Sustainability of rural communities has captured much attention from both the academic and policy circles in the world, and particularly in Asia where rapid urbanization has in many instances compromised the viability, if not survival, of rural areas and communities. While policymakers and citizens nowadays are cognizant of the importance of resilient rural communities which can serve as a repertoire of ecological and cultural diversity supporting sustainable development, how to attain rural sustainability remains a great challenge. Earlier research and policy experiences have suggested that, to attain sustainable rural communities, policy actors including government officials, policy entrepreneurs, nonprofit practitioners, corporate leaders as well as citizens have to be able to collaborate with one another to proactively organize collective actions at different levels and scales to manage the natural environment and also the cultural identity and landscapes. A question of major theoretical and policy import is what kinds of governance structures and processes can and should be put in place to support and sustain the collaborative efforts.

This Symposium addresses this important question by looking into three dimensions of collaborative governance for sustainable development: Partnerships for rural sustainability; Socio-economic models for community development; and Measurement of sustainability.

The Symposium is part of the "Living Water & Community Revitalisation: An Agricultural-led Action, Engagement and Incubation Programme at Lai Chi Wo" supported by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.