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Madagascar Geography
Location:
Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
Geographic coordinates:
20 00 S, 47 00 E
Map references:
africa
Area:
total: 587,040 sq km
water: 5,500 sq km
land: 581,540 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Arizona
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
4,828 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or 100 nm from the 2,500-m deep isobath
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate:
tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
Terrain:
narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m
Natural resources:
graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 5.07%
permanent crops: 1.03%
other: 93.91% (2001)
Irrigated land:
10,900 sq km (2000 est.)
Natural hazards:
periodic cyclones, drought, and locust infestation
Environment - current issues:
soil erosion results from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes; several species of flora and fauna unique to the island are endangered
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel
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