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Venezuela Geography

    Location: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana

    Geographic coordinates: 8 00 N, 66 00 W

    Map references: South America, Central America and the Caribbean

    Area:
    total: 912,050 sq km
    land: 882,050 sq km
    water: 30,000 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly more than twice the size of California

    Land boundaries:
    total: 4,993 km
    border countries: Brazil 2,200 km, Colombia 2,050 km, Guyana 743 km

    Coastline: 2,800 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 15 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands

    Terrain: Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Pico Bolivar (La Columna) 5,007 m

    Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds

    Land use:
    arable land: 4%
    permanent crops: 1%
    permanent pastures: 20%
    forests and woodland: 34%
    other: 41% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 1,900 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: subject to floods, rockslides, mud slides; periodic droughts

    Environment—current issues: sewage pollution of Lago de Valencia; oil and urban pollution of Lago de Maracaibo; deforestation; soil degradation; urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast

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

    Geography—note: on major sea and air routes linking North and South America

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