RCE Logo

RCE Bulletin

Issue 121: September 2021

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

This month the first of our RCE Regional Meetings kicked off, with the 11th African Regional Meeting taking place online. Thank you to the hosts RCE KwaZulu-Natal and RCE Makana and Rural Eastern Cape as well as the attendees for their contributions and active participation - stay tuned for a report of the event in coming months. The next two Regional Meetings, for Asia-Pacific and the Americas, are just around the corner, during the first week of October!

As we approach the 12th Global RCE Conference, we are very excited to be bringing you a fantastic programme with RCE Scotland, and look forward to engaging with you all there at this important event. There is still time to register, please see details below.

Finally, don't forget entries are still open for the RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge and the 2021 RCE Awards! Submissions close on 30 September and 15 October respectively. Both will be featured at the upcoming 12th Global RCE Conference in November, where we will celebrate all of the incredible work and achievements of the network.

If you would like to share any news, upcoming events, open calls, or publications for 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).

The Global RCE Service Centre

Registrations Open: 12th Global RCE Conference

Registrations are still open for the 12th Global RCE Conference, co-hosted by RCE Scotland and the Global RCE Service Centre (16-18 November, 2021) under the theme 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: action through learning in a time of global crises'. This event will be held fully online. We look forward to seeing many of you there! For more information, view the event page, and register your attendance here.

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

Submissions Closing Soon: RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge

Calling all young eco-artists! Share your voice through art and inspire others to take action on the climate crisis. Unleash your creativity and have your work seen by a global audience!   

The Global RCE Service Centre at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is accepting submissions for its first RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge!  

We're looking for your creative works of art that capture the essence of engaging 'hearts, hands, or heads' - a notion that Scottish 19th century polymath and educational visionary Sir Patrick Geddes (1854 -1932) spoke about regarding the development of the concept of 'sustainability', spanning environment, society and community. These sub-themes will feature widely throughout the 12th Global RCE Conference, to be held online from 16-18 November, 2021.  

Submissions can be made for any of the following categories, with a focus on SDG 13 (Climate Action). Choose from:  

  • 'Hearts' - Show us one of your favourite places, tell us why you love it, and why it is under threat from climate change.    
  • 'Heads' - What would a climate-friendly home, school, or store (choose one) look like in your community? (What things would change? What things would stay the same?)  
  • 'Hands' - Show us what actions children, youth, adults and seniors can take together in your community to mitigate climate change. 

All entries will be featured and celebrated on RCE online channels, as well as the 12th Global RCE Conference this November. This is your chance to present your creative piece to people all around the globe, and contribute to inspiring others to taking action towards the SDGs! Entries close 30 September, 2021. See further details and how to submit here

Apply Now: RCE Awards 2021

Nominations are still open for the 10th annual RCE Awards! RCEs are encouraged to nominate their most outstanding ESD project/s for the award; ESD projects are to illustrate how RCEs address local sustainable development challenges, and therefore provide an example of how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be implemented at the local level through quality education. They should also demonstrate how an RCE is promoting multi-stakeholder learning processes through policy dialogue, research and collaborative partnerships. Note that activities that respond to the issues associated with COVID-19 are also welcome. Award recipients will be announced at the 12th Global RCE Conference this November.  

To apply: 

  • Submit an RCE Project (video tutorial available here), and at the bottom of the form, please tick the box underneath the heading 'RCE Award 2021' before saving (Please note: projects submitted since November 2020 are also eligible to be nominated for the award. Please go into your existing project, go into 'edit' mode and tick the same box at the bottom of the form). 
  • You will then be redirected to the RCE Award form on a new page. Complete the form and click submit. 

Details on categories for the awards, eligibility, criteria, and the format for submission can be found here. Submission must be done online via the RCE Portal by 11:59pm, 15 October, 2021 (JST). 

Register: 13th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (Part 2)

Registrations are closing soon for the second part of the 13th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting, to be held online on 5 October, 2021 under the theme 'SDGs and ESD for 2030 Framework: Local actions during COVID-19 Pandemic'. For more information, view the event page. To register, complete the Registration form and email it to rcekgz@gmail.com by 1 October, 2021.

(Photo credit: Elena Kreuzberg)

Upcoming Events

International SDG Challenge School Program (Quality Education) During COVID-19 Pandemic

Organised by RCE Penang, Universiti Sains Malaysia in collaboration with SMK Datuk Onn Butterworth, Penang, the 'International SDG Challenge School Program (Quality Education) During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Perspective from Students through Sustainability Competition' will be held virtually from 1 September - 2 October, 2021. 

