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Palau Geography
Location:
Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
Geographic coordinates:
7 30 N, 134 30 E
Map references:
oceania
Area:
total: 458 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 458 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
1,519 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm
extended fishing zone: 200 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
Climate:
Tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November
Terrain:
varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Ngerchelchuus 242 m
Natural resources:
forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals
Land use:
arable land: 8.7%
permanent crops: 4.35%
other: 86.95% (2001)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
typhoons (June to December)
Environment - current issues:
inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
westernmost archipelago in the Caroline chain, consists of six island groups totaling more than 300 islands; includes World War II battleground of Beliliou (Peleliu) and world-famous rock islands
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