Social and Environmental Conflicts in the Planning and Management of Natural Resources in the Aragon's Pyrenees: The Case of los Valles Occidentales
This chapter examines the characteristics of the Pallars Sobir landscape, and reflect upon the dynamic interactions between nature, politics, and society. In the context of the new economy, the district offers numerous attractions for touristic uses of its territory. The rapid establishment of the tourist economy links itself to cultural and natural values of the district and also to its social conditions. Hydroelectric projects in the Pallars Sobir landscape had localized, yet quite intensive effects. The alteration of the water cycle by the hydroelectric industry, and its effects on the ecosystem as a whole, has prevented international endorsement of the National Park, in spite of the actions that have been taken to minimize their effects. Traditional agricultural, ranching and forest activities historically moulded the natural space, and through a complete and diversified use of the mountain, favoured high levels of biological diversity. From both a social and biological viewpoint, and definitely from an environmental stance, the mountain has been impoverished.