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Philippines: Geography

Geography Philippines
Location:
Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates:
13 00 N, 122 00 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
Area:
total: 300,000 sq km
water: 1,830 sq km
land: 298,170 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
36,289 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
territorial sea: irregular polygon extending up to 100 NM from coastline as defined by 1898 treaty; since late 1970s has also claimed polygonal-shaped area in South China Sea up to 285 NM in breadth
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate:
tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)
Terrain:
mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Philippine Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Apo 2,954 m
Natural resources:
timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper
Land use:
arable land: 18.45%
permanent crops: 14.76%
other: 66.79% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
15,500 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis
Environment - current issues:
uncontrolled deforestation in watershed areas; soil erosion; air and water pollution in Manila; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps that are important fish breeding grounds
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
favorably located in relation to many of Southeast Asia's main water bodies: the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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