The primary use of the term Oceania is to describe a continental region (like Europe or Africa) that lies between Asia and the Americas, with Australia as the major land mass. The name Oceania is used, rather than Australasia, because unlike the other continental groupings, it is the ocean rather than the continent that links the nations together. Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest, after Antarctica, in population.
Only five percent of the islands' land area is arable land; permanent crops cover another 20%. Deforestation is a serious problem; leaving the mountainous terrain of Futuna prone to erosion. There are no permanent settlements on Alofi because of the lack of natural fresh water resources. The population is 14,944 (2003) and the capital is Mata-Utu.
He has been a leading figure in Vanuatu's cultural world, primarily as a promoter of cultural knowledge preservation and sustainable development as a researcher, but also, to a lesser extent, as a painter and illustrator. He has represented Vanuatu and its culture in the international sphere, notably through UNESCO. His transition to politics came suddenly in 2008, at a comparatively young age; his successful campaign to be elected to Parliament generated popular and media support.
As a Member of Parliament, he sought to publicise his activities and discuss political issues directly with members of the public; he also used his parliamentary allowance to help finance student scholarships and youth business projects. Three months after his election, he was arrested and charged with aiding prisoners who had escaped from gaol. The charges were later dropped. In late 2010, he launched his own political party, shortly before being appointed to Cabinet.