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February 21, 2018  
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Kiribati: Geography

Geography Kiribati
Location:
Oceania, group of 33 coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the equator; the capital Tarawa is 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: 811 sq km
note: includes three island groups - Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands
water: 0 sq km
land: 811 sq km
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: 50.68%
other: 49.32% (1998 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:
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

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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