The countries of the world are those generally recognized nations on Earth. Countries are described by their physical geography, ecoregions, socioeconomic description and history. Each country has a distinct culture and form of governance. Since national boundaries have been altered in many world regions in the 19th and 20th century, the boundaries and names of many countries have changed in the last two centuries.
The following is a list of countries and regions of the world. The 195 nations that are generally recognzed are numbered.
There are 193 members of the United Nations...
NamibiaLast Updated on 2013-09-30 17:25:34Namibia is a nation of over two million people in southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola to the north and South Africa to the south.
Namibia is mostly high plateau with the Namib Desert along the coast and the Kalahari Desert in east. It is one of the least densly populated nations in the world.
Namibia's major environmental issues include:
limited natural fresh water resources;
habitat fragmentation; and,
land degradation which has led to few fully protected intact conservation areas.
Most of the country is susceptible to prolonged periods of drought.
South Africa occupied the German colony of Southwest Africa during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory.
In 1966 the Marxist Southwest Africa People's... More »
YemenLast Updated on 2012-01-28 00:00:00
Yemen is a nation in the Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia. It also includes Socotra, which includes four islands in the Indian Ocean, east of the Horn of Africa.
It has a strategic location on Bab el-Mandeb, the strait linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, one of world's most active shipping lanes.
Its major environmental issues include:
limited natural freshwater resources;
inadequate supplies of potable water;
soil erosion; and,
North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.
The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen.
Three years later, the southern government... More »
VanuatuLast Updated on 2012-01-27 00:00:00
Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides), is a nation of under a quarter million people composed of group of more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited, in the South Pacific Ocean, north of New Caledonia about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia.
Geographically, Vanuatu is a Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes.
Its major environmental issues include:most of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water;and, deforestation
Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day.
The British and French, who... More »
Vatican City (Holy See)Last Updated on 2012-01-27 00:00:00
The Holy See (Vatican City) is a landlocked enclave of 0.44 square kilometers within the city of Rome in Italy. It is the world's smallest state. It has an official population of just 832 (July 2011 est.); nearly all dignitaries, priests, nuns, guards. Approximately 3,000 lay workers live outside the Vatican.
Beyond the territorial boundary of Vatican City, the Lateran Treaty of 1929 grants the Holy See extraterritorial authority over 23 sites in Rome and five outside of Rome, including the Pontifical Palace at Castel Gandolfo (the Pope's summer residence).
The Holy See's diplomatic history began in the fourth century, but the boundaries of the papacy's temporal power have shifted over the centuries. From the 8th century through the middle of the 19th century, Popes ruled over the Papal States, which... More »
VietnamLast Updated on 2012-01-27 00:00:00
Vietnam is a nation of ninety one million people in southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, as well as China, Laos, and Cambodia.
Extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point.
Its major environmental issues include:
logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices contribute to deforestation and soil degradation;
water pollution and overfishing threaten marine life populations;
groundwater contamination limits potable water supply; and,
growing urban industrialization and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam is susceptible to occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta.
The... More »
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