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Kiribati Geography Profile 2017

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LocationOceania, group of 33 coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the Equator; the capital Tarawa is about halfway between Hawaii and Australia
Geographic coordinates1 25 N, 173 00 E
Map referencesOceania
Areatotal: 811 sq km
land: 811 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes three island groups - Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, and Phoenix Islands - dispersed over about 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq mi)
Area - comparativefour times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline1,143 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds
Terrainmostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 2 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation on Banaba 81 m
Natural resourcesphosphate (production discontinued in 1979), coconuts (copra), fish
Land useagricultural land: 42%
arable land 2.5%; permanent crops 39.5%; permanent pasture 0%
forest: 15%
other: 43% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardstyphoons 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
Environment - current issuesheavy 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 agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note21 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)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017