African RCEs Gather to Discuss Their Roles in Climate Action at Regional Meeting

(Report written by RCE Greater Nairobi, edits by Global RCE Service Centre)


  • The 12th African RCE Regional Meeting was held from 28-30 November, 2022, hosted by RCE Greater Nairobi.
  • Parallel sessions covered various aspects of addressing climate change by sub themes: Environmental Education Sustainability for Climate Change; Improved Livelihood for Communities through Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation; Engaging and Empowering Youth and Children as Champions for Climate Change Action; and Skills-driven Education, Science and Technology and Innovation (STI) for Climate Action.
  • An exhibition featured presentations showcasing climate-related innovations by stakeholders from various sectors.
  • Excursions were conducted providing participants with opportunities to delve further on topics such as waste management, nature conservation, and climate adaptation.

The 12th African RCE Regional Meeting was hosted by RCE Greater Nairobi from 28-30 November, 2022 at Kenyatta University Conference Centre (KUCC), under the theme 'Role of African RCEs in Climate Action'. The meeting was held with support from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Kenya, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), and Ministry of the Environment, Japan.

Over 400 delegates across the world attended the meeting, either in-person or virtually, with representatives from 10 RCEs in Africa attending in-person.

Presentations from a range of speakers emphasised the need to collaborate with various stakeholders from the government, industries, civil society organisations, local governments and media to address the climate crisis. Mr. Mamo B. Mamo commended the Kenyan RCEs in rising up to the occasion to address plastic pollution, a key contributor to greenhouse gases contributing to climate change, and called upon the African RCEs to address the same in their localities. Dr. James Njogu, representing KNATCOM mentioned that there is need to address the climate crisis in a holistic manner, whilst a representative from the UNESCO regional office called for participants to make peace with nature. Dr. Akpezi Ogbuigwe (Regional Advisor for Africas region) highlighted that attendees had gathered to create meaningful stories that will change the future. Mr. Keisuke Midori (Office of Environmental Education, Ministry of the Environment of Japan) encouraged participation of youth by encouraging them to empower the community, and Dr. Jonghwi Park (UNU-IAS) acknowledged the diverse stakeholders’ collaborative effort in hosting the African RCE conference.

A variety of information sharing modes involved active participation through group discussions, panel discussions, climate change and environmental education talks, case studies, exhibitions, drama, music, and outdoor environmental education.

In her keynote address, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry Kenya, Hon. Roselinda Soipan Tuya, represented by Dr. Pacifica Ogola, highlighted several efforts carried out at national and international levels to address climate change, however she emphasised the need to come up with local solutions to address challenges.

The panel discussion brought out various aspects of addressing climate change in the various sub-themes: Environmental Education Sustainability for Climate Change; Improved Livelihood for Communities through Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation; Engaging and Empowering Youth and Children as Champions for Climate Change Action; and Skills-driven Education, Science and Technology and Innovation (STI) for Climate Action.

During the meeting, a newly elected African RCE Youth Coordinator was chosen, with his appointment to be confirmed at the Ubuntu Committee Meeting of Peers for the RCEs in December 2022.

An outdoor exhibition featured climate-related innovations by different stakeholders from the education, conservation, energy, waste management and policy sectors. The diverse mix of exhibitions demonstrated the skills and passion to design and develop innovations and solutions appropriate to local geographics, ecologies and livelihoods, and included a solar-powered food cart, solar-powered vaccination box, solar cold rooms to minimise post-harvest losses by farmers, energy efficient briquette making solutions, and e-waste technologies.

Despite the transformative potential and promise of these youth-led business ideas and solutions, numerous challenges pose constraints, such as finance, intellectual property (IP) theft, and limited access to lucrative markets, both locally and globally. Addressing these challenges is critical to unlocking the potential contribution of youth-led enterprises as a key pillar of climate action in Africa.

In line with the meeting’s theme of climate action, delegates participated in a tree planting session on the second day on the Kenyatta University Campus, with over 200 trees being planted. The two-day engagement on the role of African RCEs in climate action then came to a close with a vote of thanks from Dr. Christopher Saina (RCE North Rift), acknowledging all the countries that participated (Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Japan, Malawi, South Africa, Cameroon) and contributors from the government, private sector and youth groups.

On the third and final day, 130 attendees participated in various excursion visits, as follows:

Excursion 1 – Waste Management and Circular Economy
Participants visited waste recycling facilities practicing circular economy, which include Mr. Green Africa, Vintz Plastics and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Centre.
View a report here.

Excursion 2 – Nature Conservation (Wildlife)
This visit included a guided game drive to the Nairobi National Park in the morning and a visit to the Giraffe Centre in the afternoon.
View a report here.

Excursion 3 – Ngong Hills Forest
Participants visited Ngong Hills Forest where they planted 200 tree seedlings. They had a guided tour to the Power Wind Turbines by Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen), and a hike in one of the 14 hills at the Ngong Hills forest.  
View a report here.

Excursion 4 – Climate Change Adaptation Village
The group visited the Endenyo Enker Adaptation Village (Mashuuru Township – Kajiado County) where they were given a tour of the buildings and demo farm, followed by a discussion on climate change challenges and community coping mechanisms.
View a report here.

Please see the event page for further details from the event, including presentations.

The Global RCE Service Centre wishes to thank the team at RCE Greater Nairobi for their outstanding efforts to organise a successful 12th African RCE Regional Meeting, and to all participants for their active participation and contributions.

(Photo credits: Lincoln Mwangi)