Kiribati

Location

Tarawa
Kiribati
1° 25' 0.012" N, 173° 0' 0" E

Capital Based Focal Point:

Director for Planning
National Planning and Economic Department
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development

Capital City: 
Tarawa
Languages: 
English, Gilbertese
Category: Social
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Net enrollment ratio in primary education 99.7 MDG Database
Seats held by women in national parliament, percentage 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.8 7.1 4.3 4.3 4.3 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above) World Bank
Category: Land
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Agricultural land (1000 Ha) 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 FAO
Forest area (sq km) 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 World Bank
Forest area (% of land area) 2.72 2.72 2.72 2.72 2.72 2.72 2.72 2.72 World Bank
Category: Tourism
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
International tourism receipts (% of total exports) 3 3 Development Data Group, The World Bank. 2008. 2008 World Development Indicators Online. Washington, DC: The World Bank. Available at: http://go.worldbank.org/U0FSM7AQ40.
Category: Demographics
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Country population 84,023 85,563 87,161 88,789 90,412 92,004 93,554 95,068 96,558 98,045 World Bank
Population annual growth 1.78439 1.81624 1.8504 1.85058 1.81142 1.74551 1.67068 1.60536 1.55514 1.52827 World Bank
Maternal mortality ratio (modeled estimate, per 100,000 live births) World Bank
Category: Indices
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
HDI - Human Development Index UNDP International Human Development Indicators - Calculated based on data from UNDESA (2009d), Barro and Lee (2010), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2010b), World Bank (2010b) and IMF(2010a).
Category: Economy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
GNI per capita, PPP (current international $) 3,370 3,500 3,410 3,370 3,480 3,520 3,630 3,600 3,690 3,310 World Bank
ODA received as % of GNI 20.19 13.65 22.8 18.15 12.16 18.33 16.98 13.83 13.94 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Workers remittances (current US$) 7,000,000 7,000,000 7,000,000 7,000,000 7,000,000 7,000,000 7,000,000 7,000,000 9,000,000 UN Data
Category: Energy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Electric power consumption (kWh) World Bank
Combustible renewables and waste (metric tons of oil equivalent) World Bank
Fossil fuel energy consumption (% of total) World Bank
Category: Climate Change and Sea-level Rise
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), thousand metric tons of CO2 (CDIAC) 33 26 26 26 26 26 29 33 MDG Database (CDIAC Data)
Category: Freshwater
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Improved water source (% of population with access) 62 61 World Bank
Category: Biodiversity
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 1.01 1.01 1.01 1.01 1.01 1.01 20.21 20.21 20.21 20.21 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)

Climate Change

Kiribati submitted its Initial Communication under the UNFCCC on Climate Change in September 1999. In January 2007, Kiribati also submitted its National Adaptation Programme of Action.

The Republic of Kiribati is among the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change and accelerated sea-level rise. The Kiribati people have a keen sense of their vulnerability to sea level rise. Kiribati has made continuing efforts to participate in global action programmes to address climate change and its adverse impacts. There is a growing sense in Kiribati regarding the need to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Strategies identified include adopting more appropriate technologies, upgrading existing energy generation to a more efficient level, and introducing necessary steps to reflect environmental costs in the production and distribution of goods and services. For adaptation strategies, the sectors considered important are the coastal zone, water resources, agricultural systems and public health.

Kiribati Initial Communication under the UNFCCC
Kiribati National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA)

Natural and Environmental Disasters

Kiribati has submitted a country assessment to the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) entitled ‘Reducing the Risk of Disasters and Climate Variability in the Pacific Islands’. Kiribati has no disaster plan, but does have a National Strategic Risk Management Unit (NSRMU) within the Office of the President.

