Top Ten Kiribati Attractions

Top Ten Kiribati Attractions

        Kiribati is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population exceeds just over 100,000 (2011), and is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3.5 million square km (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equator, and bordering the International Date Line at its easternmost point. The name Kiribati is the local pronunciation of “Gilberts,” derived from the main island chain, the Gilbert Islands. The capital of South Tarawa consists of a number of islets connected through a series of causeways, located in the Tarawa archipelago. Kiribati became independent from the UK in 1979.

  1. Phoenix Islands Protected Area

    The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is located in the Republic of Kiribati, an ocean nation in the central Pacific approximately midway between Australia and Hawaii. PIPA constitutes 11.34% of Kiribati’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and with a size of 408,250 square km (157,626 square miles) it is the largest marine protected area (MPA) in the Pacific Ocean. PIPA was the world’s first large, truly deep water, mid-ocean MPA. The greater part of PIPA by area is ocean floor with a water column averaging more than 4,000 meters (2.5 miles) deep. An important feature of PIPA is the abundance of large, extinct, underwater volcanoes. These underwater mountains contribute a huge diversity of marine habitat types; atoll, low reef island, submerged reef, seamount, and deep seabed as well as open ocean habitats. PIPA includes all eight atoll and low reef islands of the Kiribati section of the Phoenix Islands: Rawaki, Enderbury, Nikumaroro, McKean, Manra, Birnie, Kanton and Orona. The only island that is currently inhabited is Kanton with a non-permanent population of less than 40 people made up of government employees and their families engaged in the protection and management of Kiribati interests in the region. PIPA also includes two submerged reefs, Carondelet Reef and Winslow Reef, with Carondelet Reef being as little as 3 to 4 meters (approximately 10 to 13 feet) underwater at low tide.
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