Workshop on saline lakes and wetlands in Aragón

The workshop “Saline Lakes and Wetlands in Aragón: Environmental Protection and Resources for their Management”, coordinated by Carmen Castañeda, was held on Friday, January 20, 2023 at the Aragón hall of Patio de la Infanta, Zaragoza. The workshop banner presents its programme:

At the end of the programme, the round table was formed by: Rafael Yuste (Editorial PRAMES), Josep Pardo (Universidad de Valencia), Katia Huesa (Universidad Pontificia Comillas), Jesús Nogués (Director General de Desarrollo Rural, Gobierno de Aragón), Belén Leránoz (Jefa de Servicio de la Reserva Natural Dirigida de la Laguna de Gallocanta, Gobierno de Aragón), Patricia Bardavío (Jefa de Servicio, Biodiversidad Espacios Naturales, Gobierno de Aragón) and Luis Javier Lambán (Jefe de la oficina de Zaragoza, IGME-CSIC).

The Ebro basin, like other hydrographic basins in Spain, is characterized by the occurrence of inland saline wetlands. Aragon stands out for the uniqueness of these wetlands, since three of its four wetlands included in the RAMSAR list – a list of worldwide prestige – are saline or hypersaline. This fact was highlighted during the Conference through the presentation of results of research projects aimed at studying the saline wetlands of Aragón in the context of agricultural activity. The evolution of water stage since 1984 (date of the first available Landsat satellite), soils and the current processes generating them, vegetation, the ecosystem values and the heritage of salt landscapes were presented. Workshop speakers were researchers who have been collaborating in a multidisciplinary research line with a long tradition, funded by the Spanish State Research Agency, together with collaborators of a recently finished project funded by Fundación Biodiversidad for the monitoring of saline wetlands using remote sensing.

These topics were also discussed in the round table, as well as their interest for land management and agricultural activity. Government officers pointed out the need for a sustained dialogue with researchers about results increasing knowledge of the territory. The existence of specific Calls for Proposals funding research for policy support was highlighted. Researchers were encouraged to keep an eye on society, favoring the communication of research results. This joint effort will contribute to the preservation of unique landscapes and to rural development.

The workshop was attended by 70 persons, most of them professionals from public Administration (Government of Aragon, SARGA, and the Erbo River Basin Authority, among others). We got a chance to meet in person!

A photo gallery follows: