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RCE Bulletin

Issue 98: October 2019

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 8th Americas RCE Meeting in Burlington, USA at the end of last month. It was wonderful to learn and share with you all! A full report of the meeting, including content and photos can be found in the 'Latest News' section below.

As we come towards the end of another busy year, we would love to hear what your RCE has been working on over the course of 2019! Remember to submit your RCE Projects to the RCE Portal as a report of your RCE's activities for the year (the link will be active after logging in), and if you wish to do so, nominate it for the 8th Annual RCE Awards whilst you are at it (see details below - nominations close 31 October, 2019)!

Finally, if your RCE would like to contribute news, an upcoming event, or an open call 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

New: RCE Projects Map

This month has seen the launch of an interactive RCE Projects Map on the RCE Portal. This new feature displays all of the RCE Projects that have been loaded on the portal to date, and allows users to search and view projects by region, target audience, theme, SDG, and ecosystem. We hope this tool will provide another way for you to share your activities and for others to find information about your projects easily. The new RCE Projects Map can be accessed here.

To add your RCE Project to the RCE Portal (which will automatically add it to the RCE Projects Map), submit an RCE Project here (video tutorial available here). 

Last Chance: 8th Annual RCE Awards

There's a few days remaining to nominate your RCE project for the 8th Annual RCE Awards! 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

10th World Environmental Education Congress
3-7 November, 2019, Bangkok, Thailand

Under the theme 'Local Knowledge, Communication and Global Connectivity', the 10th World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) will be held 3-7 November, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.

This international congress will address education for environment and sustainability, with the goal of enhancing local knowledge within the global spotlight in terms of environmental education.

The Global RCE Service Centre will be hosting two workshops, and co-hosting a side event. Details are below:


The classroom, the city hall, the ivory tower, and the rising sea: Using a multi-stakeholder approach for education as a mechanism to implement local action on international climate policies
5 November, 2019, 10:00-11:00
UNU-IAS, RCE Georgetown, RCE Iskandar, and RCE Sakon Nakhon

This workshop will use the RCE model to examine how multi-stakeholder networks can provide a more coordinated and effective approach for educating communities as a whole about meaningful actions to take in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation. This workshop will help participants understand how bridging formal and informal education partners can reduce redundancies, improve communication, and upscale action across communities, as well as through different age and sectoral cohorts. Attendees will identify partners and initiatives in their own communities they can begin working with on climate education initiatives.

Community-based Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Unpacking confusions and getting insights to enrich local community practices and policies for 2030 and beyond
5 November, 2019, 11:00-12:00
Fumiko Noguchi (UNU-IAS), Jose Roberto Guevara (RMIT University), Osamu Abe (Rikkyo University)

This workshop attempts to unpack the confusions and struggles around ESD for 2030 from local community perspectives, addressing two questions: How can the local community practices see 'SDG' as an opportunity that can enhance the practices at the local community?; and, How can SDGs policies be enriched by obtaining insights from local community experiences? By doing so, it will critically reflect on the efforts made for community-based EE and ESD in Japan and Asia in the past. Finally, this workshop will discuss what educators, practitioners, policymakers, researchers and academic societies can do for 2030 and beyond to enhance the local community practices at global, regional, national and local levels.

Side Event (Panel Discussion):

Education and Learning in and through Environmental Assessment Experiences from Higher Education Institutions in Asia
4 November, 2019, 15:00-16:30
Gliceria Arlyn G. Garancho (Executive Director of the Philippine Normal University Visayas, Philippines), Arun Kansal (Dean, Research and Relationships, TERI School of Advanced Studies, India), Janne Leino (Chief Representative, Hanns Seidel Foundation Zheijang Representative Office), Ushio Miura (Programme Specialist, UNESCO Bangkok), Riri Fitri Sari (Chairperson of UI GreenMetric, University of Indonesia), Mario Tabucanon (Senior Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS), Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS)

As the world converges around efforts to move forward with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, higher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region are increasingly placing 'greening the campus' high on their agenda as never before. Along with the rise of this aspiration, many institutions have also begun to introduce environmental assessment as a part of their administrative and operational strategies. A crucial question from the perspective of education is if, and how, learning for environmental sustainability is triggered and enhanced for the whole campus community in the process of undertaking the assessment. Does environmental assessment facilitate and contribute to promoting campus-wide environmental education and learning? If so, what are some of the key aspects or issues that we need to be mindful of if we are to leverage environmental assessment as opportunities to promote education and learning for sustainability? This session will bring together panellists from three institutions that are/have been involved in environmental assessment in Asia, aiming to draw insights into how higher education may be able to contribute effectively to the achievement of the UN SDGs through advancing SDG 4 and SDG 4.7 in particular.

For further details on the events above, please visit the WEEC2019 website here.

CLIMATE2020 - 7th Climate Change Online Conference
23-30 March, 2020, online

Organised by the Research and Transfer Centre Sustainability and Climate Impact Management (FTZ-NK) of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, the 7th Climate Change Online Conference will communicate current research results on climate change and its consequences. In particular, young scientists from all over the world are offered an opportunity to present their own research on a worldwide stage. The conference will also provide information on numerous concrete projects, initiatives and strategies that are currently being implemented on five continents, presenting the latest examples of global activities to protect the climate. The conference will take place exclusively online - climate-neutral as all CO2 emissions will be offset. Register for free at www.dl4sd.org to access the conference platform to take a look inside, learn about the conference's patrons and partners, and to receive regular updates. 

Research Project FORCE Activities - Waste Prevention and Treatment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment
18-19 November, 2019, 10:00-16:00, Hamburg, Germany

The Research Project FORCE - Cities Cooperating for Circular Economy - will present the activities of the EU-funded innovation project on the reuse, repair and recycling of old electrical equipment. The event will present interesting facts and activities on the subject of recycling management for electrical and electronic equipment waste, such as what recyclables can be found in your mobile phone, and what can everyone do to conserve resources and produce less waste? On Tuesday 19 November, 2019, from 12:00-14:00, a free mobile phone repair shop will be operating (spare parts have to be paid). The event will take place at HAW Hamburg, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ulmenliet 20, 21033 Hamburg, Germany and admission is free. Learn more about the project here.

Kick-Off for New HORIZON 2020 Project Bioplastics Europe

Since the beginning of October, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences' Research and Transfer Centre Sustainability and Climate Impact Management (FTZ-NK) has been coordinating the project 'Bio-Plastics Europe - Developing and Implementing Sustainability-Based Solutions for Bio-Based Plastic Production and Use to Preserve Land and Sea Environmental Quality in Europe'. The project intends to develop sustainable strategies and solutions for bio-based plastic products including innovative product design and business models facilitating efficient reuse and recycling strategies and solutions, including ensuring the safety of recycled materials when used for toys or packaging food stuffs. The kick-off meeting of the HORIZON 2020 funded project will take part on 28th and 29th October 2019 in Hamburg. During these two days, the contents and plans for the work packages will be introduced and presented by project partners.

On 29th October at 2 pm, the open kick-off meeting for stakeholders (external experts, NGOs, politicians, etc.) will take part. To register to attend, please send an email to Dr. Jelena Barbir at jelena.barbir@haw-hamburg.de.

Open Calls

Latest News

RCEs in the Americas Explore Health, the Environment, and Education for Sustainable Futures

(Photo credit: Sarah Webb, Shelburne Farms)

Over 350 participants attended the 8th Americas RCE Meeting in Burlington, Vermont, USA from 23-25 September, 2019, the largest meeting of the RCEs in the Americas to date, under the theme 'Human Health and the Environment', with special attention to how human health relates to climate change.

Hosted by RCE Greater Burlington and organised in conjunction with Shelburne Farms, the University of Vermont, and the City of Burlington with the support of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), the meeting reinforced the fundamental role that education plays in achieving a sustainable future in the region. Not only did it showcase a range of innovative sustainability initiatives, such as sustainable food systems during the harvest season, it highlighted the intersection of SDGs 3, 4, 6 and 11, and featured Burlington's commitment to becoming a sustainable city. Attendees participated in learning tours of Shelburne Farms - a non-profit organisation which work to educate students on a sustainable future through its campus, which is a working farm, forest, and national historic landmark, as well as its Burlington City and Lake Semester - an immersive program for high school students that works on applied learning in the city itself to explore problems of and solutions for sustainability within the students' own community. Each tour presented the RCEs with a fantastic example of applied learning in formal and non-formal settings alike.

Amongst RCE presentations on ESD projects, an update was provided on the creation of an RCE Youth Network in the region, with RCE Greater Atlanta and RCE Borderlands Mexico-USA reporting they co-hosted the first regional Youth Network event earlier in the year, and were working on other events to be conducted in both English and Spanish. Other initiatives discussed included RCE Greater Burlington proposing a joint effort for assisting communities in the Bahamas with ESD for resilient food systems, to create more communities among the islands who are resilient to climate disruptions. Read more

Youth Climate Summit Brings Climate Champions Together to Accelerate Action

(Photo credit: Lucie Smolkova)

Last month saw the first UN Youth Climate Summit ever held, which took place on 21 September, 2019 in New York, and brought together more than 700 young activists from around the world calling for urgent action on the climate crisis. A representative of the Fridays for Future movement in the Czech Republic, Lucie Smolkova (who has also been connecting this movement to RCE Czechia), was one of 100 young climate champions chosen to participate (a 'Green Ticket' awardee), selected from over 7,000 applicants worldwide. The programme for the one-day summit included panel discussions, side events, and workshops, which provided young leaders with the opportunity to share and learn from one another about their projects and the actions and solutions which will make a difference moving forward. Read more

Projects from Botswana, Brazil and Germany win UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has named the three winners of this year's UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): the Camphill Community Trust in Botswana, the Sustainable Amazon Foundation (Brazil) and the city of Hamburg (Germany). Funded by the Government of Japan, this is the fifth edition of the Prize. The core selection criteria looked at the projects' potential for transformation, their innovative quality, and their ability to embrace all three dimensions of sustainability: the economy, society and the environment. Each of the three laureates will receive an award of US $50,000, in a ceremony that will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on 15 November, within the framework of the General Conference of UNESCO. Congratulations to all winners! Read more

RCE Belarus Generate Youth Initiative Ideas in 'SDGs: Think and Act' Online Game

(Photo credit: RCE Belarus)

Representatives from RCE Belarus participated in the online game 'Sustainable Development Goals: Think and Act', held in Belarus on 25 September, 2019 on the UN's Global Day of Action (#Act4SDGs).

Sixty youth teams from various regions of the country took part in the game, among them 307 school students, 40 university students and 86 teachers, parents and other consultants in the field of sustainable development. The working languages of the game were Russian and Belarusian.

Game participants were asked to complete four tasks that stimulated youth activity aimed at providing educational support for the SDG localisation processes in local communities. This allowed participants to deepen their understanding of climate problems and knowledge of the SDGs associated with them, and to develop ideas and initiatives to improve life in their communities. Read more 

RCE Ogun Trains Youth on Digital Skills for Sustainable Wealth Creation

(Photo credit: RCE Ogun)

RCE Ogun recently partnered with the Hebron Startup Lab of Covenant University, Nigeria to conduct a four-day training on 'Digital Skills for Sustainable Wealth Creation', which was held from 30 September to 3 October, 2019. The courses covered topics including how sustainable wealth can be created using digital skills, leadership and team building, and the relevance of having the right mindset to achieve set objectives. Read more

