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RCE Bulletin

Issue 106: June 2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! We hope this bulletin finds you in good health as we reach the halfway point of what has been a challenging year to date. During a time of such unprecedented change, embracing opportunities has been key to enabling us all to move forward in many facets of our work, such as shifting modalities and developing innovative approaches, all of which is clearly present within the network.

It has been great to see so many RCE events and initiatives, such as webinars take place during this time, bringing together the community in many ways. See below for a snapshot of these, as well as an update for the Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting for those of you in the Asia-Pacific region. Further updates on other events will be provided in due course.

As always, if your RCE would like to share any news, upcoming events, open calls, or publications for 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).

From all of us at the Global RCE Service Centre, please continue to stay safe and well!

The Global RCE Service Centre 

Update: 13th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting

Originally scheduled to be held in September this year in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, the 13th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting will now follow a format consisting of four online sessions (held in 2020), followed by an in-person meeting (held in 2021), hosted by RCE Kyrgyzstan under the theme of 'Building Capacity for Sustainability'.

The dates for the four online sessions are as follows:

  • 10 September, 2020
  • 24 September, 2020
  • 8 October, 2020
  • 22 October, 2020

The second part of the regional meeting will be held in-person in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic in 2021 (dates TBA). Stay tuned for further announcements including the open call for registrations. Updates will also be posted on the 13th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting page here.

Online Survey on RCEs' Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

The Global RCE Service Centre will distribute an online questionnaire as early as this month to RCEs around the world, in order to understand their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. RCEs are requested to keep an eye out for this questionnaire. 

Upcoming Events

Webinar Week: 'Cradle to Cradle Design - Powering the Circular Economy'
22-29 June, 2020 (online via Zoom)

RCE Hangzhou and the Hanns Seidel Foundation are organising an online webinar week on 'Cradle to Cradle Design - Powering the Circular Economy' between 22nd-29th June, 2020. The webinar week introduces 'Cradle to Cradle' (C2C) design as a quality and innovation framework for the transformation towards a circular economy. In Europe, C2C design has been implemented by companies, municipalities and governments. The goal of this webinar week is to share know-how and expertise based on practical examples and discuss with participants how it could be transferred to other countries, most notably to China and in Asia.

The webinars are geared towards people from academic research and teaching, people from business practice, and policy makers, whose professional activities involve design, product development, building and architecture, sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR), education for sustainable development (ESD) and/or circular economy.

The webinar week will be held in English and is free of charge. Webinars on the 28th and 29th June are still open to registration. More information on the webinars and speakers, as well as how to register can be found here.

A Reflective Action Webinar - Taking Action on Climate after the Pandemic
30 June, 2020, 10:30-12:30 BST (online via Zoom)

Organised by UK and Ireland RCEs in partnership with the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems, this webinar is a reflective action event for those who are keen on taking action on climate after the pandemic.

It has been said, "If we can respond to the pandemic with big social changes, why can't we do the same for climate?". A presentation by Jenneth Parker of the Schumacher Institute will kick off the discussion by presenting an analysis of the similarities and differences in responding to the pandemic and to climate change, and identifying some of the hopeful trends and some of the difficulties in the pandemic response. Some suggestions will be made of ways forward informed by this analysis, followed by break out groups to share ideas and discuss ideas for ways forward. Take a look at the flyer for the event, or register here.

Open Calls

Join In: UNECE Photography Contest

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has launched a photography contest, 'Humans locked down, nature unlocked: a global photo contest on flora and fauna in the time of COVID-19 in support of the restoration of ecosystems'.

Submissions are being accepted of photographs of flora or fauna taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, to reinforce the message the United Nations is trying to send: we need to take urgent action to protect and restore species' natural habitats, use natural resources in a more sustainable manner, and preserve the environment.

The entries will gain a chance to appear in a web-based gallery and will be promoted by the United Nations. The best 13 photographs will be used to illustrate a 2021 calendar of UNECE, and showcased at a photography exhibition at the Palais des Nations in Geneva in Autumn 2020 to celebrate and promote the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Submission are being accepted until 15 September, 2020. Read more about the contest and how to participate here.

Deadline Extended: UN SDG Action Awards

To make sure the SDGs are front and centre in any recovery plans, the UN SDG Action Awards are calling for the most inspiring and impactful initiatives on SDG Action around the world. These initiatives will demonstrate that transformative change is possible and will be beacons of hope to governments and people everywhere.

