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The island was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese on 1471 and was first named after Saint Anthony ("Ilha de Santo Antão"). Later the island was renamed Príncipe by King John II of Portugal in honour of his son Afonso, Prince of Portugal.
The first settlement, the town Santo António, was founded in 1502 and at the north and centre of the island were made into plantations by Portuguese colonists using slave labor. These concentrated initially on producing sugar and after 1822 on cocoa, becoming the world's greatest cocoa producer. Since independence, these plantations have largely reverted to forest.

UNESCO established the Island of Príncipe Biosphere Reserve in 2012 under the Man and the Biosphere Programme. The reserve encompasses the entire emerged area of the island of Príncipe, and its islets Bom Bom, Boné do Jóquei, Mosteiros, Santana, and Pedra da Galei, and the Tinhosas islands.

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Additional Photos by Rui de Camposinhos (ruisc_pt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1822 W: 126 N: 2801] (11502)
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