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Venezuela Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana

    • Map references:
      South America

    • Area:

        total area:
        912,050 sq km

        land area:
        882,050 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly more than twice the size of California

    • Land boundaries:
      total 4,993 km, Brazil 2,200 km, Colombia 2,050 km, Guyana 743 km

    • Coastline:
      2,800 km

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        15 nm

        continental shelf:
        200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      claims all of Guyana west of the Essequibo River; maritime boundary dispute with Colombia in the Gulf of Venezuela

    • Climate:
      tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands

    • Terrain:
      Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast

    • Natural resources:
      petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      2,640 sq km (1989 est.)

    • 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

        natural hazards:
        subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts

        international agreements:
        party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping

    • Note:
      on major sea and air routes linking North and South America

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