Perspectives econòmiques de les comarques pirinenques: una mirada prospectiva i retrospectiva

This work starts from a basic premise: the sustainability of the mountain ecosystems is intrinsically linked with the economic viability of the activities which people do and the people who live there. There are few ecosystems where the interaction between "man" and "nature" is so intense, so mutually related, as the ones in mountain regions. The work starts with a retrospective look at the situation and evolution of the Catalan mountain regions. The situation which during most of the 20th century, and especially during the second half of the century, was a panorama in crescendo of desolation and bad omens, seemed to improve in the last decade of the last century. The catastrophic forecasts seem, luckily, to have been overcome. Have they? A methodological lesson of the present exercise leads us to conclude: societies do not evolve passively and mechanically, on the contrary, they adapt themselves and react to the incentives and opportunities. Secondly, in small communities and kernels —as they are the mountain zones— small exogenous variations can produce sudden changes, drastically different from the ones attached. This work analyses the demographic evolution in the mountain regions, probably the key dimension, cause and at the same time consequence, of the reality of the mountain regions. The precautions of methodological order are especially important here. Regarding the productive activities, the work analyses especially the agricultural activity, the traditional support of the economy in the mountain regions but with clear limitations. In very recent periods, construction has had the role of engine and support, as important in mountain regions as in the touristy zones of the coast, or even more, so, in contrast to agricultural activities, construction can only have a transitory role. The work explores what has been called PES (Payment for Environmental Services), which although it represents a certain development in the political area, it does not have the same effect in the area of economic analysis. In spite of the difficulties, which are discussed in the text, the mountain policies of the future should incorporate the PES strategy ​
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