

Vanuatu

See Special Topic Page on Small Island Nations and Rising Sea Levels


Southeast Asia:
Philippines
Brunei
Cambodia
East Timor
Indonesia
Laos
Malaysia
Burma
Singapore
Thailand
Vietnam

Definitions

  • absolute and relative locations: absolute location is the coordinates of a place on longitude and latitude; relative location is where a place is in comparison with landmarks, or other places.
  • climate: repeated weather patterns in a certain location
  • major physical characteristics: features of the terrain, like mountains, lakes, rivers, deserts…etc.
  • major natural resources: parts of nature used by people, such as water, oil, trees, minerals, etc.
  • population size: how many people live in a place. 5 most populated nations are 1. China, 2. India, 3. United States, 4. Indonesia, 5. Brazil

Geographic factors, and the economies and settlement of Southeast Asia and Oceania

1880s map of Oceania
1880s map of Oceania

Absolute and relative locations


Oceania:
  • These islands in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean are both extremely remote and also sometimes geo-politically important.
  • The US military, especially since World War II and the war in the Pacific against Japan, has done weapons testing in this region (sometimes nuclear weapons)
    • the US government has fought for control of some of these islands to use as bases for Pacific operations.


Southeast Asia:
  • the nations on the mainland continent of Asia have had to struggle for sovereignty with their proximity to China and India.
  • Only Thailand has remained completely independent, with Western nations, as well as other Asian ones, vying for power throughout the region.
  • The Philippines is strategically near to Japan, and has been occupied by Spain and then the United States, both for its resources and for its location.


Climate


Oceania: One important factor to note here is that, as the Earth and its oceans warm with the climate change of global warming, ocean waters rise worldwide as glaciers melt.Generally, low-lying islands are already feeling the effects of global warming; with sea levels rising, some islands are literally going under water. Mountainous islands formed from volcanoes are less at risk; but, in general, sea islands around the world are in the most immediate danger of a major change in their physical makeup, and also a lifestyle change for their inhabitants.


Gif of the earthquake that started the 2004 tsunami
Gif of the earthquake that started the 2004 tsunami


Oceania is a physically diverse region, with climates ranging from desert to tropical rainforest and landforms from high mountain to inland swamp and coral reef. Some islands a thousand miles apart may have similar climates and features, yet large islands may have a variety of landscapes and climatic features within just a few miles.

Monsoon
Monsoon


Southeast Asia is uniformly tropical and hot, with a cooling monsoon/rainy season instead of winter.

Click here to read about climate change and South Asia

lessonplan.jpgClick here and here for lesson plans on monsoons and their importance




Major physical characteristics


Oceania: Most of the islands of Oceania are near the edge of the Pacific tectonic plate. As the plate moves northwest, it causes a great deal of geologic activity, including volcanic eruptions. Because of the many active volcanoes along the Pacific Plate's boundaries, the surrounding shorelines are often called the Ring of Fire.Some parts of Oceania experience frequent earthquakes because of the movement of continental plates. Quakes that occur underwater sometimes produce tsunamis, or giant sea waves, which can cause terrible destruction when they reach shorelines.

Great Barrier Reef:
  • Over 1,800 miles long
  • Only living thing visible from space
  • Home to over:
    • 400 types of coral
    • 1,500 types of fish
    • 200 type of birds
    • 20 types of reptiles
    • turtles over 120 years old
  • Click here for more information

external image Pacific_Ring_of_Fire.png

Southeast Asia is mountains and rivers, with the long Vietnam coastline at its edge. The Philippines and Indonesia are both archipelago nations, with islands formed from undersea volcanoes.

