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The Times Atlas of the World
Uploaded on Saturday 25 Feb 2012
Kazakhstan, topographic map
Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural River in eastern-most Europe, comprising of 2,717,300 sq km. It has a population of 15,185,844 (2005). Major environmental concerns are: radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers which flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices.