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    Maldives Geography - 2002

      Location Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India

      Geographic coordinates 3 15 N, 73 00 E

      Map references Asia

      total: 300 sq km
      water: 0 sq km
      land: 300 sq km

      Area - comparative about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC

      Land boundaries 0 km

      Coastline 644 km

      Maritime claims measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
      territorial sea: 12 NM
      exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
      contiguous zone: 24 NM

      Climate tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)

      Terrain flat, with white sandy beaches

      Elevation extremes
      lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
      highest point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m

      Natural resources fish

      Land use
      arable land: 3%
      permanent crops: 7%
      other: 90% (1998 est.)

      Irrigated land NA sq km

      Natural hazards low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise

      Environment - current issues depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching

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

      Geography - note 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); archipelago with strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean

      NOTE: The information regarding Maldives on this page is re-published from the 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Maldives Geography 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Maldives Geography 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 30-Jan-03
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