Rural areas include managed forested areas, farming areas, and settled areas. These areas offer a huge diversity of situations, from prosperous zones to those in decline, from sparsely populated areas, possibly on the point of being abandoned, to zones of high population density that are very active, with a network of towns and trade activities. Three key issues can be distinguished:
-* political and cultural capacities of rural areas;
-* production of economic resources (food, fuel, and textiles);
-* protection of vital natural resources (water, soil, biodiversity).
The proposals presented in this paper, by Matthieu Calame, are classified according to these three categories.