The Biosphere Reserve of Terres de l’Ebre is one of the largest in Spain. It includes the four counties of the southernmost part of Catalonia with 45 municipalities, coinciding with the final stretch of the Ebre river. With a total area of 367,000 ha, 80% is land and the rest is marine area.
It is a territory with a high biodiversity, as a result of a very varied relief and its geographic location. In a relatively small area one can go from the dunes of Delta de l’Ebre to the beech trees of the Retaule which are one of the most southern placed of Europe, located in the Port mountain range. The core zone of the Reserve is made up of spaces included in the Natura 2000 Network and a good part of them are Natural Parks (PN Delta de l’Ebre and PN dels Ports).
In the Reserve, agriculture and nature are closely related, to the point of creating complex agroforestry mosaics and true agrosystems that are very important for the ecological functionality of the territory. The rice fields of the Delta, the olive groves of the coastal mountain ranges, the agroforestry landscapes with vineyards in the Terra Alta, the fruit trees share prominence with the riverside forest on the banks of the Ebre, etc.
Nevertheless, it is also one of the most sensitive areas in front of the effects of global change, especially the estuary stretch of the river Ebre and the delta. In this area, the possible effects of sea level rise should be added to the subsidence of the delta plateau and the lack of sediments for the regulation of the Ebre Basin. All of this represents a physical and environmental threat to the territory that must be confronted and managed correctly.
Its declaration by UNESCO in May 2013 was a recognition of this important and diverse natural heritage and the commitment of its inhabitants to promote development formulas through the conservation, management and sustainable use of natural resources.