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Saint Lucia:
Geography

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Background
Definition
The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814. Even after the abolition of slavery on its plantations in 1834, Saint Lucia remained an agricultural island, dedicated to producing tropical commodity crops. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979.
Location
Definition
Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates
Definition
13 53 N, 60 58 W
Map references
Definition
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 616 sq km
land: 606 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
158 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
Definition
tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season May to August
Terrain
Definition
volcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Gimie 950 m
Natural resources
Definition
forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 6.45%
permanent crops: 22.58%
other: 70.97% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
30 sq km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.01
per capita: 81 cu m/yr (1997)
Natural hazards
Definition
hurricanes and volcanic activity
Environment - current issues
Definition
deforestation; soil erosion, particularly in the northern region
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
the twin Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton), striking cone-shaped peaks south of Soufriere, are one of the scenic natural highlights of the Caribbean


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