Enclavism

by Luigi Guarino on September 13, 2007

This has very little to do with agrobiodiversity, but I couldn’t resist mentioning it. I got an email from my friend Robert Hijmans at IRRI pointing me to this little-known fact:

West Bengal has many small exclaves within the Rajshahi division of Bangladesh, and vice versa. According to Brendan Whyte’s thesis, there are 106 of them. For the height of complexity, a part of Dahala Khagrabari, India is surrounded by Bangladeshi territory (part of Upanchowki Bhajni, Bangladesh), which is itself surrounded by Balapara Khagrabari, India, which in turn is surrounded by Bangladesh. This is the world’s only counter-counter-enclave.

Robert and his team are trying to map this in GADM, not without a little difficulty. GADM is part of the BioGeoMancer project, about which I blogged way back.

GADM is a database of the location of the world’s administrative areas (boundaries). Administrative areas in this database are countries and lower level subdivisions such as provinces, departments, bibhag, bundeslander, daerah istimewa, fivondronana, krong, landsvæðun, opština, sous-préfectures, counties, and thana. GADM describes where these administrative areas are (the “spatial features”), and for each area it provides some attributes, foremost being the name and variant names.

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