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    Tonga Geography 2000

      Location: Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

      Geographic coordinates: 20 00 S, 175 00 W

      Map references: Oceania

      total: 748 sq km
      land: 718 sq km
      water: 30 sq km

      Area - comparative: four times the size of Washington, DC

      Land boundaries: 0 km

      Coastline: 419 km

      Maritime claims:
      continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
      territorial sea: 12 nm

      Climate: tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)

      Terrain: most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
      highest point: unnamed location on Kao Island 1,033 m

      Natural resources: fish, fertile soil

      Land use:
      arable land: 24%
      permanent crops: 43%
      permanent pastures: 6%
      forests and woodland: 11%
      other: 16% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land: NA sq km

      Natural hazards: cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou

      Environment - current issues: deforestation results as more and more land is being cleared for agriculture and settlement; some damage to coral reefs from starfish and indiscriminate coral and shell collectors; overhunting threatens native sea turtle populations

      Environment - international agreements:
      party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

      Geography - note: archipelago of 170 islands (36 inhabited)

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