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Philippines Geography Profile 2017

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LocationSoutheastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates13 00 N, 122 00 E
Map referencesSoutheast Asia
Areatotal: 300,000 sq km
land: 298,170 sq km
water: 1,830 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than twice the size of Georgia; slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline36,289 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: irregular polygon extending up to 100 nm from coastline as defined by 1898 treaty; since late 1970s has also claimed polygonal-shaped area in South China Sea as wide as 285 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: to the depth of exploitation
Climatetropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)
Terrainmostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 442 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Philippine Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Apo 2,954 m
Natural resourcestimber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper
Land useagricultural land: 41%
arable land 18.2%; permanent crops 17.8%; permanent pasture 5%
forest: 25.9%
other: 33.1% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land16,270 sq km (2012)
Population distributionpopulation concentrated where good farmlands lie; highest concentrations are northwest and south-central Luzon, the southeastern extension of Luzon, and the islands of the Visayan Sea, particularly Cebu and Negros; Manila is home to one-eighth of the entire national population
Natural hazardsastride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms each year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Taal (elev. 311 m), which has shown recent unrest and may erupt in the near future, has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Mayon (elev. 2,462 m), the country's most active volcano, erupted in 2009 forcing over 33,000 to be evacuated; other historically active volcanoes include Biliran, Babuyan Claro, Bulusan, Camiguin, Camiguin de Babuyanes, Didicas, Iraya, Jolo, Kanlaon, Makaturing, Musuan, Parker, Pinatubo, and Ragang
Environment - current issuesuncontrolled deforestation especially in watershed areas; soil erosion; air and water pollution in major urban centers; coral reef degradation; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps that are important fish breeding grounds
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - notethe Philippine archipelago is made up of 7,107 islands; favorably located in relation to many of Southeast Asia's main water bodies: the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017