|Area||444 km2 (171 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||833 m (2733 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Pomare|
|Pop. density||6.84/km2 (17.72/sq mi)|
Epi (or Épi, Api; formerly known as Tasiko or Volcano Island) is an island in Shefa Province, Vanuatu, at the north end of the Shepherd Islands.
The island is 43 kilometres (27 mi) long northwest-southeast, and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide, with an area of 444 square kilometres (171 sq mi). Its shoreline measures 130 km. In 1986 it had a population of 3,035 but in 2009 it had increased to 5,200.
The island is of volcanic origin, and its highest point, Mount Pomare, which reaches a height of 833 m above sea level, is a quaternary volcano. It lies 13 km from the more prominent Lopévi volcano. To the east is the largely underwater East Epi volcano. The neighboring islets are Tefala, Namuka, and Lamen.
On the northwest edge of the island is the sandy beach Lamen Bay, and the nearby small island of Lamen (pop. 500). The bay has some coral reefs which are the habitat of the dugong. On the west coast is Cape Forland. In the southeast is Valesdir. In the northeast is Drummond Bay, with the Nikaura Marine Protected Area, established in 2000 by the community of Nikaura. There are also black (volcanic) sand beaches, and three small freshwater lakes.
Epi suffered depopulation during the nineteenth century on a scale that was more massive than in many other parts of Vanuatu. There is evidence that the island was considerably more diverse linguistically than it is today. The population of the interior was relocated to coastal villages after mission contact.
Epi has a wide variety of languages for its size, including: Bieria in the south, Maii in the southwest, Baki in the west, Bierebo in the northwest, Lamenu at the northwest tip (and also the island of Lamen), and Lewo in the east. These languages are all spoken by a few to several hundred speakers each, and form a branch of the Austronesian languages of Vanuatu.
Epi High School, at Lamen Bay, is being renovated by a joint effort from Kiwanis, Air Vanuatu, and AusAID.
There is a Presbyterian hospital at Vaémali (Falmali), on the north end of the island.
The principal economic activity is subsistence agriculture. The island's GDP is $457 per capita.
Formerly there were a number of large plantations for coconuts and copra, principally along the fertile coasts. Today most of these have been broken into small holdings, except for the large plantation at Valesdir, which continues to produce copra, beef, and kava. Other crops include peanuts (grown in the interior hills) and kava.
Fishing is important as well. The government has recently been promoting training in fishing to improve its efficiency and safety.
Tourism has become more important, especially in the Lamen Bay area and Valesdir. There is accommodation available in a few other places including Sara and Nikaura.
Since 2007 with the introduction of the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme in New Zealand, in which New Zealand horticultural businesses can source seasonal labour from several Pacific Islands including Vanuatu, a small number of New Zealand businesses have sourced their RSE labour from Epi, primarily from the Lamen Bay area. Each year between 50 and 80 workers are recruited. These workers spend up to seven months of the year in New Zealand working as seasonal labourers in the horticultural industry; returning at the end of the period with their savings. A worker on the scheme could be anticipated to save approximately 450 000 Vatu over the seven-month work period.This has provided a substantial cash injection to the local economy and improved the living conditions of many of the residents and their families.
There are two airports on the island, one in the northwest, Lamen Bay Airport, and one in the southwest at Valesdir. Both are serviced a five times a week by Belair and Air Vanuatu. The island can also be reached by ship.
The island has basic unsealed roads but few vehicles.
Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.
Efate is an island in the Pacific Ocean which is part of the Shefa Province in Vanuatu. It is also known as Île Vate.
Ambrym is a volcanic island in Malampa Province in the archipelago of Vanuatu. Volcanic activity on the island includes lava lakes in two craters near the summit.
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Hunter Island and Matthew Island are two small and uninhabited high islands in the South Pacific, located 300 kilometres (190 mi) east of New Caledonia and south-east of Vanuatu archipelago. Hunter Island and Matthew Island, 70 km (43 mi) apart, are claimed by Vanuatu as part of Tafea Province, and considered by the people of Aneityum part of their custom ownership, and as of 2007 were claimed by France as part of New Caledonia.
Pentecost Island is one of the 83 islands that make up the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.
The Banks Islands are a group of islands in northern Vanuatu. Together with the Torres Islands to their northwest, they make up the northernmost province of Torba. The island group lies about 40 km (25 mi) north of Maewo, and includes Gaua and Vanua Lava, two of the 13 largest islands in Vanuatu. In 2009, the islands had a population of 8,533. The island group’s combined land area is 780 km².
Shefa is one of the six provinces of Vanuatu, located in the center of the country and including the islands of Epi and Efate and the Shepherd Islands.
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Vanuatu, officially known as the Republic of Vanuatu, is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres (310 mi) north-east of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea. The nation's largest town and the capital Port Vila is situated on Efate Island.
Pélé Island, sometimes spelled Pele in English, is a volcanic island located 11,2 miles north of the island of Éfaté in the Shefa Province of the Republic of Vanuatu. It has a total area of 1.7 square miles, Pélé is inhabited by about 200-220 Ni-Vanuatu villagers residing in the four villages: Worsiviu, Worearu, Piliura, and Launamoa. Pélé Island is a part of the MPA Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area, which was established in 2003, and is a popular Vanuatuan diving location. The Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area covers a total area of 11.5 sq. mi., including numerous reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove forests and intertidal lagoons. The Nguna-Pele Marine Protection Agency is located in the village of Piliura, and mounts an exhibition and sells T-shirts. Income from tourism is distributed by the Village Tourism Committee and supports aims as village water supply projects. The island can be visited daily by boat from the Paonangisu area by the town of Emua on Éfaté's north coast. There are also yachts available both from Emua and Nguna for day and overnight charters to the island. The island is nearly adjacent to the island of Nguna, with a small passage no deeper than 33 yards separating the two. It has a tropical climate and has a maximum elevation of 650 feet at its highest. Much of the island is extremely steep and rocks prevent you from walking along the coastline around the island. White sandy beaches are found in Piliura, Worearu, Laonamoa, and Sake. Overpopulation has led to a steady migration from Pele villages to southern Nguna in recent times.
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