Bolivia - Country Information Bolivia located in central...

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Country Information Bolivia, located in central South America, is a country that was first formed in 1825 when it broke away from Spanish rule ( ). Its history since then has been checkered, coming finally to civilian rule in the 1980’s, but with consistent efforts at blowing away its drug trade and corruption, the governments have a hard time regulating citizens and the population (Zulawski.) Bolivia, which is located southwest of Brazil, has La Paz as its capital city. Its total area is 1,098,580 sq. kilometers, 14, 190 of those being water and 1,084,390 being land. Compared to areas in the United States, Bolivia is “slightly less than three times the size of Montana” (World Factbook.) It has 6,743 km of land boundaries, including Argentina (832 km), Brazil (3,400 km), Chile (861 km), Paraguay (750 km) and Peru (900 km). Brazil is obviously the largest bordering country at 3400 km. It is a landlocked country, but it shares control of Lago Titicaca that is the world’s highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m). Control is shared with Peru (World FactBook.) The terrain can vary from very rough and rugged like in the Andes Mountains within the country, but can become hilly and even have lowland plains that exist within the basin of the Amazon River. The highest point in Bolivia is the Nevado Sajama at 6,542 meters, and its lowest point is the Rio Paraguay at 90 meters (unlike New Orleans, no point in Bolivia is below sea level.) The country lies at 17 00 S, 65 00 W (south of the equator.) (World Factbook.) The natural resources in Bolivia are varied. They include tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber and hydropower. Not much of the land is arable. Only 1.73 % can be used for farming. 0.21 % of the land contains permanent crops, while 98.06 % of the land is set aside for other uses. 1,280 sq. km. of Bolivia is irrigated. Flooding in the northeast of Bolivia can become a danger in the months of March and April, but otherwise, there are few other natural hazards (Reed.) Currently, many environmental issues affect Bolivia. Some parts of the country have suffered from deforestation because lands are cleared for agricultural purposes and for an international demand for tropical timber. Soil erosion also takes place because of overgrazing and poor cultivation of land methods. Desertification is also taking place along with loss of biodiversity and “industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation” (World Factbook.) Many international environmental agreements have gone into place to help the environmental situation in Bolivia. These include : Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands.
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Some have been signed but are not yet ratified. These include : Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection (World Factbook.) Bolivia has a large population. According to a July 2003 estimate, its population is 8,586,443 persons. 37.1 % of those persons are between the ages of 0 and 14 years
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