LOCATED IN NORTHEAST Africa, with land borders with Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, Djibouti was formerly known as French Somaliland, and later as the Territory of Afars and Issas. It has a land area of 8,958 sq. mi. (23,200 sq. km.), with a population of 496,374 (2006 est.), and a population density of 88 people per sq. mi. (34 people per sq. km.). With extremely poor soil, less than 1 percent of the country is arable land, with another 9 percent being used for meadows and pasture, mostly to graze cattle, sheep, and goats.
The electricity for the country is produced entirely from fossil fuels, and all the carbon dioxide emissions come from liquid fuels. As a result, even with the low standard of living and the undeveloped nature of the country, it recorded 0.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per capita each year 1990-97, with the amount falling slowly to 0.48 metric tons in 2003. This marked decline is far more than that achieved by most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in spite of the country still having a poor system of public transportation, with plans for a railway from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, first discussed as early as 1894, never resulting in any construction work.
The government of President Hassan Gouled Apti-don took part in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, with the Vienna Convention being ratified in 1999. Under President Ismail Omar Guelleh, Djibouti accepted the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on March 12, 2002, and which took effect on February 16, 2005.
SEE ALSO: Eritrea; Ethiopia; Somalia.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Robert Caputo, "Tragedy Stalks the Horn of Africa," National Geographic (v.184/2, 1993); Shibu Dhai, Conventional Electricity in Djibouti: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future (Volunteers in Technical Assistance, 1985); "Djibouti—Climate and Atmosphere," www.earth-trends.wri.org (cited October 2007); Djibouti—Developing City and Country (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Djibouti, 1983).
JUSTIN CORFIELD Geelong Grammar School, Australia
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