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Netherlands Geography 1999

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

    Geographic coordinates: 52 30 N, 5 45 E

    Map references: Europe

    total: 41,532 sq km
    land: 33,889 sq km
    water: 7,643 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

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

    Coastline: 451 km

    Maritime claims:
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters

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

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Prins Alexanderpolder -7 m
    highest point: Vaalserberg 321 m

    Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, fertile soil

    Land use:
    arable land: 25%
    permanent crops: 3%
    permanent pastures: 25%
    forests and woodland: 8%
    other: 39% (1996 est.)

    Irrigated land: 6,000 sq km (1996 est.)

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

    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

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

    Geography—note: located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)

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