05 January 2012


I'll probably mention Kiribati occasionally this year...so here's a little introduction.


Adapted from the Australian Volunteers International site with a mix of my own general knowledge...

Kiribati, pronounced "Kiribus" (probably "Kiribaas" is better), is a group of thirty three coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Once a British protectorate, then a colony, Kiribati gained complete independence in 1979 while remaining a member of the Commonwealth.

Map from worldatlas.com

This low-lying nation is subject to damage wrought by sea level changes, typhoons and tornadoes.  Rising sea levels due to global warming is posing a real threat to Kiribati and the issues of stemming the tide and deciding which islands to save and which ones to relocate whole communities are huge.

Kiribati has few natural resources and relies mostly on fishing and the sale of fishing rights. Physical remoteness and lack of access to technology and markets are impediments to the development of Kiribati, and the outer islands are particularly vulnerable. 


And from the Operation World site...

The once-strong Congregational Church (Kiribati Protestant) is in slow decline and losing members to other groups. The theological college in Tarawa is not evangelical. Pray for a return to the Bible. Nominalism and syncretism with traditional spiritist practices are all too common.

If you hunt around for photos of Kiribati you will find lots of beautiful tropical island images which belie the poverty and problems faced by this nations.  A search for Kiribati plus Global Warming or Climate Change show things in a more realistic light.

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