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Lebanon Geography 1999

    Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria

    Geographic coordinates: 33 50 N, 35 50 E

    Map references: Middle East

    total: 10,400 sq km
    land: 10,230 sq km
    water: 170 sq km

    Area—comparative: about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut

    Land boundaries:
    total: 454 km
    border countries: Israel 79 km, Syria 375 km

    Coastline: 225 km

    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows

    Terrain: narrow coastal plain; Al Biqa' (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Jabal al Makmal 3,087 m

    Natural resources: limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region

    Land use:
    arable land: 21%
    permanent crops: 9%
    permanent pastures: 1%
    forests and woodland: 8%
    other: 61% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 860 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: dust storms, sandstorms

    Environment—current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

    Geography—note: Nahr al Litani only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity

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