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    Belgium Geography - 2002

      Location Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands

      Geographic coordinates 50 50 N, 4 00 E

      Map references Europe

      total: 30,510 sq km
      land: 30,230 sq km
      water: 280 sq km

      Area - comparative about the size of Maryland

      Land boundaries
      total: 1,385 km
      border countries: France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands 450 km

      Coastline 66 km

      Maritime claims
      continental shelf: median line with neighbors
      territorial sea: 12 NM
      exclusive fishing zone: median line with neighbors (extends about 68 km from coast)

      Climate temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

      Terrain flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast

      Elevation extremes
      lowest point: North Sea 0 m
      highest point: Signal de Botrange 694 m

      Natural resources coal, natural gas

      Land use
      arable land: 25%
      permanent crops: 0%
      note: includes Luxembourg (1998 est.)
      other: 75%

      Irrigated land 40 sq km (includes Luxembourg) (1998 est.)

      Natural hazards flooding is a threat in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes

      Environment - current issues the environment is exposed to intense pressures from human activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry, intense animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries; uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now resolved) have slowed progress in tackling environmental challenges

      Environment - international agreements
      party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, 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
      signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

      Geography - note crossroads of Western Europe; majority of West European capitals within 1,000 km of Brussels, the seat of both the European Union and NATO

      NOTE: The information regarding Belgium on this page is re-published from the 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belgium Geography 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Geography 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 30-Jan-03
    Copyright © 2003 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)