Belarus is located in the central part of Europe and has a total area of 207,600 km2. The population of this country as of July 2012 is 9,643,566 people. The country’s climate fluctuates between continental and marine.
Belarus is a small state with a very limited list of minerals. In a small amount, there is oil and a natural gas accompanied by it. However, their volumes do not cover the consumer demand of the population. Therefore, the main percentage has to be imported from abroad. The main supplier of Belarus is Russia.
Geographically, the territory of the country is located on a significant number of marshes. They make up 1/3 of the total area. Explored peat reserves in them amount to more than 5 billion tons. However, its quality, for a number of objective reasons, leaves much to be desired. Geologists also find deposits of brown and hard coal of little use.
According to estimates, domestic energy resources are not able to meet the growing demand of the national economy. Not encouraging forecasts for the future. On the other hand, Belarus has vast reserves of rock and potash salt, which allowed the state to take an honorable third place in the ranking of world producers of this raw material. Also, the country does not feel a shortage of building materials. Here you can find sand, clay and limestone quarries in abundance.
The main water arteries of the country are the Dnieper River and its tributaries Sozh, Pripyat and Byarezina. It should also be noted the Western Dvina, the Western Bug and the Niman, which are interconnected by many channels. These are navigable rivers, most of which are used for timber rafting and electricity generation.
According to various sources, in Belarus there are from 3 to 5 thousand. small rivers and streams and about 10 thousand lakes. The country occupies a leading position in Europe in terms of the number of swamps. Their total area, as mentioned above, is one third of the territory. The abundance of rivers and lakes, scientists explain the features of the relief and the consequences of the ice age.
The largest lake in the country Narach, occupies 79.6 km2. Other large lakes are Osveya (52.8 km2), Chervonoe (43.8 km2), Lukomlskoe (36.7 km2) and Dryvyatye (36.1 km2). On the border of Belarus and Lithuania, there is Lake Drysvyaty with an area of 44.8 km2. The deepest lake in Belarus is Dohija, the depth of which reaches 53.7 m. Chervonoye is the shallowest among large lakes with a maximum depth of 4 m. Most of the large lakes are located in the north of Belarus. In Braslav and Ushach districts, lakes cover more than 10% of the territory.
Forest resources of Belarus
Nearly a third of the country is covered by large uninhabited forests. Coniferous and mixed forests prevail here, the main species in which are beech, pine, spruce, birch, linden, aspen, oak, maple and ash. The share of the area they cover ranges from 34% in the Brest and Grodno regions to 45% in the Gomel region. Forests occupy 36-37.5% of Minsk, Mogilev and Vitebsk regions. The areas with the highest percentage of area covered by forests are Rasoni and Lilchitsy, in the extreme northern and southern regions of Belarus, respectively. The level of woodedness decreased in history-from 60% in 1600 to 22% in 1922, but began to grow in the middle of the 20th century. Belovezhskaya Pushcha (shared with Poland) in the far west is the oldest and most magnificent protected forest area. Here you can find a number of animals and birds that have become extinct elsewhere in the distant past.