PEIN Country Profile and Virtual Environment Library


naurumapCapital City:
Polynesia - Pacific (Oceania)
Nauruan, English
National Focal Points for Environment:
Department of Commerce, Industry & Trade


*Excerpt from 'Nauru National Development Strategy 2005-2025: 2009 rev.'

Policies and Institutions for Environmental Sustainability [NSDS]

Nauru's major environmental risk is the mined-out phosphate lands that cover almost 90% of the island. Effective land rehabilitation has not happened. A national environmental management strategy exists but implementation has stalled. Adequate environmental legislation is not in place. Sector ministries do not incorporate environmental concerns. Environmental public awareness and education are not provided.

Effective land use planning is not practised. Housing and building arrangements are based on ownership of land plots. This leads to congested living and the clustering of several land uses including homes, cesspits, water wells, shops, planting plots, animal pens and sports field on one plot of land. Waste management is minimal – including human, water, household and industrial. Environment – the NSDS coverage of this was largely limited to rehabilitation of mined out areas in topside. Whilst this is a very important issue, there are many other critical environmental issues that Nauru needs to address and these have been included in this revised NSDS update. These include the need to build resilience to climate change as well as the need for a comprehensive law on environmental management that would include a requirement for new projects to be assessed for their environmental impact. [NDSD Rev. 2009] Sector Statement [NSDS rev. 2009]


Progress in rehabilitating the topside of Nauru has been slower than expected due to substantially more material (pinnacles) having to be removed than projected. However, equipment has been purchased and a work plan for the use of the NACHOS funding has been agreed by Nauru and AusAID. Accordingly, the Nauru Rehabilitation Corporation (NRC) has commenced rehabilitating a small (5 ha) portion of land as a demonstration site. This is to be followed by a 13 ha site for a national cemetery site which will take at least 18 months to develop. Apart from rehabilitating topside the 2005 NSDS only contained one goal dealing with the general environment, whose short term milestone was to undertake an environmental review and pass new environmental legislation. A draft of an Environment Management Bill has been prepared, but still requires further work before being presented to Parliament. Despite this, Nauru has pursued a number of other projects consistent with international environmental initiatives and these are reflected in new sector goals, strategies and milestones. In 2008 the Government finalized the National Energy Policy Framework with assistance from SOPAC. Work is also being carried out in developing water governance and finalizing the National Solid Waste Management Strategy which was developed late in 2008. Other environmental issues which have been pursued by Nauru are in the areas of climate change, biodiversity and sustainable land management.

In climate change, Nauru will be preparing its Second National Communication (SYNC) to the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. - In biodiversity, Nauru will be preparing its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NASAL) and its first and third National Reports to the Fourth Session of the Conference Parties (COP) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

In sustainable land management (SLM) Nauru has commenced a project aimed at maintaining and improving ecosystem stability, integrity, functions and services while enhancing sustainable livelihoods. This will be done by building Nauru's capacity to implement a comprehensive regime for sustainable land management and to ensure that SLM is mainstreamed into all levels of decision-making. By the end of the project, land degradation issues should be fully recognized in National Development Plans and sector Action Plans, such as those for urban development,  transport, agriculture and biodiversity. SLM should also be integrated into relevant policy, laws and educational/training programs, using integrated land use planning to underpin such initiatives.


  • Country Profiles

  • Country Reports

  • Technical Reports

  • Multimedia

  • Country Websites

Country Profiles

Adaptation Learning Mechanism [climate change adaptation] country profiles

Asian Development Bank Country Profiles and Strategies

Biosafety Profiles [CBD Biosafety Clearinghouse Mechanism]

Birdlife [Avifauna] Profiles

see Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World - browsable by country and by individual island within the Pacific region - excellent data source

see also Species profiles [*For the Globally Threatened Birds (those evaluated as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable), each factsheet contains a summary account, range map and an illustration, plus additional data tables. For Extinct, Extinct in the Wild, Near Threatened, Least Concern and Data Deficient species, each contains a concise summary paragraph and some additional data tables.] [Birdlife International]

see also Endemic Bird Areas [EBAs] of the Pacific [Nauru (secondary area)]

see also Important bird areas of the Pacific [IBAs] (2010) [Birdlife Pacific]

IBA Profiles:

IBA Reports:

* order the complete CD-ROM 'Important bird areas in the Pacific: a compendium' from the SPREP IRC

see also Pacific regional overview [Birdlife International]
see also Globally Threatened Birds (those evaluated as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable) of Oceania [Birdlife International]
see also State of the World's birds website and report [Birdlife International] - including Pacific country case studies

Country Climate Profile [UNDP]
* Sourced from the Adaptation Learning Mechanism, a knowledge sharing platform developed by UNDP in partnership with the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the World Bank, and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Earthtrends Thematic Country Profiles [WRI]
Agriculture and food, Biodiversity and protected areas, Climate and atmosphere, Coastal and marine ecosystems, Economics, business and the environment, Energy and resources, Environmental governance and institutions, Forests, grasslands and drylands, Population, health and human well-being, Water resources and freshwater ecosystems.

