RCE E-Bulletin 40: October 2014

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Message from the Global RCE Service Centre

Dear colleagues and friends,

This will be the last bulletin before the upcoming RCE conference. We are all very excited to see many of you in Okayama and we hope this event will, once more, be a true success for everyone.

There will be many occasions for mingling and plenty of opportunities for networking and meeting new and old friends. It is a particular honor for the RCE Service Centre, that we can host the 9th Global Conference, here in Japan.

Launch of the new RCE Website

You have probably already visited our new RCE website. It took us a long way to get here, but we are delighted that we were able to launch it, just in time for the RCE conference. Please visit: http://www.rcenetwork.org/portal/

Following the UNU theme, the new look and feel of the RCE portal, will greatly improve the online experience of all RCE-members and non-members alike. To facilitate the large number of discussions, the sharing of ideas, the expanding amount of materials exchanged, and the need for more interaction and networking, it was an obvious choice for us to improve the online presence of the RCE-network worldwide.

The main changes are:

  • Close association with the UNU website in terms of identity
  • A sleek layout with clear cut edges for easy navigation
  • Increased focus on community-related tasks such as discussion and sharing of material, for example publications
  • Focus on global networking and the use of online tools to facilitate community exchange
  • Increased visual cues to show expansion and global presence of the RCE-network

We were able to launch the website, with no further technological difficulties, therefore causing only minimal disturbance for all users. The website was only shutdown for a matter of 2 hours during the course of Friday 17 October.

Your feedback matters and is important to us! We appreciate your comments and suggestions to improve this portal even further. If you encounter any difficulties in accessing certain areas of the website, please let us know. We will do our best to reflect any necessary changes as soon as possible. Our community is growing by the day and hence the way we interact with each other and how we network is a learning process for all of us!

9th Global RCE Conference

Any current information or further details on the programme will posted online on the conference’s website.

If you have a poster, you wish to display during the conference, please note that we can no longer accept posters by mail. Please bring the poster directly to the venue:

  • 4 November 2014: 15:00-17:30 Registration desk during the Welcome Reception at the ANA Hotel, Okayama
  • 5 November 2014: 7:30-9:00 Registration desk for the conference at Okayama Convention Center (2F)

Submission of Annual Reports and Projects for the RCE Award

Many of you have kindly submitted their Annual Report and nominated your flagship projects for the 2014 RCE recognition award via our online system. Thank You! Projects submitted for the RCE award will be showcased and celebrated next week at the 9th Global RCE Conference in Okayama.

If you have not submitted your annual report for 2014 as yet, please do so before the conference. You can upload it here. Please go to ‘Create Reports’ and fill in the necessary information. Using this format will enable us to harmonize the reporting within the RCE-network. All reports and projects have to be submitted online. We can no longer accept documents in a different format via email.

Best wishes,

The Global RCE Service Centre

Upcoming Events

Events organized by UNU-IAS

9th Global RCE Conference

4-7 November 2014

Okayama, Japan

Marking the final year of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD: 2005-2014), the conference is regarded as one of the official stakeholder meetings to be held prior to the UNESCO World Conference on ESD (10-12 November). The Conference provides a great opportunity to reflect on the successes and challenges of the RCE movement with a view to charting a post-2014 agenda as proposed in the UNESCO’s Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD. The major objective of the conference is to identify a tangible commitment of the RCE community towards the effective implementation of ESD beyond 2014. For more information, please visit the conference website and join our conference preparatory discussions.

International Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development: Higher Education Beyond 2014

9 November 2014

Aichi, Nagoya

The United Nations University is organizing the International Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development: Higher Education Beyond 2014 in collaboration with UNESCO, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), UNEP, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, and the International Association of Universities (IAU). The Conference will highlight the major challenges and pathways for transformation of higher education institutions (HEIs), with a focus on scaling up and mainstreaming innovative practices in learning and knowledge development and research. You can find more information on this event here.

UN Winter School on Sustainable Consumption and Production in Asia and the Pacific
7-20 December 2014

Bangkok, Thailand

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) will hold the forthcoming UN Winter School on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Asia and the Pacific. The strategic objective of the Winter School is to improve the knowledge of future decision makers in Asia and the Pacific in the area of SCP and thus contribute to the design and implementation of policies, business models and practices that can promote sustainable resource management.  You can find more information on the event here.

