Bajo Aragón Spain

Model region total area (ha)

130 400 ha

Brief description of the location

Bajo Aragón region is located in the north east of Teruel province. It is a strategic area situated 107 km southeast of Zaragoza (capital city of Aragon), 139 km west of Tarragona, 166 km northwest of Castellon and 234 km southwest of Barcelona. The three last cities are located at Mediterranean coast.

Aragon area is located in the depression or Ebro river valley at the East of Aragon. The region accounts 20 town councils. The chief town is Alcañiz (16.384 inhabitants) being the sixth town of Aragon.

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Type of landscape

The region different areas present a climate with significant differences which leads to different types of landscapes therefore we can find Mediterranean forests but also semi-arid zones and large areas with olives that spread throughout the region territory. Mediterranean continental climatic conditions with significant variations from summer (23-24ºC of mean temperature) to winter (5-6ºC of mean temperature).  400 mm average annual precipitation. The region does not account with big mountains but in the south part of the region start the mountain of the Iberian System. The altitude is around 300-400 meters above the sea level in the depression rising up to 850-950 in mountains areas.

The main river is the Guadalope which merges into the Ebro river. But there are other minor rivers like el Guadalopillo, el Bergantes, el Mezquín and one samll creek called the Regallo.

The region account with a curious natural formation called “las Saladas“ which are almost dried lagoons in which bottom accumulates  dissolved mineral salts. The region also accounts with a certain number of ponds.

A 59% of the territory is suitable for agricultural production with an easy topography. Another 39% with a difficult topography (mountainous conditions) is used to forests. Both can be intercalated originating a curious landscape (mosaic). Most arable land is used for growing cereals, vineyards, olive trees and fruit trees.

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Type of population

Total population: 29 440 inhabitants

Population density: 22.7 inhabitants/km2

The population is concentrated in 23 villages. Only 4 villages have more than 1.000 residents. Other 4 from 400 up to 700 and the rest less than 400 inhabitants. In Alcañiz accounts with more than 16.000 (55%) habitants. Alcañiz, Alcorisa and Calanda cities account 79 % of the total population of the region. If Mas de las Matas is included it raises to 84 % and, including Castelseras y Valdealgorfa 89 % of the region total population is located in these municipalities. Therefore 90% of the region population is located in one third of the region municipalities.

Economic activity

Total employed population amounts 59.89% of the region total population.

The service sector concentrates more than 60% of the workers. The agricultural sector has a 15,4% of the workers, the industrial sector 13,3% and the building company sector 10,7%. Services are located at Alcañiz while in the small villages the agriculture is predominant.

In recent years the agro-business has raised: meat industry, canning industry and craft industry. Other activities as tourist trade or sport trials (motorland) are currently increasing their importance.

The agricultural activity and forestry occupies a high percentage of the population but only it generates the 5.3% of gross added value (GAV), a lower percentage than the manufacturing company (9,9%) or building company (16,4%). The hotel and tourist trade contribute with more than 18% and the highest income comes from public administration, education and health (24%).

Types of LCMW biomass in the region

1. Ravine cleaning

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2. Pathside/roadside cleaning

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3. Riverside cleaning

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4. Auxiliary belt (Firewall)

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5. Recreational forest cleaning

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1. Ravine cleaning

  • Distribution over all municipalities of the region but more specially concentrated in: La Cerollera, Belmonte de San José, Torrevelilla, La Codoñera y Torrecilla de Alcañiz.
  • 1000 ha (around 1% of Bajo Aragón area)
  • Clear vegetation to restore meadows and woody crops àNature/environmental protection and firewall
  • The LCMW biomass is currently not used (except in some cases for firewood)

2. Pathside/roadside cleaning

  • Significant path network in the region but more work required on paths with conditions favouring fast vegetation development (shadowy and humid zones).
  • Total area adds around 5 ha (less than 1% of Bajo Aragón area)
  • Clear paths from vegetation to prevent blocking and secure passage à Scenery, recreation, technical infrastructure
  • The LCMW biomass is currently not used

3. River side cleaning

  • Concentrated around the rivers and creeks
  • 250 ha  (less than 1% of Bajo Aragón area)
  • Building up of biomass in river sides (every 5-10 years) constitutes a risk in case of overflows and flooding casing clogging that will result in floods. Additionally the biomass implies a fire risk à Technical Infrastructure and public security
  • The LCMW biomass is currently not used

Other LCMW biomasses which were identified in the region but due to the reduced area they occupied or small amount of biomass obtained in the maintenance operations were not relevant for the biomass assessment are:

4. Auxiliary belt (Firewall):

  • Distribution: concentrated in specific zones (forest areas)
  • Approximate % of the region area 0, 01%
  • Clearing of 50m from each side of the path as strategy for forest fire prevention à nature/environmental protection and public security
  • The LCMW biomass is currently not used

5. Recreational forest cleaning

  • Recreation areas in each municipality à small spot disseminated
  • Total area adds around 5 ha (less than 1% of Bajo Aragón area)
  • Cleaning and pruning of bush and woody species to secure transit access and avoid fire risk due to biomass accumulation à Nature/environmental protection and public security
  • The LCMW biomass is currently not used (except in some cases for firewood)