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Nepal:
Geography

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Background
Definition
In 1951, the Nepalese monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system of government. Reforms in 1990 established a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. An insurgency led by Maoist extremists broke out in 1996. The ensuing nine-year civil war between insurgents and government forces witnessed the dissolution of the cabinet and parliament and assumption of absolute power by the king. Several weeks of mass protests in April 2006 were followed by several months of peace negotiations between the Maoists and government officials, and culminated in a November 2006 peace accord and the promulgation of an interim constitution. The newly formed interim parliament declared Nepal a democratic federal republic at its first meeting in May 2008, the king vacated the throne in mid-June 2008, and parliament elected the country's first president the following month.
Location
Definition
Southern Asia, between China and India
Geographic coordinates
Definition
28 00 N, 84 00 E
Map references
Definition
Asia
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 147,181 sq km
land: 143,181 sq km
water: 4,000 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly larger than Arkansas
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 2,926 km
border countries: China 1,236 km, India 1,690 km
Coastline
Definition
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south
Terrain
Definition
Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
Natural resources
Definition
quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 16.07%
permanent crops: 0.85%
other: 83.08% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
11,700 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
210.2 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 10.18 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)
per capita: 375 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
severe thunderstorms, flooding, landslides, drought, and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons
Environment - current issues
Definition
deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives); contaminated water (with human and animal wastes, agricultural runoff, and industrial effluents); wildlife conservation; vehicular emissions
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note
Definition
landlocked; strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga - the world's tallest and third tallest - on the borders with China and India respectively


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