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Chapter Introduction
Section 1: Australia and
New Zealand
Section 2: Oceania
Section 3: Antarctica
Summary
Bill Bachman/Wild Light
Human-Environment
Interaction The lands of
Australia, Oceania, and
Antarctica range from tiny
islands to massive
continents. Some places in
this region have
environments too harsh for
people to live there
permanently. Others have
attractive climates but few
resources. How might
people survive in a land
with limited resources?
Section 1:
Australia and New Zealand
People’s actions can
change the physical
environment. Extensive
farming and ranching, along
with other agricultural and
economic practices, have
affected Australia and New
Zealand.
Section 2:
Oceania
Patterns of economic
activities result in global
interdependence. Many of
Oceania’s islands have
limited resources and depend
on tourism or aid from other
countries to support their
economies.
Section 3:
Antarctica
All living things are
dependent upon one
another and their
surroundings for survival.
Scientists fear that human
activity may be harming plant
and animal life in Antarctica.
People’s actions can change the
physical environment.
Content Vocabulary
• lawsuit
• kiwifruit
• merino
Academic Vocabulary
• consist
• acknowledge
Do you think the Aborigines have a
right to claim land that “belongs to
their people”?
A. Yes
A
0%
0%
C
C. Maybe
A. A
B. B
C.0%C
B
B. No
To keep Australia’s people, environment, and livestock
free of disease and pests, the government has enacted
strict quarantine laws. Quarantine means holding
anyone or anything until health or cleanliness can be
proven. Australia inspects incoming people, baggage,
and cargo at its airports, seaports, international mail
centers, and shipping centers. More than 10,000 ships
are inspected every year, as are a million and a half
pieces of mail.
Australia
Australia has a strong
economy, but economic
growth has created serious
challenges for its
environment.
Australia (cont.)
• Australia has a huge land area but only
20.6 million people.
• Needing skilled workers to develop
resources and build its economy, the
government has encouraged immigration.
Australia (cont.)
• Most Australians are descended from the
first immigrants who were from the British
Isles and Europe.
• Today, immigrants come from Asia, South
Africa, Latin America, and Oceania.
Australia (cont.)
• The Aborigines were the first people to
settle Australia, but they have suffered
discrimination from white Australians for
years.
• Recently the government has worked
toward improvements in education, job
pay, poverty solutions, and health care, but
the problems still exist.
Australia (cont.)
• In the late 1980s, a group of Aborigines
filed a lawsuit to block mining on land they
said belonged to their people, and in 1992
a court agreed.
• Later court decisions gave Aborigines
control over land that was being used for
sheep ranches and other economic
activities.
Australia (cont.)
• Other Australians are now worried that
they might lose land to such Aborigine
claims, and the government is trying to find
a balance.
Australia (cont.)
• Australia’s prosperous economy is partly
based on the export of mineral and energy
resources such as iron ore, nickel, zinc,
bauxite, gold, diamonds, coal, oil, and
natural gas to China and Japan.
Australia and Oceania:
GDP per Person
for Selected Countries
Australia (cont.)
• Australia’s dry climate and poor soils limit
farming, but irrigation allows farmers to
grow grains, sugarcane, cotton, fruits, and
vegetables.
• Australia is a world leader in the export of
wool, lamb, beef, and cattle hides.
• Many of the sheep raised in the country
are merinos, a breed of sheep known for
its fine wool.
Australia (cont.)
• Australian factories produce processed
foods, transportation equipment, cloth, and
chemicals.
• High-technology industries, service
industries, and tourism are also important
to the economy.
Australia (cont.)
• Since the 1980s, Australians have been
working to preserve their land, but some
people fear these efforts are too extreme
and will hurt the economy.
The main agricultural activity in
Australia is
A. the raising of livestock
B. the growing of sugarcane
C. the growing of cotton
D. the mining of iron ore
A. A
B. B
0% C.0%C
D. D
A
B
0%
C
0%
D
New Zealand
New Zealand is a small
country with a growing
economy that is based on
trade.
New Zealand (cont.)
• The population of New Zealand consists
largely of the descendants of European,
especially British and Irish, immigrants.
• There are also people of German,
Scandinavian, Croatian, and Dutch
backgrounds.
New Zealand (cont.)
