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RCE Bulletin

Issue 109: September 2020

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! We hope this bulletin finds you well and that you are all remaining in good health. This month, the first RCE Regional Meetings commenced (for the African and Asia-Pacific regions), and it was great to see many of you (virtually) attending! Thank you to all of our RCE Regional Meeting hosts for their tireless efforts working to adapt these meetings to the online space, and for all participants for their contributions to these meetings to date. Reports on these meetings will be available soon. For the remaining RCE Regional Meetings taking place this year, please see below for registration details.

This month we also opened registrations for the 9th Annual RCE Awards, which celebrate outstanding ESD projects and programmes conducted by the global RCE network. Projects submitted to the RCE Portal can be nominated for the Award by ticking the box at the bottom of your project submission, which will take you to an additional form to complete. As you are all aware, we ask that RCEs complete reporting at least once per year (at any time) by uploading your RCE projects to the RCE Portal, therefore this is a good chance to do both, however please note RCE Award entries are only open until 31 October, 2020! Please see below for further details.

Finally, we would like to share with you a new video that highlights trends from RCE projects conducted over the period of the Global Action Programme on ESD (see below). Thank you all for your work on such amazing projects over that period, and we look forward to seeing what is achieved as we head towards 2030!

If your RCE would like to share any news, upcoming events, open calls, or publications for an upcoming bulletin, we would love to hear from you! 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 

Applications Now Open: 9th Annual RCE Awards

The Global RCE Service Centre announces a call for nominations for the 9th 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. Note that activities that respond to the issues associated with COVID-19 are also welcome. 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 2020' before saving (Please note: projects submitted since November 2019 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, 2020 (JST).

Registrations Open: 3rd and 4th Online Sessions of the 13th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting

(Photo credit: Elena Kreuzberg)

Hosted by RCE Kyrgyzstan, the 13th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting will consist of two parts under the theme of 'Building Capacity for Sustainability'.

The first part will be divided into four online sessions, with remaining sessions occurring on 8 October, and 22 October, 2020. The second part of this regional meeting will be held in-person in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic in 2021 (dates TBA).

Registrations for the 3rd online session are currently open (closing on 4 October, 2020), as well as the 4th online session (closing on 18 October, 2020). Full details, including the programme and registration forms are available here.

Registrations Closing Soon: 9th Americas Regional Meeting

(Photo credit: Salisbury University)

Hosted by RCE Salisbury, the 9th Americas RCE Regional Meeting will be held online, on 13 October and 14 October, 2020 under the theme 'The Future is Now - Sustainable Development'. An in-person meeting will also be held in Salisbury, Maryland, USA in 2021 (dates TBA).

Registrations are currently open for the online sessions for this year, and will close on 28 September, 2020. Further details of the meeting including the programme and how to register are available here.

Registrations Open: Europe Regional Meeting 2020

(Photo credit: De Montfort University)

Registrations are now open for the Europe Regional Meeting 2020, taking place from 24-25 November, 2020, hosted by RCE East Midlands under the theme 'Climate Emergency: Joined-up Action'. Day one is open to all, and day two open to current and prospective RCE members.

The programme includes a wide range of short talks and interactive workshops, addressing local climate action, nature education in schools, climate justice education and much more, along with evening social activities. RCE members are encouraged to provide a short update of their activities at the event through a short document or video clip between registration and the event itself. There will also be many opportunities to discuss shared challenges and opportunities for collaboration for European RCEs.

Please take a look at the draft programme and register now to help organisers plan around expected numbers of attendees. Further information can be found on the event page here.

New Video Highlights Trends of RCE Projects Conducted During the GAP

During the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD from 2015-2019, RCEs conducted a range of projects; close to 480 across 46 countries. Research was recently conducted on these projects, both at a global and regional level, analysing the SDGs, themes, institutions, audiences and environments across the projects completed, all tied to SDG 4 (Quality Education). This video highlights some of these trends. Watch the video

Upcoming Events

Registrations Open: ProSPER.Net Webinar on Sustainability in Higher Education
16 October, 2020, 3pm-5pm (JST) (online via Zoom)

UNU-IAS will be holding a ProSPER.Net webinar on Sustainability in Higher Education titled 'Accelerating transition towards achieving the SDGs during and after the COVID-19 pandemic' on 16 October, 2020.

