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RCE Bulletin

Issue 103: March 2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! We hope everyone across the network is staying healthy and well during these difficult times we are currently facing.

Thank you once again to all the RCEs which submitted applications to host either the Regional RCE Meetings or the Global RCE Conference for 2020. We are pleased to announce the dates and locations for the 12th Global RCE Conference and a number of Regional RCE Meetings. Please see below and mark your calendars. Further updates on regions not yet announced will follow once these have been confirmed.

Please note, in relation to these events, we are monitoring the situation on COVID-19 very closely. As you are all aware, this is an evolving situation, and it is unclear how things will develop in the latter half of this year. The wellbeing and safety of all in our network and their communities is our priority, therefore please rest assured the events will take place only if it is safe to do so. In addition, we will continue to monitor the changing border and travel restrictions currently in place in many countries around the world, for any impacts this may have on participation.

At this stage, we would like to ask you to save the dates, for what will be very important events on the RCE calendar for this year. Registration details will be announced at a later date. We are very much hoping, and looking forward to, connecting with you all at one or more of these events this year! 

We would also like to take this opportunity to announce the appointment of two new regional advisers to RCEs for the Americas and European regions. The Director of UNU-IAS, Prof. Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi, has appointed Mr. Roger Petry of RCE Saskatchewan to serve as the Regional Adviser to the RCEs of the Americas, and Ms. Betsy King to serve as Regional Adviser to the RCEs for Europe. Ms. Kiran Chhokar and Ms. Akpezi Ogbuigwe remain as Regional Advisers to the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions respectively. In announcing these new appointments, we would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the outgoing Regional Advisers: Mr. Charles A. Hopkins (Americas); Mr. Joseph Hermans (Europe); Professor Mario Tabucanon (Asia-Pacific); and Professor Goolam Mohamedbhai (Africa), for their outstanding contributions, dedication, and commitment, of which has led to the continued growth and development of the RCE Network to where it is today. Please join us in thanking the outgoing Regional Advisers, and welcoming the new Regional Advisers.

In other news, for those organisations wishing to apply to become an RCE in 2020, the deadline for applications has been extended to 30 April, 2020 (11:59pm JST). Further details about the guidelines for applications and process can be found in the open call here

Finally, if your RCE would like to submit any news, upcoming events, open calls, or publications to an upcoming bulletin, please complete this form and email your submission to the Global RCE Service Centre at rceservicecentre@unu.edu (submissions close on the 15th of each month).

From all of us at the Global RCE Service Centre, please stay safe and healthy!

The Global RCE Service Centre

Save the Date: 12th Global RCE Conference

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

The Global RCE Service Centre is delighted to announce that the 12th Global RCE Conference will be hosted by RCE Scotland, to be held from 21-23 November, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The theme for this year's Global RCE Conference will be 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: action through learning in a time of global crises'.

This event will provide an opportunity for participants to collectively share, explore and build on the knowledge, skills and values within the network to build the capacities and actions needed to achieve the SDGs.

We look forward to bringing you more information about this exciting event in the coming months. Stay tuned for details of the open call for registrations, to be announced soon. 

Save the Dates: Regional RCE Meetings

(Photo credits: Elena Kreuzberg (top) and De Montfort University (bottom))

The Global RCE Service Centre is also delighted to announce the following Regional RCE Meetings which have been confirmed (for regions not yet announced, please wait for updates in future bulletins).

Further details will follow - please keep an eye out on the RCE Portal, our Facebook page, or this bulletin for information as soon as it is available.

Upcoming Events

Open Calls

Call for Expressions of Interest: World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day 2020

The 1st World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day, a concept pioneered by the Research and Transfer Centre 'Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management' of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, was held on 3 December, 2010 and was attended by over 500 universities and nearly 20,000 students. It was repeated in 2013 (view a summary here).

Now, 10 years after the first event was organised, the 'World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day 2020' (WSD-TD 2020) will be held on Friday, 4 December, 2020. Coordinated by RCE Hamburg and the region, WSD-TD 2020 is a major online event, which provides lecturers & learners with the latest information, the latest trends and insights on sustainable development, and in particular, the SDGs, and will showcase strategies and practical examples of projects from all over the world.

The open access action nature of the event aims to facilitate networking and knowledge transfer within a truly international digital learning environment. Academic staff from universities all over the world are encouraged to hold a Teach-In-Day lecture on 4 December, 2020, becoming a part of a global sustainability movement. They will provide a vast amount of tailored presentations including helpful teaching notes to be used by lecturers worldwide. This will make the WSD-TD 2020 not only instructive, but also very interesting to learners.

