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Tuvalu Geography

    Location: Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia

    Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 178 00 E

    Map references: Oceania

    Area:
    total: 26 sq km
    land: 26 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area—comparative: 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 24 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)

    Terrain: very low-lying and narrow coral atolls

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed location 5 m

    Natural resources: fish

    Land use:
    arable land: 0%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 0%
    forests and woodland: 0%
    other: 100% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: severe tropical storms are usually rare, but, in 1997, there were three cyclones

    Environment—current issues: since there are no streams or rivers and groundwater is not potable, all water needs must be met by catchment systems with storage facilities; beachhead erosion because of the use of sand for building materials; excessive clearance of forest undergrowth for use as fuel; damage to coral reefs from the spread of the Crown of Thorns starfish; Tuvalu is very concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
    signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea

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