• The Maori, the first people to settle New
Zealand, are the largest non-European
group, forming about 15 percent of the
population.
• In 1840 Maori leaders signed the Treaty of
Waitangi with Great Britain, which
acknowledged British rule over the islands
and included the promise of the British to
protect Maori land rights.
New Zealand (cont.)
• Some Maori have charged that since
1840, Europeans unfairly took land from
them.
• They use the Treaty of Waitangi to win
lawsuits recognizing their right to land.
• Some people of European descent fear
these lawsuits will cause them to lose their
land and livelihood.
New Zealand (cont.)
• The population growth rate among Pacific
Islanders, East Asians, Southeast Asians,
and the Maori in New Zealand is high, but
the growth rate among whites is low,
indicating a future change in the ethnic
balance of the country.
New Zealand (cont.)
• New Zealand’s export of wool and meat
has long been a major factor in the
country’s economy.
• The country’s cattle industry produces
butter, cheese, and meat for export.
New Zealand (cont.)
• Expanding businesses in New Zealand
include the production of wood and paper
products, and farming and winemaking.
• Apples, grapes, kiwifruit, barley, wheat,
and corn are the major crops.
• Service industries and tourism also play
large roles in the economy.
New Zealand (cont.)
• New Zealand’s trade with other countries
is an important part of its economy.
• Australia is still an important trading
partner, but the United Kingdom has
become a lesser partner as trade with the
United States and countries in East Asia
has increased.
Why is trade with other countries such a
major part of New Zealand’s economy?
A. Because the rate of population
growth is increasing
0%
D
0%
C
B
A
B. Because it is a relatively small
A. A
country
B. B
C. Because the country’s
C.0% C0%
resources are dwindling
D. D
D. All of the above
Patterns of economic activities result
in global interdependence.
Content Vocabulary
• copra
• fa’a Samoa
• lingua franca
• habitat
Academic Vocabulary
• extract
• establish
Why do you think American influence
remains strong in Micronesia?
A. American tourists are
plentiful.
B. American music is
extremely popular.
0%
D
0%
C
B
A
A. A
B. B
C. U.S. military bases are
0%
0%
C. C
in the area.
D. D
D. Americans provide government aid.
In the island country of Palau there is a small lake that
is home to between 10 and 20 million jellyfish. They
range from marble-sized to larger than a softball. This
habitat has been invaded by the non-native sea
anemone. Scientists working to control the anemone
believe the first one was carried in by a tourist and that
if the anemone population grows, the jellyfish
population will be endangered.
Melanesia
Although small in population,
Melanesia includes diverse
groups of people.
Melanesia (cont.)
• Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern
half of the island of New Guinea and
several hundred smaller islands.
• Nearly all of its people belong to different
Papuan or Melanesian ethnic groups,
which are closely related, and they speak
more than 700 languages.
Melanesia (cont.)
• Many people in Papua New Guinea live by
subsistence farming.
• Others work on plantations that grow
coffee, oil palm trees, cacao trees, and
coconut palms.
• Coconut oil from copra, the meat from
dried coconuts, is used to make
margarine, soap, and other products.
Melanesia (cont.)
• Copra and other plantation products are
produced for export, so food must be
imported for city dwellers.
• Papua New Guinea also supports its
economy by extracting oil, gold, copper,
silver, iron, and zinc from deposits in the
land and ocean floors.
Melanesia (cont.)
• On the other islands of Melanesia, most of
the people belong to different Melanesian
ethnic groups.
• In the Fiji Islands, the population is about
evenly divided between Melanesians and
South Asians.
Melanesia (cont.)
• The struggle between Melanesians and
South Asians for control of Fiji’s
government has made foreign companies
afraid to invest there and has kept tourists
away. Both have hurt Fiji’s economy.
Melanesia (cont.)
• Most people in the Solomon Islands are
ethnic Melanesians who live by
subsistence farming and fishing. Most
follow traditional ways.
Melanesia (cont.)
• Most people in Vanuatu are farmers,
although tourism is increasing.
• More than 100 Melanesian languages are
spoken in Vanuatu, but many people use
Bislama as the lingua franca, or a
common language used for
communication and trade.
Melanesia (cont.)
• New Caledonia is a French-owned island
territory.
• Rich nickel deposits provide the country’s
chief export.
