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Nauru Geography

    Location: Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands

    Geographic coordinates: 0 32 S, 166 55 E

    Map references: Oceania

    Area:
    total: 21 sq km
    land: 21 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area—comparative: about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 30 km

    Maritime claims:
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: tropical; monsoonal; rainy season (November to February)

    Terrain: sandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed location along plateau rim 61 m

    Natural resources: phosphates

    Land use:
    arable land: NA%
    permanent crops: NA%
    permanent pastures: NA%
    forests and woodland: NA%
    other: 100% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: periodic droughts

    Environment—current issues: limited natural fresh water resources, roof storage tanks collect rainwater; intensive phosphate mining during the past 90 years—mainly by a UK, Australia, and New Zealand consortium—has left the central 90% of Nauru a wasteland and threatens limited remaining land resources

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: 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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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)