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Geography of Bangladesh

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India.

Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 90 00 E.
Map references: Asia

Total: 144,000 sq km.
Land: 133,910 sq km.
Water: 10,090 sq km.

Area-comparative: slightly smaller than Iowa.

Land boundaries:
Total: 4,246 km
Border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km

Coastline: 580 km.
Maritime claims:
Contiguous zone: 18 nm.
Continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin.
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm.
Territorial sea: 12 nm.

Climate: tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)

Terrain: mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast.

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m.
highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m.

Natural resources: natural gas, arable land, timber.

Land use:
arable land: 61%
permanent crops: 3%
other: 36% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 38,440 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: droughts, cyclones; much of the country routinely flooded during the summer monsoon season.

Environment-current issues: many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; limited access to potable water; water-borne diseases prevalent; water pollution especially of fishing areas results from the use of commercial pesticides; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation; deforestation; severe overpopulation.

Environment-international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Transnational Issues

Disputes-international: Only a small portion of the boundary with India remains undelimited; discussions to demarcate the boundary, exchange 162 miniscule enclaves, and allocate divided villages remain stalled; skirmishes, illegal border trafficking, and violence along the border continue; Bangladesh has protested India's attempts to fence off high traffic sections of the porous boundary; Burmese attempts to construct a dam on the border stream in 2001 prompted an armed response halting construction; Burmese Muslim refugees migrate into Bangladesh straining meager resources.