First National Report To the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

The environmental issue of greatest concern to the people of Nauru is the degradation of the mined phosphate lands. In all of the series of consultations that were carried out between the people of Nauru and the various teams of technical experts to ascertain the feasibility of rehabilitating the island, it was constantly emphasised that the total degradation of topside, including localized inland, water shortages and coastal erosions are problems that need to be addressed for sustainable development. The most drastic land degradation has been caused by the removal of natural vegetation, topsoil, phosphate rock and almost total modification of the landscape of the topside as result of phosphate mining. This is by far the most widespread and visible environmental concern in the country- an impact that has had a direct and/or indirect influence on all other environmental impacts and cultural change over the past 90 or so years.

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