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Panama Geography 1999

    Location: Middle America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica

    Geographic coordinates: 9 00 N, 80 00 W

    Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

    total: 78,200 sq km
    land: 75,990 sq km
    water: 2,210 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina

    Land boundaries:
    total: 555 km
    border countries: Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km

    Coastline: 2,490 km

    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 200 nm

    Climate: tropical; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)

    Terrain: interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Volcan de Chiriqui 3,475 m

    Natural resources: copper, mahogany forests, shrimp

    Land use:
    arable land: 7%
    permanent crops: 2%
    permanent pastures: 20%
    forests and woodland: 44%
    other: 27% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 320 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: NA

    Environment—current issues: water pollution from agricultural runoff threatens fishery resources; deforestation of tropical rain forest; land degradation

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

    Geography—note: strategic location on eastern end of isthmus forming land bridge connecting North and South America; controls Panama Canal that links North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean

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