The mountain economy has been mainly oriented toward the service sector (80% of GDP in Andorra, for example) due to a growing residential population and tourist activities, contributing significatly to an increase in all economic sectors between 1999 and 2006 (9-26%). However, alongside this trend, traditional activities are experiencing difficulties, especially in industry (-5%), agriculture (-9%), and the wood industry sector.
Framed within the Pyrenees mountain territories, agriculture and pastoral activities have shaped the landscape we know today, thereby maintaining the activities and social fabric of rural areas. Agriculture in the French Pyrenees is especially varied. Agricultural systems, which encompass several types of production, represent more than ¼ of operations. Grazing livestock predominates on the Pyrenean range.
Even today, the Pyrenean mountain range is very rural. Thus, it is important to underline the significance of mountain forests and natural areas that benefit from landscape and/or enviornmental protection measures. The high mountain limestone is one of the most important characteristics of the range.
From one side of the border to the other, we find: 57 sites classified as highly valued landscapes, 56 sites of ornithological interest (IBA and SPAB ), 187 Natura 2000 sites or the equivalent, 66 natural reserves, 3 national parks, 11 regional parks, and 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site (Monte Perdido).
Download an analysis on the economy and natural resources in the Pyrenees:- in French