Zemgale is located in the central part of Latvia, to the South from Riga in the central part of the Zemgale plain. The Zemgale area includes 10 742 sq km, which is 16.6% of the total territory of Latvia.
The high soil fertility and relatively unpolluted agricultural and natural areas are significant advantages of Zemgale, which defines the potential for agricultural development and specialisation. Forests cover about 40% of the territory in Zemgale, which provide good oppurtunities for wood processing industry.
Zemgale is crossed by two major Latvian rivers – Daugava and Lielupe. The stocks of the water resources are sufficient both for economic activities and human consumption. Ground water is mainly used for water supply.
Energy and Spatial Planning in Latvia
In November 2011, new Law on Spatial Development Planning came into force in Latvia. The purpose of this Law is to ensure spatial development planning that would raise the quality of the living environment, ensure sustainable, effective and rational use of territories and other resources, as well as targeted and balanced development of economy. The spatial planning is realised on national, regional and local levels, and it is seen as an important element of planning system. On national level decisions are adopted by the Parliament (Saeima) and the Cabinet of Ministers. By hierarchy the highest long term development planning document is the Long-term development strategy by the year 2030 (approved by the Saeima (Parliament) on 10 June 2010). On regional level planning a development strategy and program is carried out; decisions are adopted by a Council of planning region that are of recommendation character. Currently there are five planning regions in Latvia: Kurzeme, Zemgale, Riga, Vidzeme and Latgale Planning Region. On municipal/ local level spatial planning activities include development of a sustainable development strategy, development program and territorial plan. On local level decisions are adopted by council of local self-government.