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Kiribati Geography

Kiribati    Geography Top of Page
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the equator, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia; note - on 1 January 1995, Kiribati proclaimed that all of its territory lies in the same time zone as its Gilbert Islands group (GMT +12) even though the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands under its jurisdiction lie on the other side of the International Date Line
Geographic coordinates: 1 25 N, 173 00 E
Map references: Oceania
Area: total:  717 sq km

land:  717 sq km

water:  0 sq km

note:  includes three island groups - Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands
Area - comparative: four times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 1,143 km
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone:  200 NM

territorial sea:  12 NM
Climate: tropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds
Terrain: mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs
Elevation extremes: lowest point:  Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point:  unnamed location on Banaba 81 m
Natural resources: phosphate (production discontinued in 1979)
Land use: arable land:  0%

permanent crops:  51%

permanent pastures:  0%

forests and woodland:  3%

other:  46% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: typhoons can occur any time, but usually November to March; occasional tornadoes; low level of some of the islands make them very sensitive to changes in sea level
Environment - current issues: heavy pollution in lagoon of south Tarawa atoll due to heavy migration mixed with traditional practices such as lagoon latrines and open-pit dumping; ground water at risk
Environment - international agreements: party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified:  none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: 20 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


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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