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Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> Pacific Islands of Micronesia (3 galleries) >> Nauru, Central Pacific tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Nauru, Central Pacific | Pohnpei and the lost city of Nan Madol | Kiribati, Central Pacific

Nauru, Central Pacific

The world’s smallest island republic searches for a sustainable future... but is money laundering or 'warehousing' Australia's unwanted boat people the answer? Too small to mint its own currency, Nauru for a time became a tax haven, attracting international money launderers.

The prosperity of this tiny equatorial nation originally relied on phosphate rock, that is, ossified bird droppings, a mineral resource now almost depleted. Inside the reef, a lush equatorial coastline belies the moonscape of the heavily-mined interior. Nauru's few visitors can fish for marlin, yellowfin tuna, skipjack and barracuda. Since my last visit in 2000, Nauru has allowed the Australian government to build an offshore detention camp for illegal immigrants, "boat people" who land unbidden on Australian shores.

Images more recent than these are few and far between, since the Nauru government now imposes punitive visa fees as a deterrent to journalists and photographers intent on documenting conditions in the controversial detention camp, where many detainees - not charged with any crime - have languished for as long as 3 years.

Original images were 35mm Fujichrome or Ektachrome transparencies. Hi-res. scans are available for licensing, please visit wwww.travelgame.org.






Arriving on Air Nauru
Arriving on Air Nauru
Anibare Bay
Anibare Bay
Anibare Bay
Anibare Bay
Anibare Bay
Anibare Bay
World War Two pillbox on Anibare Bay
World War Two pillbox on Anibare Bay
Parliament of the Republic of Nauru
Parliament of the Republic of Nauru
Palm trees and Parliament
Palm trees and Parliament
Buada Lagoon, Nauru's only inland open water
Buada Lagoon, Nauru's only inland open water
Grave sites
Grave sites
Schoolyard
Schoolyard
WWII Japanese AA gun on Command Ridge
WWII Japanese AA gun on Command Ridge
A traditional roost for captive frigate birds
A traditional roost for captive frigate birds
Frigate bird perched on its roost
Frigate bird perched on its roost
Feeding a captive frigate bird
Feeding a captive frigate bird
Feeding a captive frigate bird
Feeding a captive frigate bird
Train which once hauled phosphate rock...
Train which once hauled phosphate rock...
Moonscape bequeathed by phosphate mining
Moonscape bequeathed by phosphate mining
Coral pinnacle
Coral pinnacle
I-Kiribati (Gilbert Islander) boatmen on Nauru
I-Kiribati (Gilbert Islander) boatmen on Nauru
Phosphate loading cantilevers
Phosphate loading cantilevers
Phosphate loading cantilevers
Phosphate loading cantilevers
Phosphate loading cantilevers...
Phosphate loading cantilevers...
Children playing on a wartime bunker
Children playing on a wartime bunker
Young people cooling off
Young people cooling off