Kiribati Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management (KJIP) 2014 - 2023

Report
from Government of the Republic of Kiribati
Published on 01 Sep 2014 View Original

Executive Summary

Background

The Republic of Kiribati is made up of three main island groups:The Gilbert, Phoenix and Line Islands and one isolated raised limestone island, Banaba (Ocean Island).The groups of islands contain 33 scattered atoll islands, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometers in the central Pacific Ocean.The three main island groups stretch over 800 kilometers from north to south and over 3,210 kilometers from east to west.

The Kiribati 2010 census determined that the total population was 103,058, of whom 50.7% were female and 49.3% male. In all, 48.7% of the population lives in the capital of South Tarawa (in the Gilbert Islands), which has a population density of 3,173 people per square kilometer (KNSO & SPC 2012).The mean age of the I-Kiribati population is 24.9 years and 15.9% of the population is aged five years or younger, reflecting the high birth rate of 31,3 per 1,000 people per year (KNSO & SPC 2012).The latest Kiribati National Disability Survey identified 3,840 people living with disabilities, with 23% of those under the age of twenty (KNDSAC 2005).

The climate of Kiribati is hot and humid year around.This tropical climate is closely related to the temperature of the oceans surrounding the atolls and small islands. However, its seasonal rainfall is highly variable from year to year, mostly due to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Kiribati is blessed with a vast ocean territory and great diversity of marine biodiversity, but is limited in its land area and terrestrial resources.The Kiribati economy depends heavily on its rich marine resources for employment, income and subsistence living. However, the resources provided by its limited land and terrestrial biodiversity are also central to the Kiribati way of life.

The public sector dominates Kiribati’s economy. It provides two-thirds of all formal sector employment and accounts for almost 50% of gross domestic product. Kiribati is highly exposed to external economic shocks, particularly surges in food and fuel commodity prices, due to its limited revenue base and high dependency on imports.

Kiribati is categorised by the United Nations as both a ‘Small Island Developing State’ and a ‘Least Developed Country’.