May 5, 2015

1565 KIRIBATI - Tarawa

Tarawa - Kids carrying kindle

Tarawa Atoll, the capital of the Republic of Kiribati, comprises North Tarawa, which has much in common with other islands of the Gilberts group, and South Tarawa, which is home of the half of the country's total population, i.e. more then 50,000 inhabitants. It has a large lagoon, of over 500 km2, and a wide reef. Although naturally abundant in fish and shellfish of all kinds, marine resources are being overharvested by the growing population. North Tarawa consists of a string of islets, separated in places by wide channels that are best crossed at low tide. On South Tarawa, the construction of causeways has now created a single strip of land from Betio in the West to Buota in the Northeast.

The native people of Kiribati are called I-Kiribati, and are Micronesians. Around the 14th century, Fijians, Samoans, and Tongans invaded the islands, thus diversifying the ethnic range. Until recently, I-Kiribati mostly lived in villages, in houses made of materials obtained from coconut and pandanus trees. Frequent droughts and the infertile soil, one of the most infertile on earth, hinder reliable large-scale agriculture, so the islanders have largely turned to the sea for livelihood and subsistence. On the other hand, the highest point on South Tarawa is only a few meters above sea level, making the island extremely vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Nevertheless, in normal years rainfall is sufficient to maintain breadfruit, papaya and banana trees as well as coconut and pandanus. 

About the stamps

Three of the stamps are part of the series Birds, issued on February 9, 2008:
Greater Crested Tern / Thalasseus bergii (0.05 AUD) - It's on the postcard
Eurasian Teal / Anas crecca (0.10 AUD) - It's on the postcard
Laughing Gull / Leucophaeus atricilla (0.15 AUD) - It's on the postcard
Black-tailed Godwit / Limosa limosa (0.20 AUD)
Pectoral Sandpiper / Calidris melanotos (0.25 AUD)
Band-rumped Storm Petrel / Oceanodroma castro (0.50 AUD)    
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper / Calidris acuminata (0.60 AUD)
Grey-tailed Tattler / Tringa brevipes (0.75 AUD)
Red Phalarope / Phalaropus fulicarius (0.90 AUD)
Pink-footed Shearwater / Puffinus creatopus (1.00 AUD)
Ring-billed Gull / Larus delawarensis (2.00 AUD)
Bonin Petrel / Pterodroma hypoleuca (5.00 AUD)

The other three stamps are part of the series Water Transportation, issued in 2013 and comprising 16 values.
• Christmas Island Outrigger (0.05 AUD) - It's on the postcard 
• Inter-island Ferries (0.15 AUD) - It's on other postcard (1667)
• Ferry to Shore (0.10 AUD) - It's on the postcard
• "Te Orkase" Outrigger Diving in Kiritimati (0.40 AUD) - It's on the postcard  

Kiribati - Wikipedia
Kiribati - FAO official website
Tarawa - Wikipedia
Atoll agroforestry on Tarawa and Abemama, Kiribati - The old United Nations University website

Sent from Tarawa (Kiribati), on 27.03.2015

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