Brunei: Background & Geography

Introduction Brunei
Background:
The Sultanate of Brunei's influence peaked between the 15th and 17th centuries when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate; independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six centuries. Brunei benefits from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields, the source of one of the highest per capita GDPs in the developing world.
Geography Brunei
Location:
Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia
Geographic coordinates:
4 30 N, 114 40 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
Area:
total: 5,770 sq km
water: 500 sq km
land: 5,270 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Delaware
Land boundaries:
total: 381 km
border countries: Malaysia 381 km
Coastline:
161 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM or to median line
Climate:
tropical; hot, humid, rainy
Terrain:
flat coastal plain rises to mountains in east; hilly lowland in west
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, timber
Land use:
arable land: 0.57%
permanent crops: 0.76%
other: 98.67% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
10 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
typhoons, earthquakes, and severe flooding are rare
Environment - current issues:
seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
close to vital sea lanes through South China Sea linking Indian and Pacific Oceans; two parts physically separated by Malaysia; almost an enclave of Malaysia

See Also: