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Nauru:
Geography

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Nauru Page


Background
Definition
The exact origins of the Nauruans are unclear, since their language does not resemble any other in the Pacific. The island was annexed by Germany in 1888 and its phosphate deposits began to be mined early in the 20th century by a German-British consortium. Nauru was occupied by Australian forces in World War I and subsequently became a League of Nations mandate. After the Second World War - and a brutal occupation by Japan - Nauru became a UN trust territory. It achieved its independence in 1968 and joined the UN in 1999 as the world's smallest independent republic.
Location
Definition
Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands
Geographic coordinates
Definition
0 32 S, 166 55 E
Map references
Definition
Oceania
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 21 sq km
land: 21 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
30 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical with a monsoonal pattern; rainy season (November to February)
Terrain
Definition
sandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location along plateau rim 61 m
Natural resources
Definition
phosphates, fish
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
NA
Natural hazards
Definition
periodic droughts
Environment - current issues
Definition
limited natural fresh water resources, roof storage tanks collect rainwater, but mostly dependent on a single, aging desalination plant; intensive phosphate mining during the past 90 years - mainly by a UK, Australia, and NZ consortium - has left the central 90% of Nauru a wasteland and threatens limited remaining land resources
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party 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 - note
Definition
Nauru is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia; only 53 km south of Equator


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