RCE Kano and Partners Mark Global Day of Impact for the Almajiri Child

(Photo credit: RCE Kano)

Over the past decades, in northern Nigeria, the Almajiri system has been the major system of education, which precludes children from basic education (Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children in Africa). The Global Day of Impact for the Almajiri Child, on 25 September, 2019, was aimed at inspiring support especially at the societal level, to provide decent accommodation, basic formal education, and access to health care for the Almajiri children. Almajiri Child Rights Initiative (ACRI) Sokoto, in close collaboration with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Sokoto branch, RCE Kano, Lahiya Sak, Save the Child Initiative, Freedom for Life Initiative, Mareri Foundation and Every Girl Every Woman, promoted good sanitation practices in some selected Almajiri schools located in Sokoto State. Read more

RCE Minna Organises 2nd Green Fingers Programme

(Photo credit: RCE Minna)

Between 19-21 August, 2019, RCE Minna organised the 2nd Edition of the 'Green Fingers Programme: An Environmental Summer School for Children', at the RCE Minna Resource Centre, bringing together 17 children from various schools in Minna aged between four to eight years old. Under the theme, 'Developing a New Crop of Environmental Enthusiasts', the programme's aim was geared towards empowering and sparking participants to take action in safeguarding the environment and to become champions of environmental sustainability, through capacity building, hands-on training, and tree planting, in order to foster understanding of the SDGs, the effects of climate change, and how they can contribute in combating it. Read more


UNESCO Launches 'Futures of Education: Learning to Become' Initiative Website

The Futures of Education: Learning to Become initiative aims to rethink education and shape the future. Looking to 2050 and beyond, the initiative is catalysing a global debate on how knowledge, education and learning need to be reimagined in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and precarity. The work will be guided by a high-level International Commission of thought-leaders from diverse fields and different regions of the world. In November 2021, the commission will publish a report designed to share a forward-looking vision of what education and learning might yet become and offer a policy agenda. Visit the website here.

NISSEM Global Briefs: Educating for the Social, the Emotional and the Sustainable

This online publication from Networking to Integrate SDG Target 4.7 and Social and Emotional Learning into Educational Materials (NISSEM) features diverse perspectives from over 60 contributors addressing global and local challenges on how to integrate Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and SDG 4.7 themes into textbooks and other education materials.

NISSEM Global Briefs shows how a small number of high-impact, relatively low-cost interventions can help policymakers and educators create opportunities for learners to practice relevant skills that promote values like empathy, a sense of fairness, gender equality, respect for each human being and the planet and collaboration. Access the Global Briefs here.

Macro-Level Considerations for Effective Implementation of Sustainable Development Interventions

This paper, authored by Anthony Wakwe Lawrence of RCE Greater Yenagoa, and published in the European American Journals - International Journal of Development and Economic Sustainability, highlights the interrelatedness and interdependency of Sustainable Development (SD) Goals and the need to approach SD challenges from multidisciplinary approaches. This paper also tries to show the importance of macro and micro-level SD considerations when intervening to address community development challenges and the role of sustainability filters and enhancers towards true sustainability. The drill-down concepts for effective delivery of community development interventions are also explained. Access the article here.

Cities100 2019 Report

The Cities100 report, recently released by Cities100 (a collaboration between C40 Cities and Nordic Sustainability), features 100 leading climate action projects from cities around the world, and includes 12 different categories of climate action. The report provides an analysis of how cities are facing the challenges and opportunities that come with being at the forefront of climate action. Download the full report here.

UN ESCAP Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019

Published by UN ESCAP, the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019 shows how natural disasters are closely linked to inequality and poverty, each feeding on the other and leading to a vicious downward cycle.

The report showcases examples from the region of innovative pro-poor disaster risk reduction measures and risk-informed social policies that are breaking the links between poverty, inequality and disasters. Similarly, it explores how emerging technologies such as big data and digital identities can be used to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable groups are included in these policy interventions. Download the full report here.