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    Switzerland Geography 2000

      Location: Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy

      Geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 8 00 E

      Map references: Europe

      total: 41,290 sq km
      land: 39,770 sq km
      water: 1,520 sq km

      Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

      Land boundaries:
      total: 1,852 km
      border countries: Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km

      Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

      Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

      Climate: temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers

      Terrain: mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m
      highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 m

      Natural resources: hydropower potential, timber, salt

      Land use:
      arable land: 10%
      permanent crops: 2%
      permanent pastures: 28%
      forests and woodland: 32%
      other: 28% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land: 250 sq km (1993 est.)

      Natural hazards: avalanches, landslides, flash floods

      Environment - current issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity

      Environment - international agreements:
      party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
      signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea

      Geography - note: landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France and northern Italy, contains the highest elevations in Europe

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