Natural resources, energy and environment
The large resources of phosphate have completely characterized Nauru. The phosphate, which is used to make fertilizers, is extracted from the fossilized bird droppings that previously covered up to 80 percent of the island. Energy needs are covered by imported oil.
Phosphate exports gave the country large income per inhabitant during the first decades after independence in 1968. However, the price of wealth has proved to be high; the population suffers from welfare disorders (see Social conditions) and most of the island is barren and uninhabitable.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Nauru with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
During the first year of the 21st century, production of phosphate ceased, but in 2006 the recovery started again after new assets were discovered. The phosphate is now estimated to last up to 30 years.
Otherwise there are no exploitable natural resources at Nauru except what the sea can offer (see Agriculture and Fishing). The island lacks fresh water sources; fresh water needs are covered by rain, desalination plants and imports.
Because almost all Naurus live on the low-lying coastal strip, they, like other peoples in the Pacific Islands, are threatened by rising sea levels as a result of climate change. If the sea surface rises, it can become quite impossible to stay at Nauru. Phosphate extraction has already destroyed most of the island, which now largely looks like a lunar landscape.
- Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, NA stands for Nauru. Visit itypeusa for more information about Nauru.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
48,000 tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
4.0 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
0.1 percent (2015)