Ecoregion Profiles [World Wildlife Fund]
Tropical Moist Forests
Eastern Micronesia [Marshall islands, Nauru, Kiribati]

Environment Statistics - Country Snapshots [UN; 2009]

Environmental Vulnerability Index - Country Profiles [SOPAC / UNEP]

EU Pacific Country Environment Profiles

see also EU Country Partnership Profiles [incl. environment and EDF10 strategies]

FAO Country Profiles and Mapping Information System

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profiles

Fishbase Biodiversity Country Profiles (all fish)

Forestry Country Profiles
Forestry Department Country Profiles [FAO]

see also FAO Forest Resource Assessment : Country Reports [2010]
Nauru (2010; 40kb)

see also State of the World's Forests 2007: Asia and the Pacific [FAO] (2008; 1.77mb)
see alsoTropical and subtropical forest profiles prepared by the World Wildlife Fund

see also Mongabay Rainforest profiles:
Nauru, Palau

Global Biodiversity Information Forum [GBIF] Country Profiles

see also GBIF Google Earth Country Links

Global Environment Facility (GEF) Country Profiles
Use the drop down menu to go to the individual profiles - includes GEF-4 Allocation and Utilization , Approved Projects and Projects Under Preparation

Integrated Water Resource Management Profiles [SOPAC]

Invasive Species : Country Profiles [ISSG]

see also PIER reports on invasive species in Pacific islands:
American Samoa , Commonwealth of the Northen Mariana Islands - Rota , Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia - Chuuk, Kosrae, Kiribati, Niue (2000) / Niue (2004), Micronesia (all) , Palau, Samoa, Tonga

Land-based pollutants inventory for the South Pacific region: Part 2: Regional summary and country profiles [SPREP] (1993; 19mb)

Laws and legislation

Pacific islands Environmental Laws [Commonwealth Secretariat]

SPREP National Laws and Legislation clearinghouse

see also 'Legislative reviews' in Country Reports (below)

Mangrove and Wetlands Profiles

see : A Directory of Wetlands in Oceania [1993]
see also: Wetlands of the Pacific Island Region (2008; 882kb)
see also: IWMI Global Wetlands - Interactive Web Map Server - includes countries of Oceania
see also: Wetlands in Oceania - country profiles and wetlands information [UNEP-WCMC] - Nauru

Marine Resource Profiles
Nauru (2002; 634kb)

see also:

Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority: Information

see also:

State of the marine environment in the South Pacific Region (1990; 3.48mb)

see also:

Reefbase Country Profiles (coral reefs, reef fish, biodiversity)

see also GIS data for corals in the Pacific from Reefbase - browse by country and reef profile
see also GIS data for marine protected areas in the Pacific from Reefbase - browse by country and ecosystem

National Communications Support Programme [Climate] Profiles [UNDP]

Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum Country Data:

Pacific Regional information System - PRISM [SPC]
Environmental and Climate Statistics

Plant Profiles
Nauru (SPC; 19.2mb)

see also: THE VEGETATION AND FLORA OF NAURU – 2007. Current Status, Cultural Importance and Suggestions for Conservation, Restoration, Rehabilitation, Agroforestry and Food, Health and Economic Security (SPC; 68mb)


Protected Areas

Protected Planet - Search the World Database on Protected Areas

Protected area profiles in Nauru

Reefbase GIS data for marine protected areas in Nauru
see also GIS data for marine protected areas in the Pacific - browse by country and ecosystem

SocMon profiles (Socioeconomic Monitoring Initiative for Coastal Management ) - Pacific

SPREP Country Profiles: Exchange of Information by Members at SPREP Annual Meetings:
- Exchamge of information by Members on National Developments related to Natural Resource Management Priority of the Action Plan [2007]

see Agenda Item 6.1: Country Profiles of the Report and record of the 18th SPREP Meeting of Officials in Apia, Samoa on 11th to 14th September 2007

- Exchange of information by Members on national developments related to Pollution Prevention priority of the SPREP Action Plan [2008]
see Agenda Item 8.6: Country Profiles of the Report and record of the19th SPREP Annual Meeting of Officials in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia on 8–12 September 2008

- Exchange of Information by Members on National Developments Related to the Climate Change Focus Area of the SPREP Action Plan [2009]
see Agenda Item 11.2: Country Profiles of the Report and record of the 20th SPREP Annual Meeting of Officials in Apia, Samoa on 17 - 20 November 2009

