Many of the crops grown in Kiribati are affected by changes in climate. Sea level rise affects agriculture crops in two major ways: saltwater intrusion and loss of coastal land due to inundation. However, climate change is most likely to affect agricultural crops and production through changes in rainfall, particularly during La Niña years when droughts are most likely to occur.

Production of copra - the main cash crop for about 55 percent of Kiribati’s population - is sensitive to rainfall as coconuts require an annual rainfall of at least 1,000 to 1,500 millimetres. Production of coconuts, breadfruit and pandanus are particularly sensitive to loss of land due to inundation. Te babai (giant taro) is extremely sensitive to reductions in groundwater and the pits are also prone to saltwater intrusion as a result of storm surges and overwash.

If wetter conditions prevail, production of these water-sensitive crops is likely to increase, but if rainfall decreases production is likely to decline.

His Excellency Anote Tong takes the stage in front before the other panelists, and the nation.

Wet weather fails to dampen public hearing spirits

Morning rain did not dampen the mood at Kiribati’s first-ever National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change at the nation’s capital on Friday.

Sunset in Tarawa.

Government and SPC talk joint strategies

A small team from the Government of Kiribati and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) have been working hard to develop a new joint country strategy (JCS) between SPC and the Government of Kiribati.

The signing of the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project contract between Ministry of Public Works and Utilities secretary Eita Metai and McConnell Dowell construction manager Rory Bishop. Photo: KAPIII

No potholes in road contract signing

South Tarawa’s long-awaited new road is one step closer after the Government of Kiribati and New Zealand-based construction company McConnell Dowell signed the official contract recently.

Island Report image Nikunau

A climate change reality

Watch extracts from a documentary film about how climate change is affecting Kiribati.

Local IKiribati children perform the Te Buke dance. They face an uncertain future as their islands capacity to support the population diminishes. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

Human health in a warmer future

ABC News Australia environment journalist Sarah Clarke reports on the health impacts of climate change in the Pacific for the ABC.

This sea wall is all that protects these homes in the village of Abarao on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken


Is time running out? Reports indicate Kiribati’s capital, Tarawa, could be uninhabitable by mid-century if adaptation measures fail.

Totibure Muller and her son work on their sea wall that protects their home in the village of Temwaiku on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Case Studies

The effects of climate change can already be seen throughout most islands of Kiribati. Read our case studies for more information.

Sea inundadtion at high tide into a former fresh water lagoon. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Looking to the skies in Kiribati

Rainfall is essential to recharge the freshwater lens that lies beneath coral atolls in Kiribati.

The I-Kiribati people live with the sea regularly threatening their homes, particularly during king tides and storms both occuring with increased frequency.  Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

A call to the world

Watch a very eloquent and powerful presentation of what Kiribati is facing, as its culture, lifestyle, and very sovereignty is under threat by climate change.