Speakers from the International Association of Universities, Gadjah Mada University, Asian Institute of Technology, Sophia University and UNU-IAS will share experiences and discuss the challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions from a short, mid-term and long-term perspective during and post the COVID-19 era, as well as what they can do to build back better and to accelerate actions toward achieving the SDGs.

View the draft concept note and the flyer for more information on the webinar.

This webinar will be open to the public. Registrations are currently open for the webinar here. The deadline is 14 October, 2020 (11:59pm JST).

RCE Kano Digital Youth Forum for Sustainability Ambassadors
5 October, 2020, 11:00 (WAT)

Organised by RCE Kano, Centre for Gender Studies Bayero University Kano, and the Centre for Renewable Energy and Action on Climate Change, this full-day virtual event has been organised to further empower and re-train the first set of participants from the First National Youth Conference on Education for Sustainable Development that was held on 3 October, 2017 at Bayero University Kano, as well as other selected stakeholders.

The event is designed to complement ESD's four thrusts, especially by increasing public understanding and awareness on sustainability among Sustainability Ambassadors. The Forum will be looking at how COVID-19 has impacted various youth efforts aimed at mitigating anthropogenic pressure and reverse the effect of climate change that directly affects livelihoods of people living in the country. Find out more, including how to register here.

Virtual International Conference on Fourth Industrial Revolution, Innovation and Sustainable Development in Post-COVID-19 Era
10-13 November, 2020, online

Covenant University, host of RCE Ogun presents the Virtual International Conference of Innovation and Sustainable Development (ICISD) themed 'Fourth Industrial Revolution, Innovation and Sustainable Development in Post COVID-19 Era'. The conference aims to address essential issues in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the context of the post-COVID-19 era from the prisms of business and social sciences as well as allied disciplines with a view to providing actionable suggestions for sustainable development. Read more

Webinar: 'Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Preparedness, COVID-19 and Sustainability' of RCEs of the Asia-Pacific Region
13 October, 2020, 11:00-13:00 (JST) (online)

RCE East Kalimantan, RCE East Java (candidate), and RCE Srinagar will co-host a webinar 'Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Preparedness, COVID-19 and Sustainability', marking the 'International Day for Disaster Reduction' (IDDR) 2020. The Day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. The webinar will consist of a panel discussion by experts and practitioners, followed by a Q&A session. For this webinar, there will be no presentations by RCEs. By attending, participants will understand various facets of DRR, the linkages between DRR and sustainability, and DRR Preparedness as key to achieving the SDGs and Agenda 2030. The webinar will also throw light on current trends of the pandemic and aim to help people to live happily, healthily, to remain productive, and to turn pandemic challenges into opportunities. Read more

Open Calls

Call for Abstracts: III International Symposium 'Education for Sustainable Development for All Generations – Social Agreement'

Abstracts are currently being accepted for the III International Symposium 'Education for Sustainable Development for All Generations - Social Agreement', to be held at the Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after Maxim Tank, Minsk, Belarus, from 2-3 December, 2020. Along with on-site and online participation formats, the Program Committee invites the submission of abstracts for the Symposium proceedings. Submissions about suggested topic areas, as well as other topics from all fields of ESD and educational tools for SDGs promotion are welcomed. The deadline to submit papers is 15 October, 2020. Read more

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Contemporary Social Science

The Chair of RCE Ogun (Prof Evans Osabuohien) is Guest Editing a Special Issue of Contemporary Social Science. The theme is 'Socioeconomic Shocks, Inequality and Food Systems in the Global South' to be published by Taylor and Francis, and will comprise of innovative ideas to contribute to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge as required by various institutions, such as international development agencies, with respect to socioeconomic shocks, inequality, and food systems in the Global South. The deadline for submissions of manuscripts is 2 February, 2021. View details

Latest News

RCE Hangzhou Hosts 'Water Education for the World’s Future' International Seminar

(Photo credit: RCE Hangzhou)

