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Kyrgyzstan:
Geography

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Background
Definition
A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, most of Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed to Russia in 1876. The Kyrgyz staged a major revolt against the Tsarist Empire in 1916 in which almost one-sixth of the Kyrgyz population was killed. Kyrgyzstan became a Soviet republic in 1936 and achieved independence in 1991 when the USSR dissolved. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAYEV, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIEV. The political opposition organized demonstrations in Bishkek in April, May, and November 2006 resulting in the adoption of a new constitution that transferred some of the president's powers to parliament and the government. In December 2006, the Kyrgyz parliament voted to adopt new amendments, restoring some of the presidential powers lost in the November 2006 constitutional change. By late-September 2007, both previous versions of the constitution were declared illegal, and the country reverted to the AKAYEV-era 2003 constitution, which was subsequently modified in a flawed referendum initiated by BAKIEV. The president then dissolved parliament, called for early elections, and gained control of the new parliament through his newly-created political party, Ak Jol, in December 2007 elections. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, negative trends in democracy and political freedoms, reduction of corruption, improving interethnic relations, and combating terrorism.
Location
Definition
Central Asia, west of China
Geographic coordinates
Definition
41 00 N, 75 00 E
Map references
Definition
Asia
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 198,500 sq km
land: 191,300 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than South Dakota
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 3,878 km
border countries: China 858 km, Kazakhstan 1,051 km, Tajikistan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,099 km
Coastline
Definition
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone
Terrain
Definition
peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Kara-Daryya (Karadar'ya) 132 m
highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m
Natural resources
Definition
abundant hydropower; significant deposits of gold and rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 6.55%
permanent crops: 0.28%
other: 93.17%
note: Kyrgyzstan has the world's largest natural-growth walnut forest (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
10,720 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
46.5 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 10.08 cu km/yr (3%/3%/94%)
per capita: 1,916 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
NA
Environment - current issues
Definition
water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes


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