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Malta Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)

    • Map references:

    • Area:

        total area:
        320 sq km

        land area:
        320 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC

    • Land boundaries:
      0 km

    • Coastline:
      140 km

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        24 nm

        continental shelf:
        200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

        exclusive fishing zone:
        25 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration

    • Climate:
      Mediterranean with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers

    • Terrain:
      mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs

    • Natural resources:
      limestone, salt

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      10 sq km (1989)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        very limited natural fresh water resources; increasing reliance on desalination

        natural hazards:

        international agreements:
        party to - Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Desertification

    • Note:
      the country comprises an archipelago, with only the 3 largest islands (Malta, Gozo, and Comino) being inhabited; numerous bays provide good harbors

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