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RCE Bulletin

Issue 97: September 2019

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre!

Rounding out the year's regional RCE meetings are those in Europe and the Americas this month. The European Regional RCE Meeting 2019 took place in Heraklion, Greece in mid September, and was an engaging and inspiring meeting for all participants involved - thank you to all attendees for your active participation, and we look forward to hearing about your continued work in this area! See the 'Latest News' section below for a full report of the meeting, including links to content and photos. And stay tuned next month for a report of the 8th Americas Regional Meeting.

As always, we would love to hear from you, therefore if your RCE would like to contribute 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

Reminder: 8th Annual RCE Awards

Nominations are currently open for the 8th annual RCE Awards. RCEs are encouraged to nominate one or more of their ESD projects for the award; ESD projects should illustrate how RCEs address local sustainable development challenges, and therefore provide an example of how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be implemented at the local level through quality education. They should also demonstrate how an RCE is promoting multi-stakeholder learning processes through policy dialogue, research and collaborative partnerships. Award recipients will be announced and featured on the RCE Portal this December.

To apply:

  • Submit an RCE Project (video tutorial available here), and at the bottom of the form, please tick the box underneath the heading 'RCE Award 2019' before saving (Please note: projects submitted since November 2018 are also eligible to be nominated for the award. Please go into your existing project, go into 'edit' mode and tick the same box at the bottom of the form).
  • You will then be redirected to the RCE Award form on a new page. Complete the form and click submit. 

Details on categories for the awards, eligibility, criteria, and the format for submission can be found here. Submission must be done online via the RCE Portal by 11:59pm, 31 October, 2019 (JST).

Upcoming Events

Open Calls

The Take Action Challenge

The Anatomy of Action initiative, a partnership project between the United Nations Environment Program and The UnSchool of Disruptive Design, sets out to define and communicate the most positively impactful actions that can be taken to add to the global movement around sustainable lifestyles to help achieve the SDGs. From 15-30 September, 2019, a digital 'Take Action Challenge' is being run, providing everyone with the opportunity to get involved and influence positive change in their community by making small lifestyle changes and sharing this via social media. The challenge will connect influencers, partners, and people, in order to engage and encourage more sustainable living. Find out how you can get involved here.

Teaching for 2030: Multi-layering ESD and GCED for Innovations in Teacher Education towards the SDGs and ESD for 2030

The 2019 Global Conference on Teacher Education for Education for Sustainable Development will be held at Okayama University, Okayama, Japan from 22-25 November, 2019. The conference will bring together ESD and GCED experts with policy makers, teacher educators and other practitioners in education to explore, discuss, and develop locally relevant strategies to systemically implement Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED) as called for in Sustainable Development Goal 4.7, the Global Education 2030 Agenda and other UN policies that nations have agreed to carry out between 2020 and 2030. The conference will be the first global meeting to recognise the goals and the designated framework entitled 'Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs (ESD for 2030)' being launched in June 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

The conference will focus on the role of embedding ESD and GCED within formal education systems, seeking existing successful practices and identifying their potential for policy reform and other education legislations. Special interest groups will focus on aspects such as:

  • Embedding ESD and GCED in elementary and secondary education
  • Online teaching approaches engaging and accessing those in remote or underserved regions
  • ESD as a potential to enhance education and training systems for Indigenous youth
  • ESD and GCED in early childhood care and education

Registration is free, with a deadline of 21 October, 2019. Read more

Call for Abstracts: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability Special Issue on 'Slow Onset Events related to Climate Change'

Authors are invited to submit abstracts for a special journal edition on emerging understanding about slow onset events, climate change impacts, and loss and damage.

The editors of Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (COSUST) and the UNFCCC Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism are soliciting contributions for a special journal issue on environmental sustainability in relation to slow onset events. The overall aim of the special issue is to bring together literature review and synthesis articles that:

  • Evaluate the nature of slow onset events and highlight emerging topics in the scientific literature on slow onset events
  • Identify the gaps and challenges in understanding slow onset events and their local, national, and regional impacts, and possible approaches to manage these

Accepted papers will enhance the knowledge base and highlight potential approaches to assess and address slow onset events at the local, national and regional levels. The deadline for submissions is 15 October, 2019. Further details are available here.

