Meeting of RCEs in Thailand Discusses Experiences, Challenges, and Collaboration in the Region

On 15 February, 2019, newly acknowledged RCE Sakon Nakhon held an informal RCE meeting at Kasetsart University Chalermprakiat Sakon Nakhon Province Campus, Thailand, in conjunction with the 10th International Conference on Environmental and Rural Development (ICERD), with RCEs in Thailand and neighbouring countries joining the meeting.

The meeting served as a chance to welcome RCE Sakon Nakhon to the Global RCE Network, as well as for each RCE to share their ESD activities, experiences and challenges in sustaining RCE activities. Enhancing collaboration between RCEs in the region was also a topic of discussion.

Professor Dr. Mario Tabucanon from UNU-IAS presented on the progress of the Global RCE Network from 2017-2019. The RCE movement and functions of the RCE Portal were explained, and participants were encouraged to consider the post-GAP framework in their RCE strategic plan.

Professor Dr. Regucivilla A. Pobar from RCE Bohol also shared the obstacles of advancing ESD activity within the RCE. These included changes in personnel (such as the RCE coordinator or key stakeholders) which have been factors that have affected implementation.

Following the presentation from RCE Bohol, Ms. Areeporn Sittiyanpaiboon from RCE Cha-am shared ESD activities which focus on the learning process of stakeholders, whilst Dr. Borarin Buntong from RCE Greater Phnom Penh presented on its ESD activities for the community and farmers (implemented by the Institute of Environmental Rehabilitation and Conservation (ERECON)) and those focused on enhancing students’ and lecturers’ capacity (implemented by the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA)).

Ms. Park Su-Yoen from RCE Tongyeong shared activities of its RCE, including collaboration activities done via video meetings. Members were also encouraged to apply for several scholarships offered by RCE Tongyeong. Dr. Anchasa Pramuanjaroenkij from RCE Sakon Nakhon shared ESD activities focused on the learning process of university students and communities surrounding the university. One of the students shared her experience after being involved in the project, which gave her an insight into the needs of communities and how her perspectives have changed towards rural societies.

The meeting was facilitated by Dr. Jeeranuch Sakkhamduang, RCE Greater Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Participants present were Professor Dr. Mario Tabucanon, UNU-IAS, Professor Dr. Regucivilla A. Pobar, RCE Bohol, Philippines, Ms. Areeporn Sittiyanpaiboon, RCE Cha-am, Thailand, Dr. Borarin Buntong, RCE Greater Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Ms. Park Su-Yeon, RCE Tongyeong, Korea (via video meeting), and Dr. Anchasa Pramuanjaroenkij, RCE Sakon Nakhon, Thailand.

(Photo credit: RCE Sakon Nakhon​)