Due to its specific geographic location spanning the equatorial belt, Kiribati generally escapes the major climate-related threat of cyclones. However, the relatively small size of its islands, and the fact that the country is largely made up of atolls just a few meters above average sea level, means it is highly vulnerable to most climate-related hazards. In recent times storm surges, coastal erosion, droughts, and pandemics have been perceived as having the greatest impact on the country. In the last 50 years of global records, the only disasters listed for Kiribati have been the coastal impacts of Cyclone Bebe in 1972, the 1977 Cholera outbreak, and the drought from May 1998 to March 1999. These three major disasters do not reflect the perception within Kiribati of frequent disasters having a regular impact on individual islands, and communities present a picture of a much more disaster-prone nation.

Reducing the risk of disasters and climate variability in the Pacific Islands: Republic of Kiribati country assessment

Waste Management

One of the important environmentally-minded documents addressing waste management issues in the country is the Kiribati National Environmental Management Strategy (NEMS).

Pollution from solid waste, liquid and hazardous/toxic waste is widely recognized as one of the major threats to human health and the environment, and thus sustainable development in Kiribati has a direct influence on the quality of people’s lives. Poor waste management is one of the major environmental problems in Kiribati, particularly in South Tarawa. Every year the 40,000 people living in South Tarawa generate 6,500 tonnes of waste – threatening the health and wellbeing of everyone living on this low-lying atoll. The environment in Kiribati has also been adversely affected by metals and chemicals from mining activities, and agricultural chemicals have polluted coastal waters. Like other Pacific islands, Kiribati is sensitive to the dangers of pollution and radiation from weapons tests and nuclear waste disposal.

Kiribati MSI+5 National Assessment Report
‘Improved waste management in Kiribati: a case study’ (SPREP)

Coastal and Marine Resources

Kiribati has declared its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) based on UNCLOS criteria.

Like other SIDS, Kiribati is comprised of coastal zone without hinterland. As a result, human livelihood is dependent on and imposes grave strains on coastal marine resources, which have been overexploited in certain islands, especially in Urban Tarawa, with dire consequences on the quality of human life. Fish is the principal food for Kiribati people. However, certain fish stocks, including shell fish, are depleting, causing serious concern for the livelihood of the urban population. Ongoing coastal erosion could result in sedimentation of coral reefs and an increased load of particles suspended in sea columns. These may prove unhealthy for corals and fish stocks.

Kiribati National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA)
Kiribati MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Freshwater Resources

Kiribati has a National Water Policy on the protection of groundwater resources and maintenance of the distribution network.

A ground water lens exists on the atolls and provides the main source of potable water for the great majority of the people on the outer islands. Within any atoll the quality of ground water lenses with respect to salinity depends on precipitation and the width of the land. Available ground water within the atolls is limited and insufficient to meet the need of the people. Some villages are located on sites that do not have ground water lenses, either because the land is too narrow or that the water lens is polluted, as is the case on South Tarawa.

Kiribati National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA)
Kiribati MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Land Resources

General Land Use Plans have been adopted for the two urbanized islands, South Tarawa and Kiritimati.

The land area of each of the atolls is very small. There is little forestland on the atolls, but “agroforestation” efforts to increase agricultural productivity are underway. The demands of a rising population and an increasing level of socioecomomic development have implied a loss of “forest” land. Human settlements on the outer islands are traditional village settings of lines of local structures for each household and rights of occupation on plots of land within the village guaranteed under law. In contrast, Urban Tarawa is overcrowded and unplanned structures abound as pressure for housing led to the utilization of every available space. Urbanization, and with it the insurmountable difficulty to maintain environmental quality, are on the rise.

Kiribati MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Energy Resources

In 2004, Kiribati carried out a National Energy Assessment. In 2009, the Government endorsed the Kiribati National Energy Policy.