Colleagues who may wish to become involved and prepare a presentation to be used as part of WSD-TD 2020 can obtain further details here.

WSD-TD 2020 is organised by the European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR) and the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP) and led by the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and Manchester Metropolitan University (UK).

Latest News

RCE Chubu Hosts SDGs Forum 2020

(Photo credit: RCE Chubu)

Held on 22 February, 2020, RCE Chubu organised an 'SDGs Forum 2020' in Nagoya, Japan, an annual event to share the outcomes and updates from their associated stakeholders. The event was co-organised by the Chubu University International ESD/SDGs Centre, and supported by UNU-IAS. Bringing together over 200 participants, the main theme was to strengthen and construct networks among various stakeholders within the RCE who are contributing to the achievement of SDGs in the Tokai/Chubu area in Japan. Approximately 50 case reports from stakeholders were presented among eight working groups under various SDGs, allowing for common issues to be shared, and to identify possible solutions to the ongoing issues. Read more

RCE Omuta Celebrates Acknowledgement with Commemoration Ceremony

(Photo credit: UNU-IAS)

In celebration of RCE Omuta's acknowledgement as an RCE at the 14th Ubuntu Committee Meeting of Peers for the RCEs last December, the Omuta Board of Education organised a ceremony to commemorate the occasion on 27 February, 2020 in Omuta, Japan. Approximately 70 participants were in attendance at the ceremony to acknowledge the 8th RCE located in Japan. Located within Fukuoka prefecture in Japan, Omuta city is well-regarded for its focus on ESD, with all municipal schools in the city designated as UNESCO Associated schools. Read more

RCE Greater Dhaka Celebrates International Mother Language Day

RCE Greater Dhaka celebrated International Mother Language Day on 21 February, 2020 at the International University Of Business Agriculture & Technology (IUBAT) campus in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Representatives from different colleges, institutes, partner organisations, and RCE Greater Dhaka Youth Forum and students honoured the day with flowers at the Shaheed Minar monument. International Mother Language Day promotes linguistic and cultural diversity, which is important for achieving sustainable societies. In addition, languages also serve in the attainment of quality education for all. Professor Dr Mohammed Ataur Rahman, Coordinator of RCE Greater Dhaka and the Director of IUBAT Institute of SDG Studies (IISS) paid tribute to the Mother Language Day Martyrs on behalf of RCE Greater Dhaka, followed by a meeting to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives on the same day in 1952 to establish Bangla as a State language.

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development Postponed

The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, where the new framework 'ESD for 2030' was due to be launched (2-4 June, 2020 in Berlin, Germany), has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New dates will be shared as soon as they are confirmed on the event page here.


Video: Global Trends in Sustainable Lifestyles and Education

This video, from the One Planet network 10YFP Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme, summarises the global trends of 2020 within sustainable lifestyles and education, such as the increased inclusion of sustainability in education, the Whole Schools approach, and more. The content of the video was supplied by the Multistakeholder Advisory Committee members of the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme. Watch the video here

Building Resilience against Biological Hazards and Pandemics: Covid-19 and Its Implications for the Sendai Framework

2020 has become the year of coping with COVID-19. This year was to be the 'super year' for sustainability, a year of strengthening global actions to accelerate the transformations required for achieving the 2030 agenda. Authored by Dr. Riyanti Djalante, Prof. Rajib Shaw, and Prof. Andrew DeWit and published in the journal Progress in Disaster Science, the authors of this paper, 'Building Resilience against Biological Hazards and Pandemics: Covid-19 and Its Implications for the Sendai Framework', argue that 2020 can and must be a year of both. 

Thus they call for more utilisation of the health-emergency disaster risk management (Health-EDRM) framework to complement current responses to COVID-19 and the patent risk of similar phenomena in the future. To make their case, they examine current responses to COVID-19 and their implications for the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), and argue that current mechanisms and strategies for disaster resilience, as outlined in the SFDRR, can enhance responses to epidemics or global pandemics such as COVID-19.

In this regard, several general and DRR-specific recommendations are made in this contribution from UNU to the SFDRR. These recommendations concern knowledge and science provision in understanding disaster and health-related emergency risks, the extension of disaster risk governance to manage both disaster risks and potential health-emergencies, particularly for humanitarian coordination aspects; and the strengthening of community-level preparedness and response, all of which have implications for policy. Access the paper here