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Sierra Leone Geography 1999

    Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia

    Geographic coordinates: 8 30 N, 11 30 W

    Map references: Africa

    total: 71,740 sq km
    land: 71,620 sq km
    water: 120 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina

    Land boundaries:
    total: 958 km
    border countries: Guinea 652 km, Liberia 306 km

    Coastline: 402 km

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

    Climate: tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)

    Terrain: coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m

    Natural resources: diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite

    Land use:
    arable land: 7%
    permanent crops: 1%
    permanent pastures: 31%
    forests and woodland: 28%
    other: 33% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 290 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (November to May); sandstorms, dust storms

    Environment—current issues: rapid population growth pressuring the environment; overharvesting of timber, expansion of cattle grazing, and slash-and-burn agriculture have resulted in deforestation and soil exhaustion; civil war depleting natural resources; overfishing

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

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