Paradise lost: How phosphate mining devastated island Nauru
- Nauru was once one of the wealthiest countries in the world but became one of the poorest after its phosphate reserves were depleted.
- Strip mining degraded Nauru's environment to the point that there is no more fertile land in the country.
- Loss of arable lands led Nauruans to consume mostly processed foods imported from the West, which increased rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the country.
Nauru is a small coral and limestone island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, 25 miles (40 km) south of the equator and 200 miles (300 km) from its nearest neighbor (Banaba island, Kiribati). It was once a tropical paradise, not only because of its warm climate and beautiful beaches but also because of its rich resources.
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