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RCE Bulletin

Issue 93: May 2019

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre!

In just under a week we will be kicking off the first RCE Regional Meeting for 2019, with the 12th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting taking place in Hangzhou, China. We look forward to seeing those of you within the Asia-Pacific region there! Stay tuned for a post-event report next month.

Applications are still open to register for the other RCE Regional Meetings taking place in 2019; the 9th African Regional Meeting, the Europe Regional Meeting 2019, and the 8th Americas Regional Meeting.

If you would like to contribute any news to an upcoming bulletin, please complete this form and email your submission to the Global RCE Service Centre at rceservicecentre@unu.edu (submissions close on the 15th of each month).

The Global RCE Service Centre

RCE Logo Use Policy

A reminder regarding the RCE Logo Use request process - RCEs wishing to use the RCE logo on promotional or output material are asked to send a completed RCE Logo Request form to rceservicecentre@unu.edu, along with the materials the request is for (including any translations into English). Please note all request forms must now be signed by the RCE Coordinator prior to submission.

In addition, the Global RCE Service Centre will now be reviewing RCE Logo Requests on a monthly basis, therefore all requests must be submitted by the 15th of the month, to be considered for approval by the end of that month. The RCE Logo Use Policy can be accessed here.

Upcoming Events

Open Calls

Call for Applications: ESD Okayama Award 2019

RCE Okayama is pleased to announce that the 'ESD Okayama Award 2019' is now open for entries.

Conducted by Okayama City and the ESD Okayama Award Steering Committee, the award rewards outstanding ESD practices in local communities around the world to showcase ESD and to support organisations carrying out ESD activities.  

  • Eligibility: Organisations based in any country, including Japan, implementing ESD activities in local communities are eligible to apply for the Global Prize
  • Prize: USD 3,000
  • Number of Award Winning Projects: Up to two (2) projects
  • Award Ceremony: Award winners will be invited to the Award Ceremony on Sunday 24 November, 2019 in Okayama, Japan, and will be requested to give a presentation on the project
  • Deadline for applications: 5 July, 2019, 5pm (Japan Standard Time)

For more details (application guidelines, application form and information about former award-winning projects of the ESD Okayama Award), please visit the official website.

Call for Nominations: Wenhui (文晖) Award for Educational Innovation 2019

Applications for nominations for the 2019 Wenhui Award are now open. The theme of this year's award, 'Promoting University and School Partnerships in Advancing the Education 2030 Agenda', aims to recognise successful university-school partnerships that have contributed to quality education and lifelong learning in preparing children and youth for life, work and citizenship.

Established by the National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO, and coordinated by UNESCO Bangkok, the Award is open to individuals and institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. Two individuals or institutions will be selected by a jury of distinguished educators, with the winners each to receive a Certificate of Excellence and prize money of USD 20,000.

All applications should reach the Award Secretariat at UNESCO Bangkok (apeid-award@unesco.org) by 31 July, 2019. Details about the Award and forms required for submission can be found here.

World Environment Day 2019 - Let's #BeatAirPollution!

Following on from last year's fight to #BeatPlasticPollution, for this year's World Environment Day on 5 June, 2019, UN Environment is calling on everyone, everywhere, to come together to Beat Air Pollution, which is now the biggest public health crisis on the planet.

Partners in education and youth are asked to take this message into the classroom, campus, and community to raise awareness and take action around this important issue. Take a look at this guide on how you can get involved. Cities, schools, non-governmental organisations, businesses and groups are also encouraged to register any actions or events they are taking to #BeatAirPollution here.

Latest News

Institute of SDG Studies (IISS) Launched in RCE Greater Dhaka

The host of RCE Greater Dhaka, the International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT), launched the IUBAT Institute of SDG Studies (IISS) on 23 April, 2019, in collaboration with the Curtin University Sustainable Policy (CUSP) Institute, Perth, Western Australia.

The Institute has been set up to develop human resources to manage the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will offer training and educational programs, undertake research, provide consultancy services, and run model projects on the SDGs.

Speeches at the launch, including one from Prof. Hamida Akhter Begum, Pro VC, touched on the contribution to sustainable culture of the Founder Vice Chancellor and former Chairperson of RCE Greater Dhaka, Prof M Alimullah Miyan. Prof Selina Nargis, Chairperson of RCE Greater Dhaka, spoke about Knowledge Based Area Development (KBAD) and good practices, recognised through awards IUBAT has received in terms of spreading environmental education as well as their achievements as an RCE.

Professor Mohammed Ataur Rahman, Director, Centre for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC) and the Coordinator of RCE Greater Dhaka talked about IISS's role as a forum to reactivate specialised centres of IUBAT and align these with the SDGs. RCE Greater Dhaka aims to work more closely with other RCEs through IISS.

RCE Ogun Runs Financial Literacy Workshop for Sustainable Businesses

(Photo credit: RCE Ogun)

On 18 April, 2019, RCE Ogun, in conjunction with the Department of Banking and Finance, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria, conducted a workshop titled 'Financial Literacy for Sustainable Business', at Covenant University, with 325 participants in attendance. The workshop addressed how to use the knowledge of the financial system and products to enhance the sustainability of their businesses, with papers presented on topics such as micro-insurance for sustainable businesses and good financial practices for SMEs in relation to resilience.

