Nauru

THE Republic of Nauru, located in the Pacific, has a land area of 8.1 sq. mi. (21.2 sq. km.), a population of 10,000 (2006 est.), and a population density of 1,608 people per sq. mi. (621 people per sq. km.). With very little arable land, Nauru is completely dependent on imported food and water. Nauru makes its money from the sale of phosphate, which has led to the destruction of much of the country, and during the 1970s and 1980s, incredible wealth. Electricity production in Nauru comes from fossil fuels, with Nauru contributing heavily, relative to its size, to global warming and climate change. In 1990, its carbon dioxide emissions were 13.9 metric tons per capita, falling to 10.8 metric tons per capita by 1992, and rising to 14.2 metric tons per capita in the following year.

The effect of global warming and climate change will be dramatic for Nauru. With much of the island physically removed by the phosphate industry, the likelihood of massive water inundation is high. Many of the coral reefs off the coast of Nauru have experienced coral bleaching, and with the money from phosphate significantly reduced during the 1990s and 2000s, the country has faced major environmental problems.

The Nauru government of Bernard Dowiyogo took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992. The government of René Harris ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on August 16, 2002, and it took effect on February 16, 2005. However, Nauru added an extensive addendum to its signing of the Kyoto Protocol stating that "in the light of the best available scientific information and assessment of climate change and impacts, it [the government of Nauru] considers the emissions and reduction obligations in Article 3 of the Kyoto Protocol to be inadequate to prevent the dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."

SEE ALSo: Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS); Floods; Kyoto Protocol.

bibliography. M.A. Brown, ed., Security and Development in the Pacific Islands: Social Resilience in Emerging States (Lynne Rienner, 2007); C.N. McDaniel and J.M. Gowdy,

Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature (University of California Press, 2000).

Robin S. Corfield Independent Scholar

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