island sovereign state in the central Pacific Ocean

Kiribati (/ˌkɪrɪˈbæs, -ˈbɑːti/) is an island country in the Pacific Ocean. It has 33 atolls, groups of tiny islands. The country is near the equator. Part of it is in Micronesia and part is in Polynesia. Its capital is South Tarawa, on the Tarawa atoll.

Republic of Kiribati
Ribaberiki Kiribati
Coat of arms of Kiribati
Coat of arms
Motto: "Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa"
"Health, Peace and Prosperity"
Anthem: Teirake Kaini Kiribati
Stand up, Kiribati
Location of Kiribati
and largest city
South Tarawa[1]
1°28′N 173°2′E / 1.467°N 173.033°E / 1.467; 173.033
Official languagesEnglish
Recognised national languagesGilbertese
Ethnic groups
98.8% Micronesian
1.2% others
GovernmentParliamentary republic
• President
Taneti Mamau[2]
Teuea Toatu
LegislatureHouse of Assembly
• from the United Kingdom
12 July 1979
• Total
811 km2 (313 sq mi) (186th)
• 2010 estimate
103,500 (197th)
• 2015 census
• Density
136/km2 (352.2/sq mi) (73rd)
GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
• Total
$599 million[3]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2011 estimate
• Total
$167 million[3]
• Per capita
HDI (2013)Increase 0.629
medium · 121st
CurrencyKiribati dollar
Australian dollar (AUD)
Time zoneUTC+12, +13, +14 (GMT+12 to +14)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+686
ISO 3166 codeKI

Kiribati used to be called the Gilbert Islands. The name "Kiribati" comes from the way local people say "Gilberts".[4] In 1892, the Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate with the Ellice Islands (now known as Tuvalu), together called Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Kiribati became an independent republic in 1979.

Tourism is an important industry. Most food comes from farming and fishing. People grow breadfruit, papayas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, and vegetables. The soil is not very good, but people use a special way of composting to make it better.[5]

The official languages of Kiribati are English and Gilbertese.

People change

As of 2020, about 119,000 people live in Kiribati. This is up from 103,000 in 2010, 84,000 in 2000, and 72,000 in 1990. Of these people, 90% live on the Gilbert Islands, 10% live on the Phoenix Islands, and only 41 people live on the Line Islands. The government says that 59% of people live in urban areas.

Almost all people in Kiribati have a religion. The largest religions are Catholicism (59%), Kiribati Uniting Church (21%), Kiribati Protestant Church (8%), Mormon (5%), Bahai (2%), and Seventh-day Adventist (2%).[6]

History change

The first people came to Kiribati sometime between 3000 BC[7] and 1300 AD.[8] It is not known where they came from. Before this time, the islands may have been underwater.[8]

European sailors saw the islands in the 1600s and 1700s. At this time, people only lived on the Gilbert Islands. (These islands were named after a British sailor, Thomas Gilbert.) In the 1800s, Europeans kidnapped many people and sold them as slaves. In 1886, the British Empire took the islands. The British tried to settle the Phoenix and Line Islands.[8]

During World War II, Japan took the islands. During the Cold War, the US tested nuclear weapons there. In 1979, Kiribati became independent. Kiribati signed a "Treaty of Friendship and Territorial Sovereignty" (also called the "Treaty of Tarawa") with the United States in 1979. The USA gave up its claims to the islands of Canton, Enderbury, Hull, Birnie, Gardner, Phoenix, Sydney, McKean, Christmas, Caroline, Starbuck, Malden, Flint, and Vostok in that treaty.[9]

Climate change change

Global warming and climate change are having big effects on Kiribati. The islands are very low above the water. The average height is 3 metres above sea level. Because of global warming, the sea level is rising. Land is sinking under the ocean. In the future, there may not be enough land to grow food. Salt water is also filling up aquifers, where people store fresh water. Climate change causes unusual droughts and storms. These can make farming much harder.[10][11]

In 2012, the government purchased land on Fiji. This way, people from Kiribati could move there if needed.[12][13]

References change

  1. "Kiribati government website". Government of Kiribati. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  2. "Taneti Mamau declared new Kiribati President". Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Kiribati". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  4. Petersen, Glenn (2009). Traditional Micronesian societies : adaptation, integration, and political organization. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 978-1-4416-1992-1. OCLC 436752926.
  5. "Find Agriculture expertise in Kiribati". Commonwealth of Nations. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  6. "Republic of Kiribati 2022 Census Report". Archived from the original on 22 June 2022.
  7. Macdonald, Barrie (2001) Cinderellas of the Empire: towards a history of Kiribati and Tuvalu, Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, ISBN 982-02-0335-X, p. 1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Thomas, Frank R. (2003). "Kiribati: 'Some aspects of human ecology,' forty years later" (PDF). Atoll Research Bulletin. 501: 1–40. doi:10.5479/si.00775630.501.1.
  9. "Treaty of Friendship Between the United States of America and the Republic of Kiribati".
  10. Cauchi, John P.; Correa-Velez, Ignacio; Bambrick, Hilary (2019). "Climate change, food security and health in Kiribati: a narrative review of the literature". Global Health Action. 12 (1): 1603683. doi:10.1080/16549716.2019.1603683. ISSN 1654-9716. PMC 6507958. PMID 31062666.
  11. McIver, Lachlan; Woodward, Alistair; Davies, Seren; Tibwe, Tebikau; Iddings, Steven (14 May 2014). "Assessment of the Health Impacts of Climate Change in Kiribati". International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 11 (5): 5224–5240. doi:10.3390/ijerph110505224. ISSN 1660-4601. PMC 4053873. PMID 24830452.
  12. Chapman, Paul (7 March 2012). "Entire nation of Kiribati to be relocated over rising sea level threat". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  13. "Kiribati, the first country rising sea levels will swallow up as a result of climate change". Retrieved 2023-10-10.

Other websites change

  Media related to Kiribati at Wikimedia Commons