RCE Greater Western Sydney - 2018

Asia-Pacific SDG Youth Challenge 2018
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Asia-Pacific SDG Youth Challenge 2018
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Western Sydney
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE Yogyakarta
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Brittany Hardiman
Organizational Affiliation: 
Western Sydney University
Jen Dollin
Organizational Affiliation: 
Western Sydney University
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Geographical & Education Information
Korea, South
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW, 2751, Australia
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Characteristics for the Asia-Pacific region differ greatly. As the project involved multiple countries it is hard to define.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Asia-Pacific region face face a wide range of SD challenges, again varying significantly country to country. For the purpose of this project we only focused on Climate Change and Life Below Water. Both of these themes are areas important to youth in our region and have profound effects on one another.
December, 2017 to December, 2018
Today is a critical time for youth. Not only do we face extraordinary global challenges but we also possess many powerful tools to solve these problems, especially with technology and social media. We are often looked to have make changes, yet very often are not given the chance to do so. This project used a global peer-peer model whereby youth shared information about ESD and SDG 13/14 with other youth in their region on issues that mattered most to them and their communities. Led by the Asia-Pacific regional youth leaders, the first preliminary Asia-Pacific Youth SDG Challenge commenced in February 2018 and focused on 'Youth for the Sustainable Development Goals', specifically Goal 13 Climate Action and Goal 14 Life Below Water. We invited all Asia-Pacific Youth to get involved to make a difference in their local community with on-ground projects that address their community needs, the goals and involved and inspired youth.
Our main goal of the project was to inspire youth to make a practical, on-ground change in their local communities while involving as many youth as they could around the SDGs. The uniqueness of the SDG Youth Challenge gave individuals the chance to create their own projects/program that were relevant and important to their region which is really important for sustainability. We also wanted youth to better connect with their 'parent' RCEs and get involved in the network more generally.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Commencing in February, the SDG Youth Challenge had expressions of interest from 32 youth-led projects across the Asia-Pacific, as well as from South America and Africa. With a follow-up in May we still had 20 youth-led projects continuing from RCEs and UNSECO ESD partnerships. The Challenge projects varied in activities from bottle top lid art installations, beach clean ups, conservation camps, youth summits and school-based workshops all on either SDG 13 or 14 - all with the purpose of education. Following the Challenge we hosted a 1/2 day virtual youth summit to celebrate these projects and to give youth a voice. Presentations were from 9 youth representatives - Australia (RCE Greater Western Sydney, RCE Gippsland, RCE Tasmania), India (RCE Delhi), Malyasia (RCE Central Semenanjung and UNSECO World Youth Foundation), Indonesia (RCE Yogyakarta), South Korea (RCE Tongyeong), Veitnam (UNSECO ESD Youth).
Size of academic audience: 
Our reach has been large. Through a number of social media channels we've shared the SDG Challenge with 1000s of people. In addition our virtual youth summit had around 60 - 70 participants involved, and 9 presenters across the region.
Collectively as of June 2018 our projects have engaged with approximately 10,000 youth across the global. We have worked on 20 youth-led projects in Malayasia, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Bogotá and Australia. We are still collecting final project reports for the group for our e-publication - but from early findings it looks like the estimated number of youth could be triple that, with a wide range of other outcomes. We will be releasing the presentations and e-publication towards the end of 2018. It has been so successful we will be hosting a 2019 SDG Youth Challenge next year with 2 new goals are the focus.
Lessons learned: 
Lessons learned from this project from feedback from the participants is that projects often evolve and change - many youth found that their original ideas couldn't/wouldn't work and had to ocme up with ways around this. It was a great learning exercise for them. Lessons from myself coordinating this project is to take the time to work individually with each project, to provide assistance and support and to motivate and encourage. It was a timely task, but well worth it for the result. Working internationally wasn't as hard as expected with regular video-conference meetings.
Key messages: 
The SDG Youth Challenge showcases that youth have the power to affect and motivate change in their region.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
This project involved a number of youth representatives from RCEs and UNSECO partnerships:

• RCE Bogota, Colombia
• RCE Cebu, Philippines
• RCE Central Semenanjung, Malaysia
• RCE Delhi, India
• RCE Gippsland, Australia
• RCE Greater Pwani, Kenya
• RCE Greater Western Sydney, Australia
• RCE Penang, Malaysia
• RCE Tasmania, Australia
• RCE Thiruvananthapuram, India
• RCE Tongyeong, Republic of Korea
• RCE Yogyakarta, Indonesia
• UNSECO ESD Youth Leader, Vietnam
• UNSECO Peace, Pakistan
• World Youth Foundation (UNSECO), Malaysia
Some of the individual projects were funded through various sources, including their local governments and Universities. Approximately $7,000 USD of funding was awards on individual projects (as of June 2018).
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
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 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
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 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
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