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    Belize Geography 2000

      Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico

      Geographic coordinates: 17 15 N, 88 45 W

      Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

      total: 22,960 sq km
      land: 22,800 sq km
      water: 160 sq km

      Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Massachusetts

      Land boundaries:
      total: 516 km
      border countries: Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km

      Coastline: 386 km

      Maritime claims:
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
      territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for the negotiation of a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala

      Climate: tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to February)

      Terrain: flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
      highest point: Victoria Peak 1,160 m

      Natural resources: arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower

      Land use:
      arable land: 2%
      permanent crops: 1%
      permanent pastures: 2%
      forests and woodland: 92%
      other: 3% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1993 est.)

      Natural hazards: frequent, devastating hurricanes (September to December) and coastal flooding (especially in south)

      Environment - current issues: deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff; solid waste disposal

      Environment - international agreements:
      party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Marine Dumping, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

      Geography - note: only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean

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    Revised 01-Nov-00
    Copyright © 2000 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)