The Geography of Belize

The Geography of Belize

Belizean Geography

Location: Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico

Geographic coordinates: 17 15 N, 88 45 W

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Area: total: 22,966 sq km land: 22,806 sq km water: 160 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Land boundaries: total: 516 km border countries: Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km

Coastline: 386 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for negotiating a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate: tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)

Terrain: flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point: Doyle's Delight 1,160 m

Natural resources: arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower

Land use: arable land: 3.05% permanent crops: 1.39% other: 95.56% (2005)

Irrigated land: 30 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards: frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south)

Environment - current issues: deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff; solid and sewage waste disposal

Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean

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