The deadline for award submissions has been extended until 19 July, 2020 to capture initiatives that have adapted to the new context and are playing a role in the COVID-19 response. People and organisations everywhere are encouraged to submit their outstanding SDG Action and nominate to become one of the UN SDG Action Award winners. The winning initiatives will be honoured at the UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony and widely amplified throughout the year to inspire the growing global SDG Action community to accelerate change for people and the planet. Read more

Applications Closing Soon: UNU Intensive Core Courses

UNU-IAS is currently accepting applications for its four-week UNU Intensive Core (UNU-IC) Courses to be held at UNU Centre in Tokyo, Japan, from 1-29 September, 2020. The courses are designed to provide analyses of global issues from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, and draw on the research projects undertaken at UNU-IAS and at various other UNU institutes located worldwide. Although advanced in nature, they are open to postgraduate students and professionals in various occupations who are not necessarily specialists in the field. Details on the courses offered, requirements, and application procedure can be found here. The deadline for applications is 10 July, 2020.

Reminder: Applications Open for ESD Okayama Award 2020

(Photo source: Okayama City)

RCE Okayama and the ESD Okayama Award Steering Committee are pleased to announce that the 'ESD Okayama Award 2020' is open for entries.

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 Award
  • 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 in Okayama, Japan and be requested to give a presentation on the project
  • Deadline for applications: 31 July, 2020, 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.

Latest News

Webinar series 'ESD Action in COVID-19 Era: Experiences of RCEs of the Asia Pacific Region' Concludes

(Photo credit: RCE Greater Western Sydney)

RCE Greater Western Sydney (GWS) and RCE Srinagar with support from UNU-IAS recently held a series of webinars on the topic of 'ESD Action in COVID-19 Era: Experiences of RCEs of the Asia-Pacific Region' on 14 May, 9 June, and 11 June, 2020.

Attended by over 100 participants from across the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide, the series featured presentations by 37 RCEs within the Asia-Pacific region, as well as presentations from the hosts of this year's regional RCE meetings on behalf of the other regions: RCEs of the Americas region (presented by Ms. Brittany Foutz, Director, RCE Salisbury); the African region (presented by Dr. Abdul Husaini, Coordinator, RCE Minna); and the European region (presented by Dr. Andrew Reeves, Chair, RCE East Midlands), who spoke about their collaborative 'Carbon Literacy Training' Project.

Presentations by RCEs highlighted the impacts of the pandemic on education, as well as the opportunities to implement new learning methods, to rethink the skills and learning outcomes of educational programmes, and further highlighted the importance of valuing the skills within communities. In addition, citizen science taken by RCEs to the community can connect people globally and accelerate the efforts of achieving the SDGs. Access the presentations and read more about the webinars here.

RCE Greater Gombak Reflects on First Month as an RCE Member

(Photo credit: RCE Greater Gombak)

The newest member to the RCE family, RCE Greater Gombak, has released a report reflecting on their first month as an RCE member, which has included their soft launch (comprising of a heartwarming welcome video from RCEs across the globe) and their first community engagement event, 'Answering Humanity Call: Our Selayang Community', which took place at the end of May in eight community residences in Selayang, where food and essential item aid packs were distributed to provide immediate relief for communities in need. Read RCE Greater Gombak's report here.

RCE Srinagar Partakes in Several Webinars on COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar, Coordinator and Focal Point, RCE Srinagar was a guest speaker during two webinars organised by the Centre for Environment Education Nepal, the first one on 19 May, 2020 on the subject 'Dealing with COVID-19: Becoming Sustainable, Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient' and the second on 5 June, 2020 on the occasion of World Environment Day 2020. In his presentation, Dr. Gangwar emphasised on humanity's increasing footprint, 'Earth Overshoot Day' and humanity's need to come to 'One Planet Living'. Read more


UNESCO Forum: Imagining the World to Come - Women's Voices

UNESCO is calling on inspiring voices from across the globe to take part in a series of online discussions to help us imagine the world taking shape as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The series kicked off in May with a unique event featuring leading women experts and thinkers to voice their views on the challenges and opportunities the world will face in the wake of the pandemic. Watch the first series here and learn more about the UNESCO Forum here.