Mekong River:
  • Longest river in Southeast Asia
  • 12th longest in the world
  • About 2,700 miles long
  • Forms the border between Burma and Laos
  • Forms border between Laos and Thailand
  • Flows through Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia
  • Many of the people who live in the basin grow rice
  • Water from the basin is stored and used during the dry season
  • Click here for more information

Major natural resources


Oceania: Traditional households support themselves mainly by agriculture and fishing. Many households maintain gardens where crops are grown in shifting cultivation, also called slash-and-burn agriculture. Mining is important, though Oceania's mineral reserves are small by world standards. In the 19th century guano, a natural fertilizer consisting of the manure of seabirds, was mined on many low islands. Today phosphate rock is taken from raised limestone islands.

Agricultural exports are common in Oceania, largely due to European influence. For example, the Dutch East India Company introduced tea, sugarcane, rubber, and coffee cultivation in Java in the 17th century. To see the process of tea cultivation in Java in the early 1900s, see this video.

Southeast Asia: water--rivers and the South China Sea--figure prominently into Vietnam's natural resources. Some of its main exports are fish, rice, and coffee, all of which need a lot of water for cultivation. Also, a major natural resource of this region is its people. Manufacturing is big business here, with a large number of multinational corporations opening factories here and employing workers at lower wages (and sometimes in less safe conditions) than those paid in the West. Even with its Communist government, Vietnam's economy is thriving, as is Thailand's, even with recent; political unrest. Laos and Cambodia are not as fortunate, with unstable governments largely to blame. A main natural resource in Laos is coffee, wood, and forests. The country is mountainous and landlocked, with only 5% of the land suitable for agriculture.



Population size


Oceania:
  • Some of the smallest and lowest-populated countries in the world are in this region.
  • Even Australia, the best-known part of this enclave (and the only continent that is one nation) has very low population density, with the vast majority of its 21,007,310 inhabitants living in the cities of Sydney, Canberra (the capital), Adelaide, Melbourne, and Perth.
    • It is the sixth largest nation in the world; its land mass is just slightly smaller than the US 48 states, but its population is less than one-tenth of the US.
  • New Zealand's population is only 4,173,460 people (as a comparison, the city of Philadelphia has about the same number of people).
    • Compared to some of the Pacific islands to New Zealand's north, though, that is huge.
    • All of the people on the four island groups that make up in Micronesia total 107,665.

Country
Population
Capital City
Australia
22.68 mil
Canberra
Papua New Guinea
7.167 mil
Port Moresby
New Zealand
4.433 mil
Wellington
Fiji
874,742
Suva
Solomon Islands
549,598
Honiara
Vanuatu
247,262
Port Vila
Samoa
188,889
Apia
Tonga
104,941
Nuku'alofa
Micronesia
103,395
Palikir
Kiribati
100,786
South Tarawa
Marshall Islands
52,555
Majuro
Palau
20,754
Melekeok
Tuvalu
9,890
Funafuti
Nauru
9,322
Yaren District
Population estimates are from 2012


Southeast Asia:
  • this area, too, has low population density, with one notable exception: the island of Jakarta, part of the archipelago nation of Indonesia
    • has a population density of over 500 people per square mile.
  • Indonesia as a whole has the fourth largest population of any country in the world.
  • It is also the largest Muslim nation in the world.
external image Southeast_Asia.JPG
Country
Population
Capital
Indonesia
246.9 mil
Jakarta
Philippines
96.71 mil
Manila
Vietnam
88.78 mil
Hanoi
Thailand
66.79 mil
Bangkok
Burma
52.8 mil
Naypyidaw
Malaysia
29.24 mil
Kuala Lumpur
Cambodia
14.86 mil
Phnom Penh
Laos
6.646 mil
Vientiane
Singapore
5.312 mil
Singapore
East Tmor
1.21 mil
Dili
Brunei
412,238
Bandar Seri Begawan
Population estimates are from 2012















Sources:
The Oxford Atlas of the World, 2005, Oxford University Press

The Oxford A-Z Countries of the World, 2004, Oxford University Press

CIA factbook
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fm.html

Britannic Enclyclopedia
http://student.britannica.com/comptons/article-258729/Oceania//