How does this pandemic affect students in terms of the teaching and learning process: before, during and post the COVID-19 pandemic? This program will serve as a platform for all Sejahtera Club members, schools from Malaysia, Korea, Japan and Indonesia to get together, share and disseminate ideas among students regarding co-curriculum activities at schools and home. It will feature two main activities - a Co-curriculum Sustainability Competition, and a webinar learning experience. Read more

Open Calls

YouthForesight Community Forum

Practitioners and stakeholders working on young people's education and skilling, employment, entrepreneurship, and engagement are invited to join the YouthForesight Community Forum. Co-hosted by the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and Generation Unlimited, the Forum aims to create an interactive and digitally connected community that collaborates to create positive change for young people. Further information is available here and the Forum can be joined here.

Survey: The Impact of Education on Work in Regional Centres of Expertise

Calling all RCE members! A member of RCE Atlanta, Kate Kirk (Ph.D. Candidate in International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University and Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services at Georgia Institute of Technology's Office of International Education) is looking for RCE members to participate in her research study exploring the impact of education on RCE work. This research will support her doctoral dissertation and hopefully contribute to both policy and scholarly work in the field; findings of this study may inform future organisational policies regarding education and sustainable development. RCE members aged 18 years or older with college education are invited to participate here. Completion of the survey should take 10-15 minutes. This survey can also be shared with other RCE members from your professional network who may be interested in participating.

RCE Delhi Invites Submissions for 'GREEN Olympiad Online Examination 2021'

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) invites submissions for the prestigious environment examination, 'GREEN Olympiad' - India's premier annual school initiative being organised since 1999. The examination serves a dual purpose of testing the environment quotient of students and enhancing their understanding about issues related to sustainable development.  This year, due to COVID-19, students can appear online for the GREEN Olympiad. Rgistration closes on 30 September, 2021. Read more

Latest News

Sustainable Mekong: Middle School Students from Three Countries along Mekong River Carry Out Model UN Event

An online Model United Nations event on 'Sustainable Management of the Mekong River Watershed' was launched by RCE Hangzhou, Qiantang River Waterkeeper China, Tonle Sap Lake Waterkeeper Cambodia, Haihui Charity Park Thailand and Borderless Friendship Foundation Thailand. Participating in the event were 12 middle students who were selected from Hangzhou Xuejun High School (China), CIA First International School (Cambodia) and Chiang Rai International Christian School (Thailand). In the practice activities, students focused on the need to determine how to promote the water conservancy facilities of the upper Mekong River, in order to realise the rational distribution of water resources without affecting the water rights of the countries in the basin. Read more

Cross-sectoral Partnerships in Higher Education Highlighted at 9th World Sustainability Forum

The 9th World Sustainability Forum took place virtually from 13-15 September, 2021, in which UNU-IAS presented in a session organised by IAU, 'Higher Education and Research - How universities around the world engage with Sustainability and build partnerships for the SDGs'. This session focused on higher education's role for sustainable development, presenting the IAU's work on its strategic priority of HESD (Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development), how it fosters this around the world, and how collaboration between universities and HEIs can be increased. As an IAU partner organisation representative, Dr Jonghwi Park, Academic Programme Officer and Head of Innovation and Education at UNU-IAS, presented on examples of practice, specifically looking at partnerships within the Higher Education sector and across sectors. Read more

RCE Denmark Present 'Apprentices for Sustainability' Project at Conference in Danish Parliament

For almost two years, Copenhagen's carpentry apprentices, together with RCE Denmark and NEXT Education Copenhagen, have investigated how together they can change construction in a sustainable direction through education, through the pilot project, 'Apprentices for Sustainability'. In late August, carpenter apprentice, Laura Heiberg and RCE contact David Rangan from 'Apprentices for Sustainability', were invited to talk about the project's results and political recommendations to a conference in the Danish Parliament. Going forward, they expect to play an advisory role to the government in developing the vocational school area in a more culturally inclusive and sustainable direction. Read more

World Rivers Day 2021: Asia-Pacific Forum

As the convening RCE for the thematic collaboration of RCEs in the Asia-Pacific on Rivers, Water and Livelihoods, RCE Kuching organised a virtual forum titled 'World Rivers Day 2021: Asia Pacific Forum' on 27 August, 2021. The event gathered 149 participants from 17 different nations, as well as 13 RCEs from the Asia-Pacific area. One of the goals for the forum was to build awareness around the broad array of current issues of river pollution, with RCEs in the region sharing their experiences in research, community programmes, and environmental projects. Read more


Non-conventional Learning on Sustainable Development: Achieving the SDGs

The paper 'Non-conventional Learning on Sustainable Development: Achieving the SDGs' has just been published, as a Commentary, in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe. It describes the role of methods which are not commonly used, but whose effectiveness means that they may foster learning on matters related to sustainable development as a whole, and in particular assist in the implementation of the SDGs. The full text is available as open access and can be freely downloaded here.