In 2009, Kiribati had a population of around 102,000 people, most of whom lived on the main island of Tarawa. The economy largely relied on fisheries and copra production as well as the sale of stamps and coins. Foreign relations were focused on regional cooperation and maintaining strong ties with its Pacific neighbours such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Kiribati was also a member of several international organisations such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations. Politically, Kiribati was a multi-party democracy led by President Anote Tong at the time. See internetsailors for Kiribati in the year of 2011.
Kiribati. With the support of Australia, the Kiribati authorities began work in early 2009 to find a sustainable way to utilize the country’s scarce freshwater resources. According to countryaah, Kiribati lacks surface water and drought is a major problem. The residents are dependent on rainwater and so-called aquifers (natural groundwater storage) that exist in the soil, but many of these are overused. The lack of drinking water in the country’s southern islands is starting to become disastrous, President Anote Tong told parliament in April. MPs from the islands in the south, who had asked the government for help, said some villagers were about to leave their homes when the drinking water had begun to be mixed with salt water. Others went far to fetch water. One reason for the acute water shortage was that it had not rained for a long time. The government helped the local authorities to find water, and in collaboration with the Australian experts, a long-term solution would also be found. Researchers from the National University of Australia started developing a water resource policy for Kiribati during the year. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for abbreviation KI which stands for the nation of Kiribati.
In June, the authorities launched a national campaign to stop the spread of tuberculosis. In 2008, Kiribati had registered the most tuberculosis cases in the Pacific region, 176, and the spread of infection increased in 2009.
A political conflict arose in July on the island of Maiana. The island’s chief minister demanded that a new election be held and invited the members of the local parliament to resign. However, the mayor and some of the members refused and turned to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the chief council was not entitled to dissolve the democratically elected parliament. Nevertheless, the Council continued to demand that Parliament resign. Later, the mayor’s residence was burned down and a man died, which resulted in the members still resigning. In August, the Environment Minister resigned in protest against the government intervening too late in the conflict.
In September, governments in Kiribati and the United States signed an agreement to work together to manage two of the world’s largest marine protection areas, which are close to each other. It is about the Papahānaumokuākea Marine Park in Hawaii and the Phoenix Islands in Kiribati. Together, the two marine parks make up a quarter of the world’s marine protection areas.
In November, Kiribati, along with ten other Pacific Islander nations, demanded that the UN adopt a legally binding agreement at the Copenhagen climate summit in December. The group’s spokesman, Palau’s UN ambassador Stuart Beck, said before the UN General Assembly that only a binding climate agreement can save low-lying countries such as Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu. After the climate meeting, President Anote Tong expressed his great disappointment that it was not a binding UN document signed by all countries. Anote Tong asked if it makes any sense at all for international negotiations because “we seem to continue to think in nationalist terms without regard to the price that other countries may pay”.
Baskets, fans and containers made from pandanus and palm fronds, coconut shells and shells. Shop opening times: i. A. Mon-Sat 08.00-19.00, some shops also open until 20.30. Most of the smaller shops are also open on Sun from 08.00 to 19.00.
In the “Island Nights” traditional Polynesian music and dances as well as film screenings are presented. Feasts are often held in the maneabas, which are found on all islands.
There are few restaurants and these are mostly on the larger islands. The specialty of the southern islands of Kiribati is cooked pandanus (a pineapple-like fruit) thinly sliced and brushed with coconut paste. Another delicacy is palu sami, made with coconut paste, sliced onions and curry, then wrapped in taro leaves.
There are few hotels in Kiribati, most of them are on Tarawa, Christmas Island and Abemama. There is also a small resort with basic facilities on Abemama and two motels (on Ambo and Tarawa). The construction of a luxury hotel with 150 rooms on Christmas Island is planned. A service charge of 10% will be added to the hotel bill. For more information, contact the South Pacific Tourism Organization (see addresses).
About 52% Catholics, about 40% Protestants, Bahai and Islam.
Social Rules of Conduct
In the informal atmosphere on the archipelago you can now find not only local traditions but also European customs. It is customary to address people by their first names only. Bikinis should only be worn on the beach. Tipping is not expected.
Best travel time
The central archipelago has an equatorial marine climate, while the climate on the northern and southern islands is more tropical. The trade winds blow between March and October, when the temperatures are most pleasant. November to February are rainier.
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