The event brought together micro and small business owners, relevant stakeholders, industry experts, researchers, and students, with participants learning about the importance of incorporating the three Ps (Planet, People, and Prosperity) into business models, where sustainability concepts shape the driving force of the firm and its decision making, and where businesses are transformed by social and environmental fundamentals.

RCE Brittany Conducts Didactic Project on Climate Change for French Language Students

(Photo credit: Francoise Laveuve)

Starting in January 2019, a didactic project was conducted with university students at the University of Southern Brittany, Vannes, France, within their existing French lessons.

The aim of the sessions has been to deepen their knowledge on the topic of climate change, by giving them a basis of thinking, leading them to analyse their data, use the processes of mind mapping, intuition, and the interaction of SDG 13 with other SDGs to study the causes and consequences of climate change on social, economic, and ecological plans, in order to define possible solutions. Read more

RCE Ogun Climate Change Ambassadors Visit Eko Atlantic City

(Photo credit: RCE Ogun)

RCE Ogun recently ran a climate change challenge for secondary schools, in which several schools in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State in Nigeria competed in an essay competition entitled 'Climate Change, Impacts on our Planet and my Role in Mitigating its Effects'.

The winners were presented with a laptop (1st Prize), mini laptop (2nd Prize) and a tablet (3rd Prize), as well as a trip to Eko Atlantic City to provide them with a first-hand experience of how climate change is mitigated and adapted in the construction industry. Eko Atlantic City is a 10 million square metre prime estate built on reclaimed land from the Atlantic Ocean.

During their visit, students were able to see how trees and shrubs are used to reduce atmospheric carbon. They also learnt about the mitigation strategy used to protect the city from rising sea levels, which is a threat to many coastal cities.


IPBES Global Assessment

(Photo credit: Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock.com)

At its Seventh Plenary meeting, held from 29 April to 4 May, 2019 in Paris, France, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) approved the summary of its Global Assessment report, the most comprehensive and authoritative assessment of nature and its contributions to people to date.

The report highlights the crisis in biodiversity that the world is facing, with its finding that nature is declining at unprecedented rates, with around a million species facing extinction, many within the next decades. It highlights the global environmental challenges the planet faces, with many crucial global goals for sustainability and biodiversity very unlikely to be achieved. The report provides some hope, though, noting that it is not too late to reverse the trend toward rapid biodiversity loss, however transformative changes are required.

Several researchers associated with the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) Secretariat at UNU-IAS contributed to the Global Assessment as authors and experts. UNU-IAS has a Letter of Agreement with IPBES to provide expertise through the IPSI network, and will continue to contribute to this major process in the future.

The Global RCE Network also works closely with IPBES - in 2018 the RCE Regional Meetings held in Africa and Asia-Pacific included IPBES capacity development workshops.

For more information on the report, please see the media release on the IPBES website here.

Be Kind, Curious and Brave - A Survival Guide to the 21st Century

This report from Towards Global Learning Goals, a non-profit aimed at improving the ways children are prepared for the challenges of the 21st century, argues that a revolution is needed in terms of how and what humans learn, to ensure the next generation can 'learn the right things in the right way'. It sets out why change is needed, based on interviews with thinkers, educators, learners and policy makers, and seeks out opportunities and ideas, before setting out nine global learning goals, and highlighting champions who will help deliver the transformation of learning. Read more

Essence and Actions for SDGs - from RCE Hokkaido Central

'Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' - an action plan for people, planet, and prosperity - was adopted by the United Nations Member States in 2015. RCE Hokkaido Central has attempted to identify factors indispensable to the goals of this action plan - the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - by conducting a survey questionnaire amongst its member organisations. This booklet, written in both English and Japanese, introduces those organisations, and analyses the essence of the SDGs through their responses related to the following three areas: 1) important factors in problem-solving; 2) 'those left behind'; and 3) contributions to the SDGs. Download the booklet here.

Rethinking Schooling for the 21st Century: UNESCO-MGIEP's Contribution to SDG 4.7

This case study reports on the findings and implications of a study conducted by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (UNESCO-MGIEP), to analyse the extent to which the ideals of SDG 4.7 are embodied in policies and curricula across 22 Asian countries. Read more 

IAU Horizons Magazine

Published twice a year by the International Association of Universities (IAU), the latest edition of the IAU Horizons magazine (vol. 24, no.1, April 2019) is now available, in paper and online.

The 'In Focus' section on 'Universities and Agenda 2030: Engaging with the SDGs' features 15 papers demonstrating contributions from lead institutions to Agenda 2030, in the context of the IAU Global Cluster on HESD (higher education in support of sustainable development). Access it here.

Reshaping the Future

This article, on the Gaia Education website, draws attention to a new report that reveals compelling evidence of the effectiveness of community-led responses to climate and ecological breakdown. Read more 

Voice for the Planet

Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2019 by the Global Shapers, Voice for the Planet aims to showcase the growing movement of people calling for urgent global action to safeguard nature. Visit the website to add your voice here.