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Tuesday 23rd May
Kiribati Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Kiribati consists of thirty-three coral islands. The three main island groups, the Gilberts Islands, the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands, occupy a vast area in the Pacific Ocean.

Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati, is in the Gilbert Island Group.

The islands are mainly low-lying coral atolls. A number of the islands have lagoons although there are no rivers on the islands.

The climate is of Kiribati is tropical.

Environment
As the islands and islets of Kiribati are low-lying there is concern that the islands may disappear if sea levels rise through global warming.

In 2004 UNESCO discussed nominating reef islands and atolls from the Line Group and the Phoenix Group as World Heritage sites. The area encompasses seabird sites, coral reefs and marine and terrestrial habitats.

Architecture
Trees, such as mangrove and palm, are traditional building materials in Kiribati, the trunks used for structure, coconut fibre for binding and palm leaves for thatch.

Today, new buildings are often a combination of traditional and contemporary architecture. The Kiribati new Parliament House, opened in 2000, is a fine example of new architectural designs.

Population
The population of Kiribati was estimated at 100,743 in 2011. The majority of the people are Micronesian.

Languages
I-Kiribati is spoken on Kiribati. English is the official language.

Religion
A large percentage of the people of Kiribati are Christians.

Food
Rice is imported. Breadfruit, taro and sweet potatoes are cultivated.

Fish and shellfish are part of the diet. Pork and chicken are eaten at feasts.

Coconuts, bananas, papayas and pandanus fruit are grown.

Coconut sap is used to make a thick sweet cream; it is also fermented to produce a local alcoholic drink.

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