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    Costa Rica Geography 2000

      Location: Middle America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama

      Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N, 84 00 W

      Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

      total: 51,100 sq km
      land: 50,660 sq km
      water: 440 sq km
      note: includes Isla del Coco

      Area - comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia

      Land boundaries:
      total: 639 km
      border countries: Nicaragua 309 km, Panama 330 km

      Coastline: 1,290 km

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

      Climate: tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands

      Terrain: coastal plains separated by rugged mountains

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
      highest point: Cerro Chirripo 3,810 m

      Natural resources: hydropower

      Land use:
      arable land: 6%
      permanent crops: 5%
      permanent pastures: 46%
      forests and woodland: 31%
      other: 12% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land: 1,200 sq km (1993 est.)

      Natural hazards: occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season; active volcanoes

      Environment - current issues: deforestation, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching; soil erosion; water pollution (rivers); fisheries protection; solid waste management

      Environment - international agreements:
      party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling
      signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

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