With regard to energy supply, Kiribati is highly dependent on petroleum imports for electricity generation for urban areas, land transport, sea transport and air transport. Though solar power is a significant energy source for the outer islands, overall it produces less than 1% of the total energy used by Kiribati. Small quantities and long distances drive up the landed price, making petroleum in Kiribati more expensive than in most other Pacific Island Countries (PICs). With regard to energy demand, energy use is dominated by Tarawa and Kiritimati. For the outer islands, per capita energy use is very low. Electricity in rural areas comes from solar home systems, except for government housing around the island council offices where a small generator may be operated a few hours a day. With regard to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, the option with greatest potential is conversion from diesel fuel to biofuels based on coconut oil.

Pacific Regional Energy Assessment 2004: Kiribati National Report, Volume 5
Kiribati MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Tourism

Kiribati has recently endorsed a five-year National Tourism Plan.

The tourism resource is still regarded as having higher potential for development if it is effectively explored. However, this area has not achieved significant progress since 2004, mainly due to natural geographical factors and a lack of financial resources to develop and improve essential infrastructure required for developing the tourism industry. Air transportation presents a major constraint for tourism development since Kiribati is not generally located on major air routes. Formal facilities and activities for visitors are quite limited throughout Kiribati, leaving much to the individual initiative of the visitor. The current small scale of tourism has only minimal impact on the physical environment of Kiribati.

Tourism Development in the Republic of Kiribati (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Kiribati MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Biodiversity

Kiribati signed the Convention on Biodiversity and ratified it on 6 August, 1994. It has further decided to ratify the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. In 2000, Kiribati became a party to the World Heritage Convention. In 2003, Kiribati submitted its second national report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Conservation of biological diversity and the environment has been part of the culture of the i-Kiribati people ever since the first settlement of the Kiribati atolls. The new international concept of biodiversity conservation has highlighted the increasing degree of human influence on nature. Much of the damage is caused by increasing demand for consumer goods and energy, which is exacerbated by Kiribati’s rapid increase in population. Terrestial resources are relatively limited but are compensated for by rich marine biodiversity.

Kiribati Country Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity
Kiribati MSI+5 National Assessment Report
Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism
Country Strategies: 
Title Programme Name Programme Description Year
Disaster management Strategy - Kiribati Reducing the Risk of Disasters and Climate Variability in the Pacific Islands: Republic of Kiribati Country Assessment 2009
Energy Strategy - Kiribati Pacific Regional Energy Assessment: Kiribati National Report 2004
UNFCCC Nat Comm - Kiribati Kiribati Government initial communication under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change Strategy Description 1999
NAPA - Kiribati National Adaptation Programme of Action Strategy Description 2007
NBSAP - Kiribati COUNTRY REPORT FOR CPBD and CBD: Kiribati Strategy Description 2002
NSDS - Kiribati 2004 Survey for Reporting on National Sustainable Deveopment Strategies 2004
13 Mar 2013 | SIDS Policy and Practice
26 February 2013: Representatives of Pacific island states called for regional solidarity in addressing climate challenges at a one-day consultation on post-2015 development, held in Dili, Timor-Leste, on 26 February 2013. The consultation took place immediately before the International Development for All Conference in Dili, and was hosted by the Government of Timor-Leste and supported by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), involving delegates, heads of...
20 Feb 2013 | SIDS Policy and Practice
January 2013: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has published a pilot fragility assessment report of Vairiki village, an urban settlement in South Tarawa in Kiribati. The assessment explores fragility related to the delivery of critical urban services, with a focus on water and sanitation services. The assessment’s key objectives were to better understand patterns of fragility and resilience in urban services created by state-society relationships in South Tarawa, and to identify strategies for...
08 Feb 2013 | SIDS Policy and Practice
February 2013: The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Global Mechanism (GM) has launched a revamped web-based platform titled “Sustainable Land Management (SLM) – Finance.”  The site will support the exchange of information on funding and finance for sustainable land management (SLM) among African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, many of which are also small island developing States (SIDS).   The platform, which is part of the EU-funded Scope|ACP project, a South...
External Resources: 
Title Programme Description Year
Kiribati National Climate Change Portal
Kiribati National Climate Change Portal