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Geography of Nauru

Nauru (Lat/Long 0 32 S, 166 55 E) is a tiny phosphate rock island located in the South Pacific Ocean south of the Marshall Islands in Oceania. It is only 53 km south of the Equator. 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;

Its land area is 21 km2 and it has a 30 km coastline. Maritime claims are a 200 nautical mile exclusive fishing zone, and a 12 nautical mile territorial sea.

The climate is tropical with a monsoonial rainy season from November to February.

A sandy beach rises to the fertile ring around raised coral reefs. The raised phosphate plateau ('Topside') takes up the central portion of the island. The highest point is 61m above sea level along the plateau rim.

Nauru's only natural resources are phosphates, formed from guano deposits by seabirds over many thousands of years.

Environmental issues

  • Periodic droughts, 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 has left the central 90% of Nauru a wasteland and threatens limited remaining land resources

Nauru is party to the international environmental agreements on Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea and Marine Dumping.

See also : Nauru

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