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sunnuntai 2. lokakuuta 2016

Nauru, Cool Facts #149

<= 148. Micronesia                                                                                                          150. Palau =>



1. German annexation of Nauru 

Nauru was annexed by the German Empire in 1888 and incorporated into Germany's Marshall Islands Protectorate. The arrival of the Germans ended the 10-year Nauruan Tribal War, which had started in 1878. Christian missionaries from Gilbert Islands arrived to Nauru in 1888. Phosphate was discovered in 1900 by prospector Albert Fuller Ellis from New Zealand.

The permissions to exploit the phosphate reserves were given to the British Pacific Phosphate Company in 1906 and the first phosphate shipment was made in 1907. The almost three decade German rule in Nauru ended in 1914 when Australian troops captured the island during the World War I.



Annexation ceremony in Nauru on October 3, 1888


2. Mandate Area of Nauru 


League of Nations mandate area
After World War I Nauru was a mandate area administered by other countries until its independence in 1968. The Nauru Island Agreement was made in 1919, which concluded that Nauru was administered by Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia. In 1923 the League of Nations gave Australia a trustee mandate over Nauru with Great Britain and New Zealand as co-trustees.

Japanese occupation
During World War I Nauru was occupied by the Japanese troops in 1942. The occupation lasted until 1945 when Nauru was liberated by American forces.

United Nations trusteeship
The United Nations established a trusteeship in Nauru after World War I in 1947. Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand were the trustees, however the administrative power was mainly exercised by Australia alone.

Autonomy and independence
Nauru became self-governing in January, 1966. Two years later in 1968 Nauru gained independence. Nauru sued Australia in the International Court of Justice in 1989 due to Australia's failure to remedy the environmental damages caused by the phosphate mining under its administration period in Nauru.



Nauru during World War II 


3. Phosphate Deposits in Nauru

Phosphate deposits in Nauru are almost completely depleted. Nauru is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean with Banaba island in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia. Mining has devastated about 80% of Nauru's land area.

Phosphate was found in Nauru in 1900. British Pacific Phosphate Company got the permissions to exploit the phosphate reserves in 1906 and in 1906 the first shipment of phosphate was made. From the 1960s until the 1980s the Nauruan economy was very strong because of the phosphate exports. 

When the phosphate revenue fell, Nauru became briefly a tax haven and money laundering center. In 2006 all the primary phosphate revenues had been used entirely. Since the 2000s Nauru has had to rely heavily on Australia's aid, which is why it's identified as Australia's client state in many sources.




A ship being loaded by phosphate in Aiwo district

Phosphate exportation statistics


4. Unemployment in Nauru  


The unemployment in Nauru is estimated to be 90% and from the 10% who have work, 95% are employed by the government. 

Economy facts of Nauru: 

- No personal taxes 
- Tourism is not a major contributor to the economy
- In the 1990s it was possible to establish a licensed bank for 25,000 US dollars
- After the anti-avoidance legislation in 2003 foreign hot money left the country 
- Nauru is completely dependant on the import of food and consumer goods 
- Nauru's economy is directly linked to the aid given by Australia 


Australia and Nauru


5. Population of Nauru  

Population (2011): 10,084

- Indigenous Nauruans are descendants of Micronesians, Polynesians and Melanesians who came to the island in different stages 
- Nauru has 60 own police officers, Australia helps in the defense of the country 
- Nauru has the highest level of type 2 diabetes prevalence with more than 40% of the population affected 
- Kidney and heart diseases are also a big problem in Nauru 
- Nauruans are most overweight people in the world, 97% of men and 93% of women are overweight or obese 
 - Weight lighting is the national sport of Nauru 
- Baha'i religion with 10% of the population is the largest proportion of Baha'i devotees in the world


Nauruan stamp
Itte Detenamo, Nauruan weightlifter


Timeline

3000 Years ago Nauru was inhabited by Micronesians and Polynesians
1798 The British whale hunter John Fearn was the first European to visit Nauru calling it "Pleasant Island"
1830s Nauruans were in contact with Europeans from whaling ships and traders who arrived to replenish their water and food supplies to the island
1878 Nauruan Tribal War began and it was particularly violent because of the firearms that the Europeans had brought to Nauru
1888 Christian missionaries from the Gilbert Islands arrived in Nauru
1900 Phosphate was discovered on Nauru by prospector Albert Ellis from New Zealand
1906 The Germans granted the permissions to exploit the phosphate reserves to the British Pacific Phosphate Company
1914 Australia captured Nauru during World War I
1919 The Nauru Island Agreement, Nauru was administered by Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia after the First World War
1920 An influenza epidemic killing 18% of the native Nauruans
1923 The League of Nations gave Australia a trustee mandate over Nauru with Great Britain and New Zealand as co-trustees
1942 Japanese troops occupied Nauru 
1945 Nauru was liberated in September by American forces
1947 A trusteeship was established by the United Nations, with Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand as trustees, however administrative power was exercised by Australia alone in practice
1966 Nauru became self-governing in January
1968 Nauru became independent
1989 Nauru sued Australia in the International Court of Justice because of Australia's failure to remedy the environmental damages caused by the phosphate mining under its administration period in Nauru
2003 Political crisis as the president and government changed seven times during the year
2004 The country couldn't handle its debts so Australia became in charge of its assets
2006 The primary phosphate deposits were stated to have been used entirely 

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