The Republic of Vanuatu is located in the south western Pacific Ocean about 5 600 km south west of Hawaii and about 2 400 km north east of Australia. The country consists of 83 islands and islets with a total land area of about 12,190 km2, extending about 800 km from north to south and about 200 km from east to west. The country's largest islands are, in order of size, Espiritu Santo, Malakula, Efate, Erromango, and Tanna.
Most of Vanuatu's islands are of volcanic origin and several are still active, including Mount Yasur on the island of Tanna. The highest peak, Mount Tabwemasana on Espiritu Santo, rises to an elevation of 1 879 m. Most of the islands have narrow coastal plains fringed by coral reefs.
Vanuatu has a tropical, humid oceanic climate, somewhat moderated by trade winds between May and October. Temperatures in the northern islands average about 27° C year around with an annual rainfall of about 3 000 mm. Temperatures in the southern islands range from about 19 to 31° C with a yearly rainfall of about 2 300 mm. There are occasional cyclones.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.