World Geography

Raising awareness of the importance of world geography in the modern world means working for the future of planet Earth.

Many people may not realise how fundamental is the relationship between geography, environment and sustainable development.

Europe

Europe is geographically part of the “Eurasia” supercontinent. The border to the east side of the continent starts from the Ural Mountains in Russia and continues with the Ural River, the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus mountains to the south, which separate it from Asia. The southeastern border with Asia has never been precisely defined. In addition to the river Ural, also the Emba can be used as a border, while Kuma and Manych rivers can substitute the Caucasus. The Black Sea, the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles conclude the border with Asia. The Mediterranean Sea to the south separates Europe from Africa, while to the west the boundary is given from the Atlantic Ocean, by including Iceland.

These barriers to the east of Europe are only political, economic and cultural, not geographic. This has given rise to different interpretations on Europe borders and then on the territory of which Europe is composed, including or excluding entire countries. Almost all European countries are part of the Council of Europe except Belarus, the Holy See (Vatican City) and the Principality of Monaco.

Europe is a collection of connected peninsulas. The largest of these are the European "terra firma" and Scandinavia to the north, divided by the Baltic Sea. Three smaller peninsulas - Iberia, Italy and the Balkans - emerge from the hinterland southern edge in the Mediterranean, which separates them from Africa. To the east, the European mainland extends to the border with Asia, along the Ural mountains.

All reliefs in Europe show height differences in areas which are relatively small. The southern regions, however, are mostly mountainous, while moving towards the north, the terrain descends from the Alps, Pyrenees and Carpathians, towards hilly plateaus and then wide and low northern plains, particularly vast to the east. The flat area is known as the Great European Plain, and has its center in the North German Plain. A mountain arc also exists on the north-west coast: it begins to the west with the British Isles and continues along the mountainous axis, cut by fjords of Norway.

The main natural vegetation that covers Europe is the forest. The conditions for growth are very favorable. Europe was once covered between 80% and 90% by forests, which stretched from the Mediterranean to the Arctic. Although more than half the original forests have disappeared over the centuries of colonization, Europe still has over a quarter of global forests, fir forests of Scandinavia, vast pine forests in Russia, the Caucasus and the cork oak in Mediterranean.

The main natural vegetation that covers Europe is forest. The conditions for its growth are very favorable. Europe was once covered between 80% and 90% by forests, which stretched from the Mediterranean to the Arctic. Although more than half of the original forests have disappeared over the centuries of colonization, Europe still has over a quarter of global forests, fir forests in Scandinavia, vast pine forests in Russia, chestnut forests in Caucasus and the cork oaks in Mediterranean.