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Noumea New Caledonia
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Noumea, New Caledonia

January 10, 2004
New Caledonia represents a nexus of cultures and resources. At its center is Grande Terre, the third largest island in the Pacific. The indigenous population is Melanesian, with a Polynesian minority, but New Caledonia remains a French territory. A prime tourist destination, the island supports the second largest barrier reef in the world (over 1300 km long) with one of the highest levels of biodiversity. This image shows details of New Caledonia’s main city, Noumea, which is built on a peninsula that juts into the lagoon on the southwest side of the island. The reefs here face localized problems from pollution and overfishing. The tourism industry is very important to the economy of Noumea, with extensive hotel development in the city and along the southeast coast of Grand Terre. The picture was taken by the astronauts onboard the ISS.


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