- Exchange of Information by Members on Year of Biodiversity [2010]
see Agenda Item 11.3: Country Profiles of the Report and record of the 21st SPREP Meeting of Officials in Madang, Papua New Guinea on 6-10 September 2010
see also individual profiles for: Wallis and Futuna

Sustainable Development Profiles (UN Agenda 21)

Threatened species: Summary of species on the 2008 IUCN Red List

UNCCD Country Profiles:

UNEP Country Profiles [* poorly maintained and little information available]

Water Resource Profiles [SOPAC - Pacific water -]

see also "Pacific Regional Consultation on Water in Small Island Countries" - country briefing papers (2003)

WHO Environmental Health Profiles

World Factbook Country Profiles [CIA]

World Ocean Database 2005 [NOAA]
Geographically sorted data for the Pacific Ocean [datasets]

see also Environmental indicators: South Pacific (UNEP: 2004; 6.23mb)
see also Polynesia / Micronesia Biodiversity Hotspot Ecosystem Profile (2007; 1.16mb)

see also Paciifc Biodiversity Information Forum website and databases
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Country Reports

Barbados Programme of Action + 10 (BPoA)
National Assessment Reports: Nauru (2004; 515kb)

Pacific Environment Outlook (2005; 30.99mb)

The Conference on Small Island Developing States (Barbados Conference, 1994) highlighted the importance of island biodiversity as an ecological corridor linking major areas of biodiversity around the world. The conference called for international co-operation and partnership to support the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in their efforts to conserve, protect and restore their ecosystems. The Barbados Plan of Action recognizes the importance of the coastal zone as a source of subsistence and economic development.

Country Strategy Papers and National Indicative Programmes [European Union - EDF10]
Nauru (2008-2013; 2.4mb)

Legislative Reviews
Nauru (2007; 892kb)

Mauritius Strategy + 5 Review: National Assessment Reports [5-year Review of Progress Made in Addressing Vulnerabilities of Small Islands Developing States Through Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Further Implementation (MSI) of the
Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) ]

Nauru (2010; 270kb)

National Capacity Self Assessment (NCSA)
NCSA Status (NCSA website)
Nauru ,

National Environment Management Strategy (NEMS)
Nauru (1996; 2.18mb)

National Integrated Water Resource Management : Diagnostic Reports - drafts only [SOPAC]
Nauru (2007; 604kb)

National [Sustainable] Development Plans / Strategies [ForumSec]
Nauru 2005-2025 (2.39mb) / Nauru 2005-2025 rev. (2009;1.15mb)

National Assessment Reports: Nauru (2006; 153kb)

see also:

SPC Country Joint Country Stategies in support of National Strategies for Sustainable Development :

Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change [PACC] - reports, activities and PACC news updates

Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change [PACC] - report of in-country consultations
Nauru (2009; 131kb)

Pacific Regional Consultation on Water in Small Island Countries - Country briefings
Nauru (2003; 127kb)

Pacific Regional Energy Assessment: Country Reports (PIREP)
Nauru (2004; 832kb)

Regional overview report (2004; 2.59mb)

Peristant Organic Pollutants (POPs): Country Plans
Nauru (2003; 278kb)

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention, 1989), the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (Rotterdam Convention, 1998) and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) (Stockholm Convention, 2001) together provide an international framework for the environmentally sound management of hazardous chemicals throughout their life cycles.

Peer Review Report 2010 NEW

Sea Level & Climate: their present state: Country reports
Nauru (2006; 2.1mb)

Ships' Waste Management in Pacific Islands Ports: Country reports

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (Land Degradation) (UNCCD)
National Reports: Nauru (2002; 438kb)

see also UNCCD Country Profiles:

see also UNCCD Reports clearinghouse mechanism

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is an agreement to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
(i) National Communications and In-depth Reviews
Nauru (1999; 1.27mb)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC,1992) is concerned with global warming and the consequent rise in sea levels that may result in the flooding of coastal areas, and submerging islands, which could adversely affect coastal communities. The treaty aims at reducing emissions of greenhouse gas in order to combat global warming. Although the treaty as originally framed set no mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual nations and contained no enforcement provisions; it did include provisions for updates (called "protocols") that would set mandatory emission limits. The principal update is the Kyoto Protocol.

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Multimedia - posters, videos etc

Poster: Most common pelagic fish species of Nauru [SPC]
Poster: Most common reef fish species of Nauru [SPC]

Paradise for sale
- The ecological devastation on the island of Nauru as a result of decades of phosphate mining.
Edited by Lazarina Todorova. Conceived and narrated by Carl N. McDaniel, Professor of Biology at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY. 3 minute excerpt.

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