• About one-third of the people are of
French descent, and they control the
economy.
• Some of New Caledonia’s Melanesians
want independence from France.
Which island in the region is owned
by France?
A. Vanuatu
B. Papua New Guinea
C. Fiji
D. New Caledonia
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Micronesia and Polynesia
Many people in Micronesia
and Polynesia practice
subsistence farming.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• Micronesia and Polynesia are made up of
high volcanic islands and low, ring-shaped
atolls.
• Since the 1970s, the Federated States of
Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Palau,
Nauru, and Kiribati have become
independent.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• People on the volcanic and fertile high
islands practice subsistence farming,
growing yams, sweet potatoes, and
cassava.
• People on the low islands fish and grow
breadfruit, taro, and bananas.
• Poor soil limits farm production, so most
food is imported.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• The Federal States of Micronesia and the
Marshall Islands have phosphate, a
mineral salt used to make fertilizer, but
they lack the money to mine the resource.
• Kiribati’s phosphate deposits are gone,
and Nauru’s are almost gone.
• Kiribati is dependent on foreign aid, but
Nauru is investing abroad and trying to
develop service industries.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• Polynesia is a vast island area that lies
southeast of Micronesia.
• Today, after a period of European rule,
some Polynesian islands, such as Samoa
and Tonga, are independent.
• Others, such as French Polynesia, are still
controlled by European countries.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• Many people in Polynesia practice
subsistence farming.
• Several island economies depend on
foreign aid.
• Samoa and Tonga have built strong tourist
industries, and both also earn money by
exporting timber.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• Samoa has tried to prevent deforestation
by establishing a program to replant trees
as they are cut down.
• Tonga grows vanilla beans and coconuts
as cash crops.
• Other import industries in Polynesia
include canning tuna and issuing colorful
postage stamps for collectors.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• Samoans call their way of life the fa’a
Samoa, which emphasizes living in
harmony with the community and the land.
• The people of Samoa are known for their
music, dance, handicrafts, and tattoos.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• In the late 1940s, the United States and
other countries tested nuclear weapons in
the Pacific area, exposing residents of
nearby islands to radiation that caused
deaths and illnesses and poisoned the
land, water, and vegetation.
• The United States has provided millions of
dollars to help Marshall Islanders affected
by the atomic tests.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• United States aid has been used to clean
up the environment in testing areas.
• Still, by the late 1900s, islanders could not
return to Bikini Atoll, where the United
States began nuclear testing in 1946.
• France planned nuclear tests on an atoll in
French Polynesia but cancelled those tests
as a result of international protests.
Micronesia and Polynesia (cont.)
• Phosphate mining also has caused
environmental damage.
• About 80 percent of Nauru cannot support
human life, and native birds are threatened
by the loss of their habitats.
• Nauru is now seeking international aid to
restore its land.
What is the largest cause of
environmental damage in this region?
A. Deforestation
B. Nuclear testing
C. Phosphate mining
D. Volcanic activity
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
All living things are dependent upon
one another and their surroundings
for survival.
Content Vocabulary
• extinction
• krill
• ozone
Academic Vocabulary
• research
• specify
Do you think Antarctica should be
preserved for scientific research as
stated in the Antarctic Treaty of 1959?
A. Strongly agree
A
0%
0%
C
C. Disagree
A. A
B. B
C.0%C
B
B. Somewhat agree
Each year in December, runners from around the world
meet for the 26.2 mile (42.2 km) Antarctic Ice Marathon.
Temperatures vary, but the average is from 14°F to –
4°F (–10° to –20°C), and officials caution that the
distance plus the cold equal a difficult run—but people
keep coming. They love the challenge and the beauty
of Antarctica!
International Cooperation
Antarctica is a center of
scientific research.
International Cooperation (cont.)
• After Antarctica was first sighted in the
1820s, scientists and seal hunters visited
parts of the coasts, but the interior
remained unexplored until the early 1900s.
• Explorers reached the South Pole in 1911.
International Cooperation (cont.)
• Hoping to find mineral resources, several
countries claimed territory in Antarctica,
but many other countries, including the
United States, opposed the claims.
• During the 1950s, several countries began
to cooperate on scientific research in
Antarctica.
International Cooperation (cont.)
