RCE Czechia - 2019


Czech Republic
Sustainable development goals on regional level – empowering rural communities through education
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Sustainable development goals on regional level – empowering rural communities through education
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Czechia
Contributing organization(s) : 
Society for Sustainable Living
South Bohemia University, Faculty of Economics, Department of Regional Development
other members are invited to contribute
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Jana Dlouhá
Organizational Affiliation: 
Charles University Environment Centre
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Friday, May 31, 2019
Agenda 2030
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Czech Republic
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Charles University Environment Centre, José Martího 2, 162 00, Prague 6, Czech Republic
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Czech Republic is extremely diversified with regards to the economic development and well-being – having relatively rich regions, with different opportunities for development (especially big cities), compared with the underdeveloped ones. This is also a reason for envy and misunderstanding between different social groups – split of the society is then a reason for political instability, raise of populism and other negative phenomena. Historical heritage and recent economic and other problems are thus activated that prevent to find solutions to contemporary problems. People do not see the opportunities for (sustainable) development, feel disempowered to invest energy in their own plans, and rely on external drivers of success (which often appear to be populists or other manipulators). Often, this is due to lacking life-long education system that would help people to orientate in the new sustainable development and green economy opportunities. This knowledge, together with understanding of environmental principles to stay within planetary boundaries while achieving personal objectives and realizing economic activities, will be delivered by the partners of the project.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
There is a well-being gap between bug cities and rural settlements in CR. Consequently, these local communities are disempowered and expect "external investment" instead of relying on rich resources in local context. Investors often bring unsustainable practices, and local potential is not used.
This situation is a source of raising populism, and extremism in CR. Frustration of local communities is translated into the expectation of a "strong leader" which often represents non-democratic attitudes.
February, 2018 to January, 2021
Participatory approaches have not a long tradition in CR. Often top-down solutions replace initiatives from bottom-up. Education provides necessary motivation of the local stakeholders to change this attitude. The courses prepared under the project will deliver not only the technical knowledge to enhance capacities of local communities to deal with climate change challenges, adopt sustainable agricultural processes etc. but also will empower stakeholders to innovate, engage in sustainability oriented initiatives; and also to formulate their position in the SDG debate. This aspect is the theme of the associated research.
The goal is to develop a model of lifelong learning in which different stakeholders meet and benefit from each other experiences/knowledge. So the ultimate goal is to develop interfaces between these different worlds that will enable information flows, sharing ideas / projects, exchange of experiences / expertise, joint research planning & realization, and involvement in strategic policy making. This would allow not only “knowledge transfer”, but rather interactive collaboration based on skills and capacities of all involved.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The model of lifelong learning will be described in the Methodology for support of regional sustainable development, the regional stakeholders will be provided with information and materials that would enable them to use potential of the place they live in a sustainable way.
Based on these information materials, series of day-long courses will be developed and tested; feedback on local needs and interests in relation to the sustainable development principles will be analysed.
Size of academic audience: 
anticipated number: 50
Currently, networking activities with the Local Action Groups network are being realized. Courses are prepared in cooperation with leading professionals/initiatives in the field. This is another network that developes around the prepared themes of trainig: 3 of which are oriented on social aspects of sustainability, 3 other on economic aspects, and the remaining 3 on environmental issue.
Lessons learned: 
Participatory approaches must be constantly promoted in the Czech environment - if there is no driving force, most of the initiatives are only developed to benefit fffrom financial resources, such as EU funding. If this happens, the social capital is sufering (a lot of envy and individualism), so the "envisioning" and "transformative" aspect must be stressed. This is the role independent academic institution, among others.
Key messages: 
The project addresses the challenge of underdeveloped regions in CR empowering local population to engage with sustainable plans and practices. It capitalizes on academic knowledge and Network of Local Action Groups potential to initiate bottom-up process of green economy, social entrepreneurship etc. to achieve sustainability transition on regional level.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
As the "method" of delivery of the most important information is transformative education, this aspect is being explored also in other projects and activities of the RCE. It is also a research theme that plays a role in educational activities.
3 of the RCE members involved and others invited to cooperate; is built upon RCE knowledge base (e.g. methodologies and analyses developed for support of regional sustainable development); many other actors involved in the planned processes and activities; the outcome will highlight the role of the RCE as an interface between academic knowledge and sustainability practice. UN Information Centre will establish the link of the project with SDGs implementation on regional level.
Applied research financed by the Czech Technology Agency. Voluntary work represents at least 20% of the project activities.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level