Sustainable Development Goal 15 states: “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.” So what we need, now and in future, are rural regions with sustainable economic and resource cycles.

In short, we must make our rural regions fit for the future. We must ensure that our rural regions offer people stable livelihoods and serve as the focal point for sustainable development. In order to achieve these goals with the appropriate measures, we need to look at exactly which challenges are faced by rural regions nowadays and which potential they offer. In many parts of the world, rural areas today are not static and unchanging, but highly dynamic. This dynamism is often summed up as “rural transformation”.

Understanding rural transformation

Rural transformation is an extremely vague concept. Broadly speaking, it describes a profound and complex process of change with not only economic but also social and cultural dimensions.