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    Latvia Geography - 2003

      Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania

      Geographic coordinates: 57 00 N, 25 00 E

      Map references: Europe

      Area: total: 64,589 sq km
      water: 1,000 sq km
      land: 63,589 sq km

      Area - comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia

      Land boundaries: total: 1,150 km
      border countries: Belarus 141 km, Estonia 339 km, Lithuania 453 km, Russia 217 km

      Coastline: 531 km

      Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
      exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
      territorial sea: 12 NM

      Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters

      Terrain: low plain

      Elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
      highest point: Gaizinkalns 312 m

      Natural resources: peat, limestone, dolomite, amber, hydropower, wood, arable land

      Land use: arable land: 29.01%
      permanent crops: 0.48%
      other: 70.51% (1998 est.)

      Irrigated land: 200 sq km
      note: land in Latvia is often too wet, and in need of drainage, not irrigation; approximately 16,000 sq km or 85% of agricultural land has been improved by drainage (1998 est.)

      Natural hazards: NA

      Environment - current issues: Latvia's environment has benefited from a shift to service industries after the country regained independence; the main environmental priorities are improvement of drinking water quality and sewage system, household and hazardous waste management, and reduction of air pollution; in 2001, Latvia closed the EU accession negotiation chapter on environment committing to full enforcement of EU environmental directives by 2010

      Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
      signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

      Geography - note: most of the country is composed of fertile, low-lying plains, with some hills in the east

      NOTE: The information regarding Latvia on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Latvia Geography 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 20-Sep-03
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