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Venezuela: Geography

Geography Venezuela
Location:
Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana
Geographic coordinates:
8 00 N, 66 00 W
Map references:
South America
Area:
total: 912,050 sq km
land: 882,050 sq km
water: 30,000 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than twice the size of California
Land boundaries:
total: 4,993 km
border countries: Brazil 2,200 km, Colombia 2,050 km, Guyana 743 km
Coastline:
2,800 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 15 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate:
tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Terrain:
Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Pico Bolivar (La Columna) 5,007 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds
Land use:
arable land: 2.99%
permanent crops: 0.96%
other: 96.05% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
540 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
sewage pollution of Lago de Valencia; oil and urban pollution of Lago de Maracaibo; deforestation; soil degradation; urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast; threat to the rainforest ecosystem from irresponsible mining operations
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping
Geography - note:
on major sea and air routes linking North and South America; Angel Falls in the Guiana Highlands is the world's highest waterfall

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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