Consistent with the global objectives of the World Bank, the primary objectives of the strategy to support rural, environmental and social development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) are to contribute to poverty reduction, promote improved environmental management, and build local capacity to govern and to manage development, free of corruption. The rural, environment and social sectors and themes are so tightly connected in ECA that efforts need to be directed toward making use of the synergies among them. The increased social problems of the last decade and the growing phenomenon of widespread poverty in the region have strong rural roots. The agricultural sector has also suffered from water pollution, forest loss, and soil degradation, which has impacted health and increased poverty in rural areas. 'Rural, Environment, and Social Development Strategies for the Europe and Central Asian Region' presents the historical background for these sectors, highlights the Bank's current and planned activities in the region, as well as the risks and opportunities, and outlines the new strategies. It is intended to invite discussion and suggestions for improvement for the Bank's strategies.