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Cape Verde Geography

    Location: Western Africa, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal

    Geographic coordinates: 16 00 N, 24 00 W

    Map references: World

    Area:
    total: 4,030 sq km
    land: 4,030 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than Rhode Island

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 965 km

    Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and very erratic

    Terrain: steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mt. Fogo 2,829 m (a volcano on Fogo Island)

    Natural resources: salt, basalt rock, pozzuolana (a siliceous volcanic ash used to produce hydraulic cement), limestone, kaolin, fish

    Land use:
    arable land: 11%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 6%
    forests and woodland: 0%
    other: 83% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 30 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: prolonged droughts; harmattan wind can obscure visibility; volcanically and seismically active

    Environment—current issues: overgrazing of livestock and improper land use such as the cultivation of crops on steep slopes has led to soil erosion; demand for wood used as fuel has resulted in deforestation; desertification; environmental damage has threatened several species of birds and reptiles; overfishing

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: strategic location 500 km from west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site

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