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Malta:
Geography

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Background
Definition
Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May 2004 and began to use the euro as currency in 2008.
Location
Definition
Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)
Geographic coordinates
Definition
35 50 N, 14 35 E
Map references
Definition
Europe
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 316 sq km
land: 316 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
196.8 km (does not include 56.01 km for the island of Gozo)
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 25 nm
Climate
Definition
Mediterranean; mild, rainy winters; hot, dry summers
Terrain
Definition
mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Ta'Dmejrek 253 m (near Dingli)
Natural resources
Definition
limestone, salt, arable land
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 31.25%
permanent crops: 3.13%
other: 65.62% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
20 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
0.07 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.02 cu km/yr (74%/1%/25%)
per capita: 50 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
NA
Environment - current issues
Definition
limited natural fresh water resources; increasing reliance on desalination
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
the country comprises an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Ghawdex or Gozo, and Kemmuna or Comino) being inhabited; numerous bays provide good harbors; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration


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