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Nauru the Worlds Smallest Republic

Aug 18, 2007
Nauru is a small island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands and is the worlds smallest independent republic. Although other island states may be smaller and or less populous, they are all dependent territories of other countries.

The smallest republic in the world, with a single island of just 21 sq km. Therefore this page is also very small but well elaborated.

Nauru achieved independence in 1968 and joined the UN in 1999.Revenues of the island have come from exports of phosphates, but reserves are nearing exhaustion in 2005. Since few other resources exist Nauru relies on imports for almost everything, mainly from Australia, the islands former occupier and later major source of support. In 2001 Nauru signed an agreement with Australia to accommodate more than 1000 asylum seekers on the island, in return for millions of dollars in aid.

Nauru, the worlds smallest republic, is an oval shaped outcrop, situated in the Central Pacific west of Kiribati, surrounded by a reef which is exposed at low tide. Although there is no deepwater harbour on the island, offshore moorings are reputedly the deepest in the world.

A century of phosphate mining has stripped four fifths of the land area, and has left the central plateau, which rises to 56m, infertile and unpopulated: a barren terrain of jagged coral pinnacles which stand 15m high. The island has a fertile coastal strip 150 to 300m wide, where there are coconut palms and indigenous hardwoods. On the land surrounding lagoon, bananas, pineapples and some vegetables are grown. Some secondary vegetation grows over the coral pinnacles which intersperse the islands beaches.

Revenues of this tiny island have traditionally come from exports of phosphates, but reserves are now depleted. Few other resources exist with most necessities being imported, mainly from Australia, its former occupier and later major source of support. The rehabilitation of mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious long term problems.

In anticipation of the exhaustion of Naurus phosphate deposits, substantial amounts of phosphate income have been invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition and provide for Naurus economic future. As a result of heavy spending from the trust funds, the government faces virtual bankruptcy. To cut costs the government has called for a freeze on wages, a reduction of over staffed public service departments, privatisation of numerous government agencies, and closure of some overseas consulates.

In recent years Nauru has encouraged the registration of offshore banks and corporations. In 2004 the deterioration in housing, hospitals, and other capital plant continued, and the cost to Australia of keeping the government and economy afloat has substantially mounted. Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist, with estimates of Naurus GDP varying widely.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Nauru Rental Site
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