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1UpTravel - Geography Info and Facts of Countries : . - Palau

Palau Geography and Facts

Location: Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines

Geographic coordinates: 7 30 N, 134 30 E

Map references: Oceania

total: 458 sq km
land: 458 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 1,519 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
extended fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: wet season May to November; hot and humid

Terrain: varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Ngerchelchauus 242 m

Natural resources: forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals

Land use:
arable land: NA%
permanent crops: NA%
permanent pastures: NA%
forests and woodland: NA%
other: NA%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: typhoons (June to December)

Environment - current issues: inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: includes World War II battleground of Beliliou (Peleliu) and world-famous rock islands; archipelago of six island groups totaling over 200 islands in the Caroline chain

Background: After three decades as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific under US administration, this westernmost cluster of the Caroline Islands opted for independent status in 1978 rather than join the Federated States of Micronesia. A Compact of Free Association with the US was approved in 1986, but not ratified until 1993. It entered into force the following year when the islands gained their independence.

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