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Still, the country, a member of the Commonwealth, is independent, and the governor-general is appointed on the advice of the unicameral National Parliament.The governor-general, who serves a term of up to five years, must be a citizen of Solomon Islands.The country comprises most of the Solomons chain, with the exception of Buka and Bougainville, two islands at the northwestern end that form an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea. They lie in two parallel chains running northwest-southeast: the southern chain includes Vella Lavella, the New Georgia Islands, Savo, and Guadalcanal; the northern, Choiseul, Santa Isabel, and Malaita.The chains converge on San Cristobal (Makira Island).Manufacturing primarily involves the processing of coconut and other vegetable oils and of cocoa.Traditional handicrafts, including woodwork, shell inlay, mats, baskets, and shell jewelry, are made both for the tourist market and for export.Tourism has been developed but is not a major source of income.Solomon Islands’ main resources, fish and timber, have been exploited excessively, which has resulted in their depletion.
It consists of a double chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls in Melanesia.
Heavily wooded, mountainous terrain is characteristic, and, although there are extensive plains, only those on the northern side of Guadalcanal have been developed for large-scale agriculture. There are hot springs on Savo, where a volcano last erupted in the 1840s. For example, Tinakula in the Santa Cruz group and Kavachi, a submarine volcano near New Georgia, have erupted regularly every few years, and Simbo Island has a solfatara (a volcanic area or vent that yields only hot vapours and sulfurous gases).
Earthquakes and destructive cyclones also occur regularly.
Interisland shipping is operated both privately and by the government.
Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy, with the British monarch, represented by a governor-general, serving as the formal head of state.
Polynesians, who form a small minority, live mainly on outlying atolls, principally Ontong Java Atoll, Bellona, Rennell Island, the Reef Islands, the Stewart Islands (Sikaiana), Tikopia, and Anuta.