Japanese RCE Youth Meeting Held in Kitakyushu

On 10 February, 2019, UNU-IAS held a Japanese RCE Youth Meeting in Kitakyushu, Japan, with around 40 participants (including 20 youth members) from all seven Japanese RCEs in attendance. The meeting was held back-to-back with an RCE Working-level Meeting (hosted by RCE Kitakyushu) and the Kitakyushu ESD Forum (hosted by RCE Kitakyushu and the City of Kitakyushu).

With the aim of developing the Japanese RCE youth network and to foster their activities, the meeting provided an opportunity for youth members from RCEs across Japan to meet and discuss their activities. It was also a chance for them to offer their perspectives on how RCE activities could be further developed, in collaboration with other RCEs in Japan and abroad, taking into account the current movements on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the meeting, ten activities from RCE youth members were presented. Following the team building session, small group discussions took place focusing on future perspectives for RCE activities, in which participants brought up a number of areas they were interested in, including:

  • how to involve other stakeholders in their local activities;
  • how to communicate with youth in other RCEs;
  • how to develop awareness for ownership of their activities; and
  • how the governance in RCEs themselves should be in terms of stable and sustainable management.

In the second group discussion, participants focused on topics that were brought up by the youth participants, including:

  • what the most interesting aspects of RCE activities are;
  • how to establish networks after the meeting;
  • how to approach ‘global’ ‘big’ goals such as the SDGs;
  • how to involve other stakeholders; and
  • what kind of support would be needed.

In-depth discussions were conducted in groups for further elaboration. Participating youth members benefitted greatly by working together during the meeting, sharing common issues and future plans, and by looking at their own activities again in an objective manner.

It is expected that the connections formed between RCE youth members and other RCE members at this meeting will lead to the initiation of collaborative activities.

A number of youth activities conducted by RCEs in Japan are featured in the publication ‘Good Practices for ESD: Case Reports from Japanese RCEs’, available in both English and Japanese.