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Belize Geography
Location:
Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico
Geographic coordinates:
17 15 N, 88 45 W
Map references:
central america and the caribbean
Area:
total: 22,966 sq km
water: 160 sq km
land: 22,806 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Land boundaries:
total: 516 km
border countries: Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km
Coastline:
386 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for the negotiation of a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)
Terrain:
flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Victoria Peak 1,160 m
Natural resources:
arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 2.85%
permanent crops: 1.71%
other: 95.44% (2001)
Irrigated land:
30 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south)
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff; solid and sewage waste disposal
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean
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