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Netherlands


    • Location:
      Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany

    • Map references:
      Europe

    • Area:

        total area:
        37,330 sq km

        land area:
        33,920 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

    • Land boundaries:
      total 1,027 km, Belgium 450 km, Germany 577 km

    • Coastline:
      451 km

    • Maritime claims:

        exclusive fishing zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      none

    • Climate:
      temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters

    • Terrain:
      mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast

    • Natural resources:
      natural gas, petroleum, fertile soil

    • Land use:

        arable land:
        26%

        permanent crops:
        1%

        meadows and pastures:
        32%

        forest and woodland:
        9%

        other:
        32%

    • Irrigated land:
      5,500 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        water pollution in the form of heavy metals, organic compounds, and nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates; air pollution from vehicles and refining activities; acid rain

        natural hazards:
        the extensive system of dikes and dams, protects nearly one-half of the total area from being flooded

        international agreements:
        party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Biodiversity, Desertification, Law of the Sea

    • Note:
      located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)






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