BULGARIA DREAM AREA CONFERENCE 2002

Central Intelligence Agency: Geography

Background
Bulgaria earned its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, but having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, it fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multi-party election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. Today, reforms and democratization keep Bulgaria on a path toward eventual integration into NATO and the EU - with which it began accession negotiations in 2000.

Location
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey

Geographic coordinates
43 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references
Europe

Area
total: 110,910 sq km
land: 110,550 sq km
water: 360 sq km

Area - comparative
slightly larger than Tennessee

Land boundaries
total: 1,808 km
border countries: Greece 494 km, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Yugoslavia 318 km, Turkey 240 km

Coastline
354 km

Maritime claims
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate
temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers

Terrain
mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast

Elevation extremes
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Musala 2,925 m

Natural resources
bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land

Land use
arable land: 43%
permanent crops: 2%
permanent pastures: 14%
forests and woodland: 38%
other: 3% (1999 est.)

Irrigated land
12,370 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards:
earthquakes, landslides

Environment - current issues
air pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes

Environment - international agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note
strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia