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Latvia Geography

    Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania

    Geographic coordinates: 57 00 N, 25 00 E

    Map references: Europe

    Area:
    total: 64,589 sq km
    land: 64,589 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia

    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,150 km
    border countries: Belarus 141 km, Estonia 339 km, Lithuania 453 km, Russia 217 km

    Coastline: 531 km

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

    Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters

    Terrain: low plain

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
    highest point: Gaizinkalns 312 m

    Natural resources: minimal; amber, peat, limestone, dolomite

    Land use:
    arable land: 27%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 13%
    forests and woodland: 46%
    other: 14% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 160 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: NA

    Environment—current issues: air and water pollution because of a lack of waste conversion equipment; Gulf of Riga and Daugava River heavily polluted; contamination of soil and groundwater with chemicals and petroleum products at military bases

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

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