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Bolivia:
Geography

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Background
Definition
Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and countercoups. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production. In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982 - after he ran on a promise to change the country's traditional political class and empower the nation's poor majority. However, since taking office, his controversial strategies have exacerbated racial and economic tensions between the Amerindian populations of the Andean west and the non-indigenous communities of the eastern lowlands.
Location
Definition
Central South America, southwest of Brazil
Geographic coordinates
Definition
17 00 S, 65 00 W
Map references
Definition
South America
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 1,098,580 sq km
land: 1,084,390 sq km
water: 14,190 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly less than three times the size of Montana
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 6,940 km
border countries: Argentina 832 km, Brazil 3,423 km, Chile 860 km, Paraguay 750 km, Peru 1,075 km
Coastline
Definition
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid
Terrain
Definition
rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Rio Paraguay 90 m
highest point: Nevado Sajama 6,542 m
Natural resources
Definition
tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 2.78%
permanent crops: 0.19%
other: 97.03% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
1,320 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
622.5 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 1.44 cu km/yr (13%/7%/81%)
per capita: 157 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
flooding in the northeast (March-April)
Environment - current issues
Definition
the clearing of land for agricultural purposes and the international demand for tropical timber are contributing to deforestation; soil erosion from overgrazing and poor cultivation methods (including slash-and-burn agriculture); desertification; loss of biodiversity; industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party 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
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note
Definition
landlocked; shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m), with Peru


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