Destination of Endless Diversity
The Republic of Indonesia comprises the vast group of island and islets strung out along the equator, spanning the Asian and Australian continents. Extending between latitudes 6 degrees north and 11 degrees south, and longitudes 95 degrees west and 141 degrees east, it stands like a sentry guarding the sea avenues that link the Pacific with the Indian Ocean. Due to its location on top of a zone on the earth’s crust where two of the world’s great mountain belts – the Circum – Pacific and the Tethyan or Mediterranean-Himalayan Mountain System -meet, the Indonesian Archipelago belongs to the most highly volcanic regions in the world and even today, active mountain-building still takes place.
The country has more than 400 volcanoes, many of which are active
The country has more than 400 volcanoes, many of which are active. Among the highest are Kerinci (3.800 m) on the island of Sumatra, Semeru (3.667 m) on Java, and Sangir Island’s 3.000-meter tall volcano. The highest summit in Indonesia is the (non-volcanic) 5.000 m tall Jayawijaya Peak in the province of Papua ( formerly named Irian Jaya province, then because of the division of the province is divided into two provinces namely Papua province and West Papua province). Notorious because of its cataclysmic eruption of 1883 is the island volcano Krakatau, in the Sunda Strait which separates Java from Sumatra.
The largest in the world
The Indonesian archipelago is the largest in the world to form a single state. It consists according to the current official count of 13.667 islands and islets and has a total land surface of 5.193.166 square kilometers. The third largest country in Asia in terms of both population and area after China and India, Indonesia’s national territory consists of 84 percent of the sea and only for 16 percent of the land. The five biggest islands are Kalimantan (539.460 square km), Sumatra (473.606 square km), Papua (421.952 square km), Sulawesi (189.035 square km) and Java (including Madura, 132.035 square km).
The country is divided into 34 provinces, which together hold a total of 416 regencies. Each province, regency, and district is administered respectively by a governor, a resident and district head. Jakarta is the Capital city of Indonesia. It is a Special District and is administered by a governor. The city has at present a population of about 9,6 million (2010).
Because the greater part of the country falls within the boundaries of the equatorial tropical rain belt. Indonesia has a characteristically tropical climate. Its geographical make-up as an archipelago of mostly small islands surrounded by sea, however, allows an active air circulation, as a result of which the climate is more closely similar to that prevailing in the equatorial zones above the world’s oceans. Abundant rainfall, high temperatures and a high degree of humidity are characteristic of the average Indonesian lowland climate. The lowest average temperature is 18 degrees Celcius and winds are usually gentle. The kind of climate generally benefits people, as it makes year-round agriculture, cattle breeding and fishery possible.