43 Facts About Kiribati


Kiribati is the only country in the world to be situated in all four cardinal hemispheres.

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Kiribati gained its independence from the United Kingdom, becoming a sovereign state in 1979.

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Kiribati is one of the least developed countries in the world and is highly dependent on international aid for its economy.

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Kiribati is a member of the Pacific Community, Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, the OACPS and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999 As an island nation, the islands are very vulnerable to climate change and addressing climate change has been a central part of its international policy, as a member of the Alliance of Small Island States.

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Kiribati was immortalised in Robert Louis Stevenson's book In the South Seas, which delved into the High Chief's character and method of rule during Stevenson's stay in Abemama.

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In 1995, Kiribati unilaterally moved the international date line far to the east to encompass the Line Islands group, so that the nation would no longer be divided by the date line.

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In 1999, Kiribati became a full member of the United Nations, 20 years after independence.

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In 2002, Kiribati passed a controversial law that enabled the government to shut down newspaper publishers.

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In June 2008, Kiribati officials asked Australia and New Zealand to accept Kiribati citizens as permanent refugees.

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Kiribati is expected to be the first country to lose all its land territory to climate change.

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In early 2012, the government of Kiribati purchased the 2, 200-hectare Natoavatu Estate on the second largest island of Fiji, Vanua Levu.

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Kiribati was the fifth president since the country became independent in 1979.

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Constitution of Kiribati, promulgated 12 July 1979, provides for free and open elections in a parliamentary democratic republic.

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Kiribati has formal political parties but their organisation is quite informal.

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Kiribati maintains close relations with its Pacific neighbours, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Fiji.

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In November 1999, Kiribati agreed to allow Japan's National Space Development Agency to lease land on Kiritimati for 20 years, on which to build a spaceport.

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Kiribati is a member of the Alliance of Small Island States, an intergovernmental organisation of low-lying coastal and small island countries.

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In November 2010, Kiribati hosted the Tarawa Climate Change Conference to support the president of Kiribati's initiative to hold a consultative forum between vulnerable states and their partners.

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In 2017, Kiribati signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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On 20 September 2019, the government of Kiribati restored its diplomatic relationship with the People's Republic of China and simultaneously stopped its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan.

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Law enforcement in Kiribati is carried out by the Kiribati Police Service which is responsible for all law enforcement and paramilitary duties for the island nation.

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Kiribati has no military and relies on both Australia and New Zealand for its defence.

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Kiribati can be geographically divided into three archipelagoes or groups of islands, which have no administrative functions.

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The majority of Kiribati, including the capital, is not first, for example New Zealand has an earlier new year.

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Exposure of Kiribati to changes in sea levels is exacerbated by the Pacific decadal oscillation, which is a climate switch phenomenon that results in changes from periods of La Nina to periods of El Nino.

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Climate Change in the Pacific Report of 2011 describes Kiribati as having a low risk of cyclones; however in March 2015 Kiribati experienced flooding and destruction of seawalls and coastal infrastructure as the result of Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 cyclone that devastated Vanuatu.

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Kiribati remains exposed to the risk that cyclones can strip the low-lying islands of their vegetation and soil.

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Kiribati Adaptation Program, started in 2003, is a US$5.

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Kiribati contains three ecosystems: Central Polynesian tropical moist forests, Eastern Micronesia tropical moist forests, and Western Polynesian tropical moist forests.

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Kiribati has a few land mammals, none being indigenous or endemic.

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Kiribati has the lowest GDP out of any sovereign state in Oceania, and is considered one of the least developed countries in the world.

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In May 2011, the IMF country report assessment of the economy of Kiribati is that "After two years of contraction, the economy recovered in the second half of 2010 and inflation pressure dissipated.

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Kiribati has had two domestic airlines: Air Kiribati and Coral Sun Airways.

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TV Kiribati Ltd, was owned by the government operated between 2004 and mid-2012, but could not reach all of the Islands.

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Ethnically, the I-Kiribati are Oceanians and Micronesians, a sub-ethnicity of Austronesians.

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Older generations of I-Kiribati tend to use more complicated versions of the language.

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Several words in Gilbertese have been adopted from European settlers, for instance, kamea is one of the Gilbertese words for dog, kiri being the Oceanic one, which has its origins in the I-Kiribati people hearing the European settlers saying "come here" to their dogs, and adopting that as kamea.

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Christianity is the major religion in Kiribati, having been lately introduced by missionaries, because of its remoteness and the absence of any significant European presence until the latter half of the 19th century.

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Kiribati falls into the "very bad" category when evaluating the right to reproductive health because the nation is fulfilling only 45.

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Public performances in modern Kiribati are generally performed by a seated chorus, accompanied by a guitar.

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Uniqueness of Kiribati when compared with other forms of Pacific island dance is its emphasis on the outstretched arms of the dancer and the sudden birdlike movement of the head.

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Kiribati has competed at the Commonwealth Games since 1998 and the Summer Olympics since 2004.

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Kiribati Islands Football Federation is an associate member of the Oceania Football Confederation, but not of world-governing body FIFA.

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