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Venezuela Geography
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
water: 30,000 sq km
land: 882,050 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:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 15 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
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: 2.95%
other: 96.13% (2001)
permanent crops: 0.92%
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, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
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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