Japanese RCEs Gather Momentum in 2017

All seven Japanese RCEs attended the national meeting in 2017. Hosted by RCE Chubu, RCEs reported on their past activities and shared highlights and challenges from 2016.

The Ministry of Environment Japan (MoEJ) highlighted the Ministry’s contributions towards Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as well as their current activities related to the implementation of the SDGs in Japan. TEEN (Tripartite Environmental Education Network), the newly established ESD Activity Support Center (its official name is still to be decided), and the Environmental Partnership Office were just a few of the concrete schemes MoEJ showcased during the meeting.

The United Nations University - Institute for the Advance Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) reported on the latest activities of the RCE Network such as the 10th Global RCE Conference last November, the 9th Asia Pacific RCE Meeting and newly acknowledged RCEs. The participants were encouraged to engage in the Asia Pacific Coordinating Committee, as the RCE Service Centre was planning to make an open call for volunteers soon. UNU-IAS emphasized the importance of reporting by the RCEs as well as encouraging Youth to engage via focal points within the network.

RCE Highlights

RCE Kitakyushu, after a recent change in governance structure, introduced their Action Plan 2015-2019. The RCE celebrated their 10-year anniversary in a ceremonial event, where they launched a commemorative publication. Currently one of their major activities is ESD Coordinator Training. They had also visited RCE Inje, Korea in 2016 and had welcomed their youth beginning of 2017.

RCE Okayama received the 2016 UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD, and thereafter held the Okayama ESD Forum in January 2017 to share initiatives of the individual prize winners. Separately the RCE had also organized the ESD Forum/ESD Okayama Award in October 2016. They also shared the Okayama ESD Project Plan 2015-2019.

RCE Hyogo-Kobe, after a change in coordinator, are now working on an ESD Study Tour Programme, as attached Kobe University has been implementing an ESD curriculum. The RCE recruits volunteers from the course to take part in an ESD student group (ESD Manabi-tai in Japanese) for learning and volunteering.

RCE Chubu are actively involved in the management of the ESD Consortium in Aichi. They recently established a learning institution that allows students, aged in their 20s-30s, to learn about policies related to sustainability. They are also very much engaged as an official GAP partner in Priority Action Area 5.

RCE Yokohama continues to organize Youth competitions on environmental issues since 2011. They are also part of the Yokohama Eco School, where they regularly organize seminars and ESD related events, and are involved in the ESD Consortium in Yokohama.

RCE Greater Sendai together with a diverse range of stakeholders such as NGOs, private companies, education committees, universities, and UNESCO Associated Schools are strongly engaged with youth activities. They have also been coordinating the ESD Consortium and are working mainly in activities related to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

RCE Hokkaido Central, the newest Japanese RCE as of December 2015, organized their first public seminar and workshops on local sustainability issues with their stakeholders. They are also collaborating with institutes in Malaysia to contribute to the implementation of the SDGs.   

Photos of the meeting have been uploaded on facebook.