• Twelve countries signed the Antarctic
Treaty in 1959.
• This agreement stated that Antarctica
should be used only for peaceful, scientific
purposes.
• It specified that Antarctica could not be
used for weapons testing or any other
military use.
International Cooperation (cont.)
• Since 1959, forty-five countries have
signed the Antarctic Treaty.
• These countries have agreed to forbid
mining in Antarctica and to protect its
environment.
International Cooperation (cont.)
• Geologists have found the remains of
trees from millions of years ago.
• They believe these findings show that
Antarctica was once joined to Africa and
South America.
• Climatologists study samples of ice from
deep beneath the surface of the ice layer,
hoping to learn about the climate from
thousands of years ago.
What proof have scientists found that
Antarctica might have been joined to
Africa and South America?
A. Ice samples that reveal
climate changes in the region
0%
D
0%
C
D. None of the above
A
B
C0%
D
B
C. Both A and B
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
A
B. The remains of trees
Antarctica’s Environment
Climate changes are affecting
Antarctica’s environment.
Antarctica’s Environment (cont.)
• Penguins, seals, fish, whales, and many
kinds of flying birds live in or near the seas
surrounding Antarctica.
• Larger animals, such as whales and seals,
were once hunted nearly to extinction, or
disappearance from the Earth.
Antarctica’s Environment (cont.)
• Higher temperatures from global warming
could lead to the loss of ice in and near
Antarctica, resulting in the loss of plants
that live on that ice.
• These plants form the diet of krill, which is
the main food source for many larger
species of animals.
• Less plant life means less krill, and less
krill threatens the survival of other animals.
Antarctica’s Environment (cont.)
• Scientists warn that an Antarctic ice melt
could raise sea levels around the world,
probably flooding low islands in Oceania
and highly populated coastal cities.
Antarctica’s Environment (cont.)
• A gas called ozone forms a layer around
the Earth in the atmosphere and protects
the Earth from certain harmful rays of the
sun.
• In the 1980s, scientists noticed a “hole” in
the ozone layer above Antarctica, caused,
they believe, by human-made chemicals
reacting with the sun’s rays.
The Ozone Hole
What do scientists believe caused the
“hole” in the ozone layer?
A. Global warming
B. Off-shore drilling
C. The extinction of species
D. Human-made chemicals
reacting with the sun’s rays
A. A
B. B
C
0%C. 0%
D. D
A
B
0%
C
0%
D
Australia
• Australia’s largely European population is
becoming more diverse.
• The Aborigines still face problems in
Australian society.
• Australia has rich minerals and productive
farms and ranches.
New Zealand
• New Zealand’s population is mostly of
European background.
• The Maori have laid claims to lands in New
Zealand.
• New Zealand’s agricultural economy
depends on trade.
Melanesia
• Papua New Guinea is Oceania’s largest
and most populous country.
• Most people in Melanesia practice
subsistence farming.
• People in many areas of Melanesia follow
traditional lifestyles.
Micronesia and Polynesia
• Many islands in Micronesia have close ties
to the United States.
• Low-lying islands in Micronesia have to
import food.
• Polynesian countries have built strong
tourist industries.
Antarctica
• Many nations have agreed to set aside
Antarctica for peaceful purposes.
• Antarctica is a major center of scientific
research.
• Small animals and plants live in Antarctica.
Larger animals thrive in nearby coastal
waters.
• A number of problems threaten
Antarctica’s fragile environment.
lawsuit
legal action in which people ask for
relief from some damage done to
them by someone else
merino
breed of sheep known for especially
fine wool
kiwifruit
small, fuzzy, brownish-colored fruit
with bright green flesh
consist
made up of
acknowledge
recognize
copra
dried coconut meat
lingua franca
common language used for
communication and trade
fa’a Samoa
Samoan way of life, which puts a
heavy emphasis on living in harmony
with the community and the land
habitat
type of environment in which a
particular animal species lives
extract
remove
establish
set up
extinction
complete disappearance from the
Earth of a particular kind of plant or
animal
krill
tiny shrimplike sea creatures that
provide food to whales and many
other sea animals
ozone
gas that forms a layer around the
Earth in the atmosphere; it blocks out
many of the most harmful rays from
the sun
research
work done by scientists or scholars
specify
make clear
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