Events organized by RCE members

RCE West Sweden: Planet and People – how can they develop together?

8th World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC)

29 June–2 July 2015

Gothenburg, Sweden

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability (GMV) at the University of Gothenburg (a stakeholder of RCE West Sweden) will host the 8th World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) on June 29 to 2 July 2, 2015. The congress is targeted to educators, practitioners and researchers from all over the world, discussing education for sustainable development and environmental education from all educational aspects. There are 11 themes covering everything from early childhood education to policy development. Submissions are accepted in English, French and Spanish. Listen to Prof. Arjen Wals invitation to the congress on Youtube or for more information visit the event’s website.

RCE Hamburg: World Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation

2-4 September 2015

Manchester, UK

The “World Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation” will be a truly interdisciplinary event, covering some of the key areas in the field of climate change adaptation. Organised by Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and the Research and Transfer Centre “Applications of Life Sciences” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), in cooperation with the International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP) and RCEs, the event will focus on innovative approaches to implement climate change adaptation, and will contribute to the further development of this fast-growing field.

A set of presentations, divided into six main themes will be organised. The Symposium will be of special interest to researchers, government agencies, NGOs and companies engaged in the field of climate change adaptation, as well as development and aid agencies funding climate change adaptation processes in developing countries. Please visit the event’s website for more information.

Other Events

Mastering Change for Sustainability

24-29 November 2014

Bangkok, Thailand

AtKisson Group, Systainability Asia, and Sasin Center for Sustainability Management are conducting a special sustainability leadership series during November in Bangkok. This course is especially designed for sustainability / CSR consultants, directors, managers, or other professional who are currently working with organisations, local governments, communities on sustainability issues and solutions, or for people looking to enter this field. The course is divided into three modules, which can be taken separately or as an entire and continuous package. More information on this event can be found here.

UNESCO World Conference on ESD

10-12 November 2014

Aichi-Nagoya, Japan

The 2014 ESD World Conference marks the end of the ESD Decade, and will be an important milestone for pointing the way ahead. The Conference has the four main objectives: (1) Celebrating a decade of action, (2) Reorienting education to build a better future for all, (3) Accelerating action for SD and (4) Setting the agenda for SD beyond 2014.

The Conference programme will include high-level round table discussions, plenary sessions, workshops, side events and exhibitions. UNU-IAS will be co-organizing a workshop on “Development of local initiatives and multi-stakeholder networks for ESD” together with the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi. For more details, visit the conference website.

Latest News

New Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate

What role do ecosystems play in reducing disaster risks and adapting to climate change? This is the topic of a new massive open online course, scheduled to launch in January, 2015. It was developed jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Center for Natural Resources and Development (CNRD) and the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (CUAS), Germany. This is UNEP’s first MOOC, developed in the context of its engagement with universities worldwide including the Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES).

The course covers a broad range of topics from disaster management, climate change, ecosystem management and community resilience. This course is delivered by a global array of guest lectures, scientists and practitioners, including Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of UNEP, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of International Union for Conservation of Nature, Rajendra Pachauri of IPCC and Margareta Wahlström of UNISDR. For more information on this course, please visit the course’s website.

2014 RCEs of the Americas Meeting

Two key documents emerged from the 3rd RCE Conference of the Americas, on July 28-30, 2014 in Autlan, Mexico, hosted by the RCE Western Jalisco. The first is a general statement of commitment to help shape future directions of the RCEs in the Americas and to inform continental and global ESD processes. The second is a set of specific project commitments identifying various RCEs.

Summary of the core commitments

Summary of the core collaborative projects and strategies

Huffington Post: Youth Climate Action in the Face of Africa

On September 29, RCE Kano’s Youth Representative, Usman Muhammad’s article on ‘Youth Climate Action in the Face of Africa, was published in the Huffington Post. This article is part of a month-long series produced in conjunction with a variety of events being held in September, recognizing the threats posed by climate change. Those events include the UN's Climate Summit 2014 and Climate Week NYC.

