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    • Location: 

      Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the US and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatamala and the US 


    • Map references: 

      North America 


    • Area: 


        total area: 

        1,972,550 sq km 


        land area: 

        1,923,040 sq km 


        comparative area: 

        slightly less than three times the size of Texas 


    • Land boundaries: 

      total 4,538 km, Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,326 km 


    • Coastline: 

      9,330 km 


    • Maritime claims: 


        contiguous zone: 

        24 nm 


        continental shelf: 

        200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin 


        exclusive economic zone: 

        200 nm 


        territorial sea: 

        12 nm 


    • International disputes: 

      claims Clipperton Island (French possession) 


    • Climate: 

      varies from tropical to desert 


    • Terrain: 

      high, rugged mountains, low coastal plains, high plateaus, and desert 


    • Natural resources: 

      petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber 


    • Land use: 


        arable land: 



        permanent crops: 



        meadows and pastures: 



        forest and woodland: 






    • Irrigated land: 

      51,500 sq km (1989 est.) 


    • Environment: 


        current issues: 

        natural fresh water resources scarce and polluted in north, inaccessible and poor quality in center and extreme southeast; raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers in urban areas; deforestation; widespread erosion; desertification; serious air pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border 


        natural hazards: 

        tsunamis along the Pacific coast, destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Gulf and Caribbean coasts 


        international agreements: 

        party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Desertification 


    • Note: 

      strategic location on southern border of US