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Madagascar Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique

    • Map references:

    • Area:

        total area:
        587,040 sq km

        land area:
        581,540 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly less than twice the size of Arizona

    • Land boundaries:
      0 km

    • Coastline:
      4,828 km

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        24 nm

        continental shelf:
        200 nm or 100 nm from the 2,500-m isobath

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin Island (all administered by France)

    • Climate:
      tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south

    • Terrain:
      narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center

    • Natural resources:
      graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      9,000 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        soil erosion results from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes; several species of flora and fauna unique to the island are endangered

        natural hazards:
        periodic cyclones

        international agreements:
        party to - Endangered Species, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea

    • Note:
      world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel

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