Recent demographic decline affects Europe unevenly: Europe faces high rates of depopulation, while urban areas experience higher population concentrations. Rural depopulation poses a major social challenge due to the risk of exclusion and poverty. The risk of social exclusion affects 27.1% of the population in rural areas, while in cities it affects 24.3%. Given the cultural and natural value of rural areas, heritage can be a source of development.
EcoHeritage promotes ecomuseums as a sustainable approach to heritage management, fostering economic growth and social cohesion in rural communities in the countries participating in the project.