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Jamaica Geography

    Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba

    Geographic coordinates: 18 15 N, 77 30 W

    Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

    Area:
    total: 10,990 sq km
    land: 10,830 sq km
    water: 160 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Connecticut

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 1,022 km

    Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: tropical; hot, humid; temperate interior

    Terrain: mostly mountains, with narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Blue Mountain Peak 2,256 m

    Natural resources: bauxite, gypsum, limestone

    Land use:
    arable land: 14%
    permanent crops: 6%
    permanent pastures: 24%
    forests and woodland: 17%
    other: 39% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 350 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: hurricanes (especially July to November)

    Environment—current issues: deforestation; coastal waters polluted by industrial waste, sewage, and oil spills; damage to coral reefs; air pollution in Kingston results from vehicle emissions

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: strategic location between Cayman Trench and Jamaica Channel, the main sea lanes for Panama Canal

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)