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Belgium Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands

    • Map references:

    • Area:

        total area:
        30,510 sq km

        land area:
        30,230 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than Maryland

    • Land boundaries:
      total 1,385 km, France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands 450 km

    • Coastline:
      64 km

    • Maritime claims:

        continental shelf:
        median line with neighbors

        exclusive fishing zone:
        median line with neighbors (extends about 68 km from coast)

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:

    • Climate:
      temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

    • Terrain:
      flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast

    • Natural resources:
      coal, natural gas

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      10 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        Meuse River, a major source of drinking water, polluted from steel production wastes; other rivers polluted by animal wastes and fertilizers; industrial air pollution contributes to acid rain in neighboring countries

        natural hazards:
        flooding is a threat in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes

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

    • Note:
      crossroads of Western Europe; majority of West European capitals within 1,000 km of Brussels which is the seat of the EU

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