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    Maldives Geography - 2004

      Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India

      Geographic coordinates:
      3 15 N, 73 00 E

      Map references:

      total: 300 sq km
      water: 0 sq km
      land: 300 sq km

      Area - comparative:
      about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC

      Land boundaries:
      0 km

      644 km

      Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
      measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
      exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
      contiguous zone: 24 NM
      territorial sea: 12 NM

      tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)

      flat, with white sandy beaches

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
      highest point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m

      Natural resources:

      Land use:
      arable land: 3.33%
      permanent crops: 6.67%
      other: 90% (1998 est.)

      Irrigated land:
      NA sq km

      Natural hazards:
      low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise

      Environment - current issues:
      depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching

      Environment - international agreements:
      party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

      Geography - note:
      1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); archipelago with strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean

      NOTE: The information regarding Maldives on this page is re-published from the 2004 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Maldives Geography 2004 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Maldives Geography 2004 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-May-04
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