This image features the municipality of El Palmar located in La Albufera, Valencia (Spain). The Albufera (21,120 ha) is one of the most important wetlands in Spain. This wetland (ancient marine gulf evolved into a freshwater lake) appears on the List of Wetlands of International Importance in 1990 (Ramsar Convention). It has also been declared a Special Bird Protection Area (ZEPA) and Natural Park (1986). The Albufera has an irregular shape, with an approximate diameter of six kilometres at its widest part. It is connected to the sea through waterways which can be opened or closed to modify the volume of water in the lake. The history of the Albufera is intimately linked with the history of the rice cultivation. Rice paddies may be considered as an important subsystem of this wetland.