Geographic and Governmental Profile of Dominica

Background
Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia CHARLES, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean.
Location
Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about half way between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates
15 25 N, 61 20 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total:
751 sq km
rank:
189
land:
751 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
148 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
Climate
tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall
Terrain
rugged mountains of volcanic origin
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point:
Morne Diablotins 1,447 m
Natural resources
timber, hydropower, arable land
Land use
arable land:
6.67%
permanent crops:
21.33%
other:
72% (2005)
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Irrigated land
NA
Total renewable water resources
NA
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.02 cu km/yr
per capita:
213 cu m/yr (1996)
Natural hazards
flash floods are a constant threat; destructive hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months
Environment - current issues
NA
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
known as "The Nature Island of the Caribbean" due to its spectacular, lush, and varied flora and fauna, which are protected by an extensive natural park system; the most mountainous of the Lesser Antilles, its volcanic peaks are cones of lava craters and include Boiling Lake, the second-largest, thermally active lake in the world
Country name
conventional long form:
Commonwealth of Dominica
conventional short form:
Dominica
Government type
parliamentary democracy
Capital
name:
Roseau
geographic coordinates:
15 18 N, 61 24 W
time difference:
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
10 parishes; Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Paul, Saint Peter
Independence
3 November 1978 (from the UK)
Constitution
3 November 1978
Legal system
common law based on the English model
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Eliud WILLIAMS (since 17 September 2012)
head of government:
Prime Minister Roosevelt SKERRIT (since 8 January 2004)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections:
president elected by the House of Assembly for a five-year term; election last held on 1 October 2003 (next to be held in October 2013); prime minister appointed by the president
election results:
WILLIAMS was elected president following the resignation of Nicholas LIVERPOOL
Legislative branch
unicameral House of Assembly (30 seats; 9 members appointed, 21 elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
last held on 18 December 2009 (next to be held in 2015); note - tradition dictates that the election will be held within five years of the last election, but technically it is five years from the first seating of parliament (12 May 2005) plus a 90-day grace period
election results:
percent of vote by party - DLP 61.2%, UWP 34.9%, other 3.9%; seats by party - DLP 18, UWP 3
Judicial branch
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of the Court of Appeal and the High Court (located in Saint Lucia; one of the six judges must reside in Dominica and preside over the Court of Summary Jurisdiction)
Political parties and leaders
Dominica Freedom Party or DFP [Charles SAVARIN]; Dominica Labor Party or DLP [Roosevelt SKERRIT]; Dominica United Workers Party or UWP [Earl WILLIAMS]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Dominica Liberation Movement or DLM (a small leftist party)
International organization participation
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OIF, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Hubert J. CHARLES
chancery:
3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone:
[1] (202) 364-6781
FAX:
[1] (202) 364-6791
consulate(s) general:
New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
the US does not have an embassy in Dominica; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Dominica
Flag description
green, with a centered cross of three equal bands - the vertical part is yellow (hoist side), black, and white and the horizontal part is yellow (top), black, and white; superimposed in the center of the cross is a red disk bearing a Sisserou parrot, unique to Dominica, encircled by 10 green, five-pointed stars edged in yellow; the 10 stars represent the 10 administrative divisions (parishes); green symbolizes the island's lush vegetation; the triple-colored cross represents the Christian Trinity; the yellow color denotes sunshine, the main agricultural products (citrus and bananas), and the native Carib Indians; black is for the rich soil and the African heritage of most citizens; white signifies rivers, waterfalls, and the purity of aspirations; the red disc stands for social justice
National symbol(s)
Sisserou parrot
National anthem
name:
"Isle of Beauty, Isle of Splendor"
lyrics/music:
Wilfred Oscar Morgan POND/Lemuel McPherson CHRISTIAN
adopted 1967
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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