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Geography of the Netherlands

Geography of the Netherlands

Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany

Geographic coordinates: 52 30 N, 5 45 E

Map references: Europe

Area:
total: 41,532 sq km
land: 33,889 sq km
water: 7,643 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

Land boundaries:
total: 1,027 km
border countries: Belgium 450 km, Germany 577 km

Coastline: 451 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nautical miles
territorial sea: 12 nautical miles

Climate: temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters

Terrain: mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Prins Alexanderpolder -7 m
highest point: Vaalserberg 321 m

Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, arable land

Land use:
arable land: 25%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 25%
forests and woodland: 8%
other: 39% (1996 est.)

Irrigated land: 6,000 sq km (1996 est.)

Natural hazards: the extensive system of dikes and dams protects nearly one-half of the total area from being flooded

Environment - current issues: water pollution in the form of heavy metals, organic compounds, and nutrients such as nitrates[?] and phosphates[?]; air pollution from vehicles and refining activities; acid rain

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

Geography - note: located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)



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