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    Maldives Geography 2000

      Location: Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India

      Geographic coordinates: 3 15 N, 73 00 E

      Map references: Asia

      Area:
      total: 300 sq km
      land: 300 sq km
      water: 0 sq km

      Area - comparative: about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC

      Land boundaries: 0 km

      Coastline: 644 km

      Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
      contiguous zone: 24 nm
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
      territorial sea: 12 nm

      Climate: tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)

      Terrain: flat, with white sandy beaches

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
      highest point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m

      Natural resources: fish

      Land use:
      arable land: 10%
      permanent crops: 0%
      permanent pastures: 3%
      forests and woodland: 3%
      other: 84% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land: NA sq km

      Natural hazards: low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise

      Environment - current issues: depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching

      Environment - international agreements:
      party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
      signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

      Geography - note: 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); archipelago of strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean

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


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