Libya lies on the Mediterranean in north Africa at 18°33° North and 9°25° East. It has 4.5 million inhabitants and the total surface area is 1,759,540 square kilometres, of which over 90% are desert. Most farming activities are limited to a long, narrow strip along the Mediterranean coast.
The predominant climate conditions are typical of the Mediterranean region, and are characterised by variability and unpredictability. Rainfall is irregular in quantity, frequency and distribution. The ecoregions are as follows:
- Coastal strip: a narrow strip between 5 and 25 kilometres wide along the coast. To the south and west, however, this plain stretches to more than 100 kilometres, forming the arc-shaped Jeffara plain. Average rainfall is 200-250 mm.
- Low mountains (Jabals): the eastern part is known as Jabal Al Akhdar (250-600 mm), and the western part is Jabal Al Gharbi (200 and 300 mm).
- Semi-desert areas: to the south and parallel to the Jabal regions. Average rainfall varies from 50 to 150 mm.
- Desert: sterile sand dunes. Rainfall is almost non-existent.