RCE Hangzhou recently hosted the 2020 'Water Education for the World's Future' International Seminar, held at Thousand Island Lake in Chun'An county from 11-13 August, 2020. Over 40 experts, educators, students, and representatives of educational institutions (from over 70 different water protection and education organisations, from nine countries and five international water protection institutions) attended the conference in-person or online. The seminar consisted of a variety of core topics, including legal advice for environmental organisations, green growth, freshwater porpoise protection, usage of new media, collaborative curriculum design, water quality testing training, water education program case study sharing, and more. Read more


Global Action Programme (GAP) Key Partners' Report (2015-2019)

During the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, which ran from 2015 to 2019, UNESCO worked with a network of 97 GAP Key Partners from government, civil society, the private sector and academia active in five Priority Action Areas, to accelerate progress on sustainable development and scale up ESD action. Published by UNESCO, this report presents the analysis of the quantitative responses of these partners across 10 indicators (two from each Priority Action Area). The report concludes with some lessons learned from the GAP that can inform the implementation of the new global framework 'ESD for 2030'. Download the report here.

Webinar Series Report - ESD Action in COVID-19 Era: Experiences of RCEs of Asia-Pacific Region

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, and inspired by the Asia-Pacific RCE Coordinating Committee, RCE Srinagar in cooperation with RCE Greater Western Sydney organised a coordinated webinar series titled 'ESD Action in COVID-19 Era: Experiences of RCEs of Asia Pacific Region'. The aim of these virtual forums, held over three webinars in May and June 2020, was to reconnect with the RCE community to learn from each other about how each RCE is responding to this pandemic.

The series of RCE presentations from these webinars have been condensed into a post-event report with contributions from 37 RCEs and key members of the RCE community. This report highlights the impacts of the pandemic on local communities including health, food security and education challenges. However, in the midst of these changes, it also opened up greater opportunities for collaboration, inter-RCE collaboration and the sharing of skills and knowledge. The report also highlights RCEs' efforts to support the global SDG framework. Read the report here.

Impacts of Violent Conflicts, Injustice and Weak Institutions on Effective Delivery of SDGs and Agenda 2030

Justice, peace and inclusiveness are key ingredients for attaining the aspirations expressed in Agenda 2030 and its visions of a safe, prosperous and peaceful world. Published in the International Journal of Innovative Research and Development, this paper (authored by Sir Anthony Wakwe Lawrence of RCE Greater Yenagoa), this paper used problem tree analyses to x-ray the causes and consequences of conflicts, injustice and weak institutions (which are the negative outcomes when SDG 16 is not implemented well), and as a way to also underscore the criticality of issues under the purview of SDG 16. The three problem tree analyses revealed that the causes/consequences of aggravated conflicts, injustice and weak institutions are often similar and interwoven. Any society with prevalent injustice cannot enjoy peace, and societies need strong institutions to enforce justice. Access the paper here.

Comparative Analysis of Alignments between SDG 16 and the Other Sustainable Development Goals

Published in International Business Research (authored by Sir Anthony Wakwe Lawrence of RCE Greater Yenagoa), the study in this article involved quantitatively computing the degrees of compatibility/alignments of SDG 16 targets as individual targets, against the targets of the other 16 SDGs using a scoring system that ranged from -3 to +3 in a three-step manner. The mean scores obtained were used to evaluate the relationships between the SDG 16 targets on one hand and the SDG 16 as a goal, aligned with the remaining 16 SDGs. The approach is based on the strategic management principle that objectives and targets are set in ways that their achievement help in the achievement of the aspirations of the relevant goal. Read more

RCE Ogun: New Book Release

RCE Ogun is pleased to announce a new book titled, 'The Palgrave Handbook on Agricultural and Rural Development in Africa' edited by Professor Evans Osabuohien, Chair, RCE Ogun. The book examines agricultural and rural development in Africa from theoretical, empirical and policy perspectives. It also emphasises on the significance of the agricultural sector as it is closely related to the issues of food sustainability, poverty reduction, employment creation, and the attainment of the United Nations' SDGs in Africa. Read more

Gallery: RCE Ogun's RCE Activities during COVID-19 Lockdown

During the COVID-19 lockdown in Ogun, Nigeria, RCE Ogun and its host University's activities have included the donation of foot-controlled sanitizers, face-shields and palliatives to the community as well as other nature-friendly activities. View their photo gallery here.