For centuries, one of the visible signs of the interdependence of natural resource management and societal processes was the relationship between urban and rural areas. Natural products and services were provided by rural areas, in exchange for labor, trade and cultural services offered by the urban areas. Current megatrends such as climate change, urbanization, energy demand and an increasing land-use competition lead to spatial transformation all around the globe and to a state of transition. This transformation affects both rural and urban areas and requires changes on all levels of society, economy and politics.
The 20th ISSRM will put a focus on these changes, their societal impacts and the potential to mitigate their effects on natural resources and humankind.