Around three-quarters of all the world’s poor and hungry people live in rural areas. To eradicate poverty and hunger, what is needed, first and foremost, are rural development strategies.

Thirdly, the future of humankind will be decided, at least in part, in rural areas. This applies even if at some point in the future, they are home to fewer people than the cities and rural poverty has been eradicated. The majority of our natural resources – not only those needed in agriculture – are located in rural areas, where they will have to be managed sustainably. These regions will have to produce food for a growing world population, but they will also face other major challenges such as conserving freshwater resources and achieving energy supply security. Wind, hydro and solar power generation will also have to take place in rural areas once the fossil fuel era ends. The entire bioeconomy – the great hope for the future, whose key dimensions are the conservation of carbon sinks and sustainable use of forests and biodiversity – will also be based in rural regions.