Geography of Bangladesh : Quick look

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.

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