Climate Change Ambassador Education: Classroom-to-Classroom Campaign

RCE Kano partnered with six other countries and seventeen other organizations in the Global Climate Change Ambassador Campaign. The target group were youth up to 18 years of age. The Climate Change Ambassador Education was aimed at educating and modelling youth to become active participants in Climate Change campaigns through practical, creative and innovative educational and learning programmes.  Sharing different ideas and experiences on both local and global levels among the youth created a certain synergy. Though still on going, the ideas that were developed were presented at the IPCC 2014 in Copenhagen by the Minister of Climate Denmark, in conjunction with some of the participating youth on 27th of October.

RCE Kano is extending this campaign to youth outside the classroom and through informal and non-formal education. For more information visit the RCE portal. The speech of the Climate Change Ambassadors held in Copenhagen can be found here.

EU-Project “Urb@EXP - Towards new forms of urban governance”

URB@Exp, is a joint research project of researchers, policymakers and civil society actors from Austria, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands. The project will be led by ICIS (International Centre for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable Development). Knowledge development and exchange at city level and between cities are central in the project. The aim is to learn how urban labs contribute to city development, how innovative solutions for urban problems emerge, and what actors are involved. Special attention will be given to the role of local authorities and their plea for new modes of urban governance. The URB@Exp project will run for three years, and is funded by Urban Europe and resource from the project partners.

URB@Exp aims to develop guidelines in order to enhance successful uptake of an innovative form of urban governance, thereby contributing to improved governance of urban complexity, for creating more sustainable, inclusive, attractive, and economically viable cities. For more information on this project please visit ICIS website.

RCE Structure and Governance Survey

Organizational structures and governance models vary across RCEs. Newly acknowledged RCE Greater Portland has designed below survey to gather information on the types of existing governance and funding models of fellow RCEs, in order to learn from their lessons and recommended best practices. RCE Greater Portland hopes that this research will be mutually beneficial for existing and new RCEs, as well as UNU-IAS, with results being shared with all RCE participants who express interest.  Please visit the following website to participate in the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DX2HDQ9

Deadline of the survey is November 2, so preliminary results can be collected in time for the International RCE Conference. If more time is needed, the survey will remain open through November 15. 

UNESCO MGIEP Global Youth Survey “ YOUth Speak”

UNESCO MGIEP, a UNESCO’s category 1 Institute on education, has initiated a Youth Survey to understand the perspectives of youth on today’s global challenges. The increasing youth population (1. 8 billion youth in the world today) along with rising complexities of our times present both challenges and opportunities for the future ahead. Within this context, UNESCO MGIEP has identified youth as its key partner and primary stakeholder. In order to better understand the youth driven agenda, the institute presents the first UNESCO MGIEP Youth Survey “ YOUth Speak”. The survey will give more detailed information on the discourse on peace, sustainable development, transformative education and global citizenship. The survey has 14 questions and takes 5-7 minutes to complete. Deadline of the survey is 29 November 2014. The preliminary findings will be presented at the forthcoming UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development World Conference in November.

For more information on the survey or if you wish to participate, please visit:



QAA launches ESD guidance linked to RCE Severn HEFCE funded ESD and Quality initiative

In October the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) released its new national guidelines on ESD which seek to inform and extend ESD practice across the HE curriculum. RCE Severn was part of the cross-sector expert group that developed this guidance document, the first of its kind in Europe to be produced by an agency responsible for curriculum quality in HE. This landmark document involved collaboration between the QAA and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) with input from the National Union of Students (NUS). The guidelines will advise HE lecturers, education and curriculum staff on how to embed ESD into graduate outcomes, academic practice and student experiences. It supports QAA’s move in 2012 to include ESD in the national HE quality assurance framework, the UK Quality Code for HE.

QAA and HEA ESD guidance for Guidance for UK Higher Education Practitioners

Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability in Higher Education

If you wish to contribute to the monthly bulletin or have news, upcoming events, or publications, you would like to share, please use the ‘Submit RCE bulletin’ form on our website. You can mail it to the Global RCE Service Centre: rceservicecentre@unu.edu. Submissions must be made by the 15thof every month. In addition, we encourage you to continue using the RCE Portal to exchange ideas, share expertise and resources and deliberate emerging sustainability issues towards ESD implementation at a global level.

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