fotopyrThe Pyrenees is a mountain range located between Spain, Andorra, and France. It spans 415 km from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, with mountain peaks exceeding 3,000 m, small glaciers, lakes, and a large number of valleys and canyons with extraordinary plant and wildlife. Thus, it is important to underline the significance of mountain forests and natural areas that benefit from landscape and/or environmental protection measures.

This geographic area has diverse climates of oceanic, continental, and Mediterranean characteristics. These characteristics determine the ecosystems present, production types, and agricultural organization.

Even today, the Pyrenean mountain range is very rural. Framed within the Pyrenees mountain territories, agriculture and pastoral activities have shaped the landscape we know today, thereby maintaining the activities and social fabric of rural areas. Agricultural systems, which encompass several types of production, represent more than ¼ of operations. Grazing livestock predominates on the Pyrenean range. However, the mountain economy has been mainly oriented toward the service sector and tourist activities.

Geographical perimeter of the Pyrenees

The Pyrenees is divided into eight administrative bodies belonging to three different countries: to the North, three French regions: Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon; to the South, four Spanish autonomous communities: Euskadi, Navarre, Aragon and Catalonia; and towards East, the Principality of Andorra.

The definition of the perimeter of the mountain range is the one used by the Working Community of the Pyrenees. In the case of the Pyrenean Observatory of the Climate Change (OPCC), has also been included the city of Pamplona.

In all of the territories included in the Pyrenees, there are more than 18 million inhabitants, 1.100.000 of which live in the mountain range. Of these, 510,000 live on the French side (Apem 2010), 555,000 live on the Spanish side, and 76,000 live in Andorra (Departament d'Estadística 2013). The population is mainly concentrated on the 2 coastlines, the northern plain and also near major cities and transportation networks.

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> To learn more about the Pyrenean territory, download the territorial diagnosis in the “Study on adaptation to climate change in the Pyrenees”  (Chapitre 1. Le Massif des Pyrénées : Une approche dynamique) from the OPCC-POCTEFA project.
Information in English : Publications OPCC

> Other links:
     - Atlas Statistique de la CTP
     - SIG Pyrénées
     - Datar Pyrénées

 

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