Kiribati (GPS: 1 25 N, 173 00 E) is located in Oceania, a group of 33 coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the Equator; the capital Tarawa is about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. The country’s area measurements are total: 811 sq km; land: 811 sq km, water: 0 sq km. This sovereign state is four times the size of Washington, DC. The total irrigated land is 0 sq km (2012).
One of the important features of Kiribati: 21 of the 33 islands are inhabited. Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean – the others are Makatea in French Polynesia and Nauru. Kiribati is the only country in the world to fall into all four hemispheres (northern, southern, eastern, and western).
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Tarawa’s GPS coordinates are 1 21 N 173 02 E. Tarawa’s local time is 17 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+12, note; On 1 January 1995, Kiribati proclaimed that all of its territories were in the same time zone as its Gilbert Islands group.
The Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and a colony in 1915; the Japanese captured them in the Pacific War in 1941. The islands of Makin and Tarawa were major US amphibious victories over entrenched Japanese garrisons in 1943. The UK granted the Gilbert Islands self-rule in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under Kiribati’s new name. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati. Kiribati joined the UN in 1999 and has been an active participant in international efforts to combat climate change.
Kiribati’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Kiribati, conventional short form: Kiribati, local long form: the Republic of Kiribati, local short form: Kiribati. Note: pronounced keer-ree-bahss, former: Gilbert Islands, etymology: the name is the local pronunciation of “Gilberts,” the former designation of the islands; originally named after explorer Thomas GILBERT, who mapped many of the islands in 1788. The name is the local pronunciation of “Gilberts,” the former designation of the islands; Originally named after explorer Thomas GILBERT, who mapped many of the islands in 1788.
Kiribati’s terrain is typically mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs. The country’s mean elevation: N/A, elevation extremes; lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m, highest point: the unnamed, height on Banaba 81 m.
The country’s general climate is tropical: marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds.
The total number of border countries is 0; none are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Kiribati’s coastline is 1,143 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. Waterways: 5 km (a small network of canals in the Line Islands) (2012). Land use: agricultural land: 42%; arable land 2.5%; permanent crops 39.5%; permanent pasture 0%; forest: 15%; other: 43% (2011 estimate).
The population in Kiribati 109,367 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 44.3% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: TARAWA (capital) 46,000 (2014), while Kiribati has N/A. Their spoken languages are I-Kiribati, English (official language). Main religions in Kiribati are Roman Catholic 55.8%, Kempsville Presbyterian Church 33.5%, Mormon 4.7%, Baha’i 2.3%, Seventh Day Adventist 2%, other 1.5%, none 0.2%, unspecified 0.05% (2010 estimate). The nation uses English common law supplemented by customary law. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 12 July (1979).
Economic overview for the country: A remote nation of 33 scattered coral atolls, Kiribati has few natural resources and is one of the least developed Pacific Island countries. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted by the time of independence from the United Kingdom in 1979. Earnings from fishing licenses and seafarer remittances are important sources of income. Although the number of seafarers employed declined due to changes in global shipping demands, remittances are expected to improve with more overseas temporary and seasonal work opportunities for Kiribati nationals. Economic development is constrained by a shortage of skilled workers, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from international markets.
The public sector dominates economic activity, with ongoing capital projects in infrastructure including road rehabilitation, water and sanitation projects, and renovations to the international airport, spurring some growth. Public debt increased from 23% of GDP at the end of 2015 to 25.8% in 2016. Kiribati is dependent on foreign aid, which was estimated to have contributed over 32.7% in 2016 to the government’s finances. The country’s sovereign fund, the Revenue Equalization Reserve Fund (RERF), held offshore, had an estimated balance of $855.5 million in late July 2016. The RERF seeks to avoid exchange rate risk by keeping investments in more than 20 currencies, including the Australian dollar, the US dollar, the Japanese yen, and the Euro. Drawdowns from the RERF helped finance the government’s annual budget.
Main export partners for Kiribati, Oceania are N/A for fish and coconut products, while the country’s main import partners are: N/A for food, machinery, and equipment, miscellaneous manufactured goods, fuel.
When you visit this country in Oceania, consider the natural hazards in Kiribati: Typhoons can occur any time, but usually November to March, occasional tornadoes, low level of some of the islands make them sensitive to changes in sea-level, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Kiribati faces the following environmental issues: Heavy pollution in the lagoon of south Tarawa atoll due to overcrowding mixed with traditional practices such as lagoon latrines and open-pit dumping, Groundwater at risk, Potential for water shortages, disease, Coastal erosion.
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