Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Continent Europe
Region Southeastern Europe
Coordinates 44°N 18°E / 44°N 18°E / 44; 18Coordinates: 44°N 18°E / 44°N 18°E / 44; 18
Area 51,197 km2 (19,767 sq mi)
99.8% land
0.2 % water
Borders Total land borders:
1,459 km
Highest point Maglić
2,386 m
Lowest point Adriatic Sea
0 m
Longest river Bosna River
Bk-map.png

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in Southeastern Europe, in the western Balkans. It has a 932 km border with Croatia to the north and southwest, a 312 km border with Serbia to the east, and a 215 km border with Montenegro to the southeast. It borders the Adriatic Sea along its 23 km (14 mi) coastline.

The most striking features of the local terrain are valleys and mountains which measure up to 2386 m in height. The country is mostly mountainous, encompassing the central Dinaric Alps. The northeastern parts reach into the Pannonian basin, while in the south it borders the Adriatic.

The country's natural resources include: coal, iron, bauxite, manganese, forests, copper, chromium, lead, zinc and hydro power.

Contents

Regions

The country's name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them. Bosnia occupies the northern areas which are roughly four fifths of the entire country, while Herzegovina occupies the rest in the south part of the country.

The major cities are the capital Sarajevo, Banja Luka in the northwest region known as Bosanska Krajina, Bijeljina and Tuzla in the northeast, Zenica and Doboj in the central part of Bosnia and Mostar, the capital of Herzegovina.

The south part of Bosnia has Mediterranean climate and a great deal of agriculture. Central Bosnia is the most mountainous part of Bosnia featuring predominate mountains Vlašić, Čvrsnica, and Prenj. Eastern Bosnia also features mountains like Trebević, Jahorina, Igman, Bjelašnica and Treskavica. It was here that the 1984 Winter Olympics were held.

Eastern Bosnia is heavily forested along the river Drina, and overall close to 50% of Bosnia and Herzegovina is forested. Most forest areas are in Central, Eastern and Western parts of Bosnia. Northern Bosnia contains very fertile agricultural land along the river Sava and the corresponding area is heavily farmed. This farmland is a part of the Parapannonian Plain stretching into neighbouring Croatia and Serbia. The river Sava and corresponding Posavina river basin hold the cities of Brčko, Bosanski Šamac, Bosanski Brod and Bosanska Gradiška.

The northwest part of Bosnia is called Bosanska Krajina and holds the cities of Banja Luka, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Jajce, Cazin, Velika Kladuša and Bihać. Kozara National Park and Mrakovica WWII monument is located in this region.

The country has only 20 kilometres (12.4 mi) of coastline,[1] around the town of Neum in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, although surrounded by Croatian peninsulas it is possible to get to the middle of the Adriatic from Neum. By United Nations law, Bosnia has a right of passage to the outer sea. Neum has many hotels and is an important tourism destination.

Rivers

There are seven major rivers in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

  • The Una in the northwest part of Bosnia flows along the northern and western border of Bosnia and Croatia and through the Bosnian city of Bihać. It is a very beautiful river and popular for rafting and adventure sports.
  • The Sana flows through the city of Sanski Most and Prijedor and is a tributary of the river Sava in the north.
  • The Vrbas flows through the cities of Gornji Vakuf - Uskoplje, Bugojno, Jajce, Banja Luka, Srbac and reaches the river Sava in the north. The Vrbas flows through the central part of Bosnia and flows outwards to the North.
  • The River Bosna is the longest river in Bosnia and is fully contained within the country as it stretches from its source near Sarajevo to the river Sava in the north. It gave its name to the country.
  • The Drina flows through the eastern part of Bosnia, at many places in the border between Bosnia and Serbia. The Drina flows through the cities of Foča, Goražde and Višegrad.
  • The Neretva river is a large river in Central and Southern Bosnia, flowing from Jablanica south to the Adriatic Sea. The river is famous as it flows through the famous city of Mostar.
  • The Sava river is the largest river in Bosnia and Herzegovina but not the largest river that is flowing through Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Sava river flows through Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Sava is making a natural border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and towns like Brčko, Bosanski Šamac, Bosanska Gradiška lies on the river.

Phytogeography

Phytogeographically, Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region and Adriatic province of the Mediterranean Region. According to the WWF, the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina can be subdivided into three ecoregions: the Pannonian mixed forests, Dinaric Mountains mixed forests and Illyrian deciduous forests.

Climate

The southern and western parts of the country have a Mediterranean climate while inland areas and areas with high elevation experience short, cool summers and long, severe winters.

Land use

  • Arable land: 14%
  • Permanent crops: 5%
  • Permanent pastures: 20%
  • Forests and woodland: 39%
  • Other: 22% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 km² (1993 est.)

Environment

  1. Natural hazards:
  • Destructive earthquakes
  1. Current issues:
  • Air pollution from metallurgical plants
  • Sites for disposing of urban waste are limited
  • Widespread casualties, water shortages, and destruction of infrastructure because of the 1991-1995 war.
  1. International agreements:
  • Party to: Air Pollution, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
  • Signed, but not ratified: none

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Field Listing - Coastline, The World Factbook, 2006-08-22

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2005 edition".



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