|Rural homes in these emerging economies play an essential role in the management of millions of hectares of forests and arable land. They are one of the main food producers in the world and key contributors to the world’s economy. However, they also represent one third of the world’s poorer population and almost one half of all of the rural poverty, suffering some of the lowest levels of human development.|
|Change in rural societies is necessary and even indispensable for sustainable development not only in these countries but also worldwide. Our planet would be far more habitable if these countries’ rural areas could be revitalized by attending not only to human development and social justice, but also recognizing and warranting their rightful position as key collaborators to economic development and national and global environmental sustainability.From the statement above arises the question, among many others, of how to adapt rural transformation policies that are specific to a country so that they also respond to global tendencies.If we consider the fact that these tendencies are not always the same, the challenge of change becomes even greater.
This conference aims at promoting new frameworks, approaches, and strategies that allow tackling the main challenges set by rural transformation dynamics in emerging economies, driven by local and international tendencies. The Conference focus in four major challenges:
SIX KEY TOPICS
It seems that diversification of rural economy –and not agrarian tradition– is both the most important achievement and the main promoter of rural transformations occurring in emerging economies. The main facilitators of economic diversification are better infrastructure, implementation of information and communications technologies (ICT), and the development of new economic alternatives such as manufacturing of added value goods and sustainable tourism.
Even as rural economies in emerging countries continue to diversify, agriculture and food production still remains the main rural economic activity. On this issue, the conference considers: the dynamics of change in agro-alimentary systems of emerging economies, the ways in which said systems could contribute to the solution of the suggested challenges and the socioeconomic restructuring, and the technical support required to nourish the sector.
The supply of environmental services and clean, renewable energy arises as a new demand among rural societies in emerging economies. However, other important questions appear regarding the impact of these industries on food supply, its costs, the commercialization of products, and the advantages or disadvantages of favoring poverty reduction over environmental conservation and vice versa.
Many countries with emerging economies are witnessing an unprecedented rural-urban migration. Rural areas are increasingly interrelated with cities. It is likely that sustainable rural development would depend on the management of urbanization and the quality and strength of urban-rural links.
The nature and quality of governance systems, the process of policies implementation, and the formal and informal rural institutions are factors that have an effect in important issues such as: the reason why some changes occur and others don’t, why they happen in some places and not in others, the distribution of opportunities, the costs and benefits of transformations, and the efficiency of adopted policies to confront the consequences of change.