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Philippines Geography

    Location: Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam

    Geographic coordinates: 13 00 N, 122 00 E

    Map references: Southeast Asia

    Area:
    total: 300,000 sq km
    land: 298,170 sq km
    water: 1,830 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than Arizona

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 36,289 km

    Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
    continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: irregular polygon extending up to 100 nm from coastline as defined by 1898 treaty; since late 1970s has also claimed polygonal-shaped area in South China Sea up to 285 nm in breadth

    Climate: tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)

    Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Philippine Sea 0 m
    highest point: Mount Apo 2,954 m

    Natural resources: timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper

    Land use:
    arable land: 19%
    permanent crops: 12%
    permanent pastures: 4%
    forests and woodland: 46%
    other: 19% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 15,800 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis

    Environment—current issues: uncontrolled deforestation in watershed areas; soil erosion; air and water pollution in Manila; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps which are important fish breeding grounds

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)