Latest News

European RCEs Gather in Greece to Discuss Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture, and Government Engagement

(Photo credit: Jiri Dlouhy)

Under the theme of 'Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture, and Food Security', twelve RCEs from ten countries gathered in Heraklion, Greece for the European Regional RCE Meeting 2019, held from 13-14 September, 2019.

Hosted by RCE Crete with the support of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), this year's regional meeting was held in conjunction with the final project meeting of RCE Crete's Erasmus project - Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture, and Food Security (CCSAFS) - a Master's course development project initiated by RCE Crete and piloted by universities in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.

RCEs in attendance presented their work over the last year, displaying the depth and breadth of activities across the region. A number of RCEs reported working with either national level government policies or local level policies on ESD, including projects focusing on learning for sustainable agriculture, learning on sustainable consumption and production, and learning on biodiversity conservation.

Two workshops were held within the two-day meeting: one on how to focus RCE activities on climate action, and another on non-formal approaches to ESD through public information campaigns (PICs), and how universities can collaborate and engage with local government partners to create education campaigns related to sustainable development. One of the outcomes of the workshop on climate action was to establish a working group on ESD for climate change actions among the European RCEs. The target over the next year is to assemble a comprehensive toolkit of ESD material for educators working on the topic of climate change in a number of European languages. Read more

RCE Hangzhou Conducts Earth Successor SDG Study Tours

(Photo credit: RCE Hangzhou)

Over the Summer, in coordination with local environmental NGO Green Zhejiang, RCE Hangzhou organised 21 Earth Successor study tours with a central theme of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over 1,000 primary and secondary school students participated, travelling to destinations including the United States, the Bahamas, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and various provinces within China. Through these programs, participants improved their cognitive abilities, teamwork abilities, creativity, and career skills as they learned about various SDGs through hands-on activities, lectures, and field visits. Read more

RCE Srinagar Organises DRR Capacity Building Training Programmes

(Photo credit: RCE Srinagar)

RCE Srinagar is taking its drive of making India disaster resilient, climate smart, and sustainable by supporting the State of Uttar Pradesh in organising Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacity building training programmes for the staff of the revenue department of the Government of Uttar Pradesh. This department acts as first responder during any disaster on behalf of the Central and State governments and arranges relief and rehabilitation for disaster-affected people.

Two sets of trainings were organised over the June-August 2019 period. The first was at State level, which involved a five-day Training of Trainers (ToTs) programme to train higher ranking officers as Master Trainers (MTs). The next set of trainings were over three days at district level, to train all of the Lekhpals, using the MTs as resource persons. At the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) at the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD), 426 MTs were trained during 15 ToTs, with district level trainings still in progress, due to be completed by the end of December 2019.

Two resource material books and two trainings modules, one for State level ToTs for the MTs, and the other for the district level trainings for the Lekhpals were prepared and given to all the participants. Through these trainings on DRR preparedness, the management of risks was emphasised, the preparation of inventory of resources and disaster management plans ensuring all systems are in order and in place, as well as the allocation of responsibilities within all concerned departments.

RCE Hangzhou's Second Season of the 'River Angels' Program Kicks Off

(Photo credit: RCE Hangzhou)

The 2019 'River Angel' youth water protection program, jointly organised by RCE Hangzhou and the Alibaba Foundation, formally kicked off at Hangzhou Xuejun Elementary School on 5 September, 2019.

Nearly 200 'River Angels' from primary and secondary schools around Hangzhou participated in the program, which combines the power of international organisations, government departments, social and charity organisations, primary and secondary schools, and others, and assigns youth 'River Angels' to be responsible for certain sections of their local river. Students participating in this innovative sustainability education program take action to protect water resources, spread and share information about the importance of caring for local rivers, and conduct related research, through which they obtain the skills needed to become river watchers in their hometown as well as environmental interpreters and innovators of water environment improvement solutions. Read more

Sarawak River Art Competition 2019

In conjunction with the Sarawak Day on 22 July, 2019, RCE Kuching, in collaboration with the Sarawak Multimedia Authority and Old Kuching SMART Heritage, held the Sarawak River Art Competition 2019 themed 'Our River, Our Life'. A total of 30 paintings, 10 poems and 6 sculptures were shortlisted from amongst the entries. The RCE Kuching Vice Chairperson, Mdm. Mukvinder explained that the art competition was aimed at gathering unique perspectives that local communities have on their rivers and their sustainability and how they can express themselves in various art forms. Read more