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Geography of Malta

Malta is an archipelago of coralline limestone, located in the Mediterranean Sea, ~93km south of Sicily, Italy, Europe; and ~300km north of Africa. Only the three largest islands Malta, Gozo, and Comino[?] are inhabitated. The nation is ~316km2 in area. Numerous bays along the indented coastline of the islands provide good harbours. The landscape of the islands is characterised by low hills with terraced fields. The highest point, at 253m, is the Ta'Dmejrek[?] on Malta Island. The capital is Valleta.

Geographic coordinates: 35 50 N, 14 35 E

Map references: Europe

total: 316 sq km
land: 316 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: 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

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

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Ta'Dmejrek 253 m (near Dingli)

Natural resources: limestone, salt, arable land

Land use:
arable land: 38%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 59% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

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

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

See also : Malta

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