Last updated: January 9, 2024

RCE Okayama

Photo Credit: RCE Okayama
Rce details
Date of RCE acknowledgement:
June, 2005
Description of RCE and Geographic Region:

RCE Okayama is in Okayama City, Japan. It is a major regional transportation hub in western Japan with a population of roughly 720,000. It has acquired business, educational, cultural, political and administrative functions and has the facilities necessary for a comfortable lifestyle. However, it faces challenges, such as aging and shrinking population and destruction of nature.

In 2005, in support of the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014), the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission (secretariat at Okayama Municipal Office) was established with the main roles of policy-making and planning, supporting member organisations and capacity-building. The Commission created The Okayama ESD Project Plan, and started The Okayama ESD Project, a series of ESD activities, according to the Plan. The commission was acknowledged as one of the world’s first RCEs in the same year.

In 2014, five international conferences on ESD were held in Okayama City including the '9th Global RCE Conference'. Adopting the UN’s Global Action Programme (GAP; 2015-2019) on ESD, RCE Okayama formulated 'The Okayama ESD Project Plan 2015-2019' and launched the 'ESD Okayama Award' to reward outstanding ESD practices worldwide annually.

In 2017, RCE Okayama, Okayama University and UNU-IAS co-organised the first RCE Thematic Conference in Okayama.  

In 2019, in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the international conferences held in Okayama, RCE Okayama organised another international event 'ESD Forum and ESD Okayama Award 2019', inviting all the past Award winners from around the world. It was also held in conjunction with the '2019 Global Meeting of Teacher Education for ESD' organised by the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions (INTEI) and Okayama University.

Following the new UN framework 'ESD for 2030' (2020-2030) after GAP, RCE Okayama formulated 'The Okayama ESD Project Plan 2020-2030' to further accelerate ESD. It has 8 key action areas: 1) to promote sustainable community development in Okayama, 2) to take action for SDGs, 3) to develop youth-base and ESD leaders, 4) to promote ESD in local communities, Kominkans (CLCs) and schools, 5) to reward good ESD practices, 6) to expand ESD activities, 7) to promote ESD and SDGs initiatives by businesses and economic organisations, and 8) to strengthen national and international collaboration.

Goals and Objectives:
The goal of RCE Okayama is to create a region where people learn, think, and act together for developing a sustainable society.
The objectives are as follows:
  • to raise citizens’ understanding of sustainable development and to encourage their actions
  • to increase the number of organisations which actively make efforts for building a sustainable society 
  • to continuously learn together with various stakeholders through the networks of international, national and local organisations
Organisation Hosting RCE Secretariat:

SDGs and ESD Promotion Division, Co-Production Bureau, Okayama City

Key Partners:

The Okayama ESD Promotion Commission consists of more than 370 organisations from various sectors including academia, formal and non-formal education, enterprises, civic organisations, NPOs, and local governments.

For the list of participating organisations, please visit our website here (with auto-translation). 

Current Activities:

In accordance with 'The Okayama ESD Project Plan 2020-2030', RCE Okayama continuously promotes ESD to contribute to the SDGs by strengthening cooperation and collaboration among stakeholders at local, national, and international levels. The ongoing Okayama ESD Projects are as follows:

  • Provision of subsidies to member organisations and youths
  • Facilitation of collaboration among organisations
  • ESD Promotion in Schools and Kominkans (CLCs)
  • 'ESD Cafe x SDGs Series' (monthly lectures and discussions in a hybrid mode) 
  • 'Okayama x SDGs Youth Event'
  • ESD University and Vocational Technical School Student Internship Program
  • ESD Coordinator Training
  • ESD Okayama Award
  • Okayama ESD Forum (ESD Okayama Award ceremony, activity presentation and group discussion)
  • SDGs Project on Marine Debris Reduction: Cleaning Up the Beaches and Riverbanks
  • SDGs Festival
  • ESD/SDGs Experts’ Special Lessons at Schools
  • SDGs training for business owners and business persons

SDGs project on Marine Debris Reduction: Cleaning Up the Beaches and Riverbanks (Photo Credit: RCE Okayama)

Group discussion at the 'Okayama ESD Forum' (Photo Credit: RCE Okayama)

Upcoming Activities:
  • Support for companies working towards the achievement of specific SDGs
  • RCE Okayama has furthered community-based ESD promotion through multi-stakeholder collaboration. Since the inception of the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission, the number of involved organisations has increased from 19 to 379 (as of December 2023).
  • RCE Okayama and its member organisations received prestigious global and national awards on ESD and SDGs as follows:
    • 'The Okayama ESD Project' conducted by RCE Okayama won the 'UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD' (2016).
    • Okayama City received the 'UNESCO Learning City Award' (2017).
    • Okayama City was designated as a 'SDGs Future City' (2018).
    • Okayama City received 'Hall of Fame of Best of Best Cities, APLC (Alliance for Asia Pacific Learning Cities)' (2021)
  • The following projects by RCE Okayama received RCE Awards:
    • 'Harmony of Natural Preservation & Agriculture' (Certificate of Honour, 2012)
    • 'Kyoyama ESD Environment Project (KEEP) to Promote Regional ESD' (Outstanding Flagship Project, 2013)
    • 'Okayama ESD Project – Decade in Okayama ‘ESD Okayama Model’ & Release of ‘New Okayama ESD Project Fundamental Plan’' (Outstanding Flagship Project, 2014)
    • 'Children of Fujita: Learn in Community and Develop the Future' (Outstanding Flagship Project, 2015)
    • 'ESD University and Technical Vocational Education and Training College Student Internship Program' (Outstanding Flagship Project, 2021)
    • 'ESD Café x SDGs Series' (Acknowledge Flagship Project, 2022)
    • 'The Whole-Community Approach of ESD in Minan Area of Okayama City' (Outstanding Flagship Project, 2023)
  • RCE Okayama launched the 'ESD Okayama Award' to reward outstanding ESD practices worldwide in 2015.  Since the inception, total more than 800 project applications have been submitted.

The ‘ESD Okayama Award 2023’ Ceremony at the ‘Okayama ESD Forum 2023’ (Photo Credit: RCE Okayama)

Communication Channels
Twitter handle:
Contact Details
Main RCE Contact:
Hirohisa Iwata (Mr.)
Secondary RCE Contact:
Sachie Kumano (Ms.)
RCE Youth Coordinator(s):
General RCE email:
RCE mailing address for correspondence:

1-1-1 Daiku, Kita-ku, Okayama City, Okayama, 700-8544, Japan