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RCE Bulletin

Issue 112: December 2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! What a year it has been - as we take a look back at the year gone by, there is a lot to be thankful for and encouraged by and we hope the new-found opportunities that have come about as a result can enrich all of the fantastic activities and projects that your networks are working on.

We would like to start off by congratulating all winners of this year's RCE Awards - it has been very inspiring to read about these wonderful programmes and projects contributing to local sustainable development. Please see below for a link to the full list of winners! 

As we end the year and look towards a brighter 2021, we are excited to announce that registrations are now open for the RCE Global Webinar, to be held on 4 February, 2021 and hosted by RCE Scotland. This event presents a great opportunity to connect before the 12th Global RCE Conference later next year (now postponed until November 2021). See below for details on how to register for the RCE Global Webinar, the current programme, and further information about the event. We look forward to seeing you all on-screen at this event in February! 

Speaking of events, we are still accepting applications for hosts for the 2021 RCE Regional Meetings for Africa and Europe (hosting duties for the next Asia-Pacific and Americas Regional Meetings will carry over from 2020 to 2021 at the request of the hosting RCEs). Information on how to apply is below. 

Finally, a reminder that 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 at the Global RCE Service Centre, we would like to wish you a Happy Holidays! 

Please note that the Global RCE Service Centre will be closed during the UNU's official vacation period (24 December, 2020 - 1 January, 2021). We will process your requests and emails when we return in the New Year. 

The Global RCE Service Centre 

Registrations Open: RCE Global Webinar

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

In the lead-up to the 12th Global RCE Conference in 2021, the hosts RCE Scotland will be hosting two pre-conference webinars.

The first of these, 'RCE Global Network 2021: Achieving the SDGs: Action through Learning' will be held on 4 February, 2021 from 8:00-10:00am GMT.  

The Global RCE Service Centre and RCE Scotland are delighted to invite the global RCE community to this online event. Please see the event page for the agenda, and the link to register which also contains key documents and updates. We look forward to seeing you and further sharing and collaborating at this event! 

2020 RCE Awards for Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

The RCE Awards celebrate projects and programmes on ESD within the Global RCE Network, honouring RCEs who have made outstanding contributions to address local sustainable development challenges in their regions.

The Award recognises projects and programmes that bridge local and global perspectives on sustainable development, those that engage with transformative learning and research, and initiatives that contribute to community engagement, research & development and capacity development of stakeholders and partners.

The winners of the 2020 RCE Awards covered projects across a spectrum of the SDGs and themes, including curriculum development, disaster risk reduction, waste, traditional knowledge, and ecotourism. Take a look at a video announcing this year's winners here or see the full list here.

RCE Project Trends during the Global Action Programme on ESD (2015-2019)

During the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, from 2015-2019, RCEs conducted close to 480 projects across 46 countries. Following on from the video released earlier this year highlighting the research that was conducted on these projects, a new booklet presents this analysis in full. Covering RCE projects at a global and regional level, the analysis conducted by Dr. Philip Vaughter (Research Fellow, UNU-IAS) and Dr. Fumiko Noguchi (Research Fellow, UNU-IAS) looks at the SDGs, themes, institutions, audiences and environments across the RCE projects completed, which highlight the areas and initiatives undertaken within the network for transformative learning at the local level. View the new publication here or download a copy here

Reminder: Open Call for 2021 RCE Regional Meeting Hosts (Africa and Europe)

The Global RCE Service Centre gladly announces an open call to host RCE Regional Meeting events in 2021. Applications are being accepted to host the following events:  

  • 11th African Regional Meeting
  • Europe Regional Meeting 2021  

Please note, hosting duties for the next Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting and the Americas Regional Meeting will carry over from 2020 to 2021 at the request of the hosting RCEs.  

RCEs interested in hosting a regional meeting are encouraged to apply. RCEs may host as individual RCEs or work with other RCEs as joint hosts. Because RCEs are multi-stakeholder networks, participation from different actors (organisations and individuals) within the RCE is critical in hosting duties.  

Full details on how to apply can be found here. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 31 January, 2021 (11:59pm JST). 

Upcoming Events

Training Opportunity for RCE Networks: Build Your Story Intelligence to More Effectively Lead SDG Initiatives

This story skills workshop series introduces the 7 Powers of Story and how to effectively draw upon these to become a formidable, persuasive leader who can effectively engage communities to embrace the changes we need to make to create a more sustainable world.

Over seven weeks (starting on 28 January 28, 2021, 12:00-13:30 EST), the sessions will include short lectures, engaging exercises, and interactive learning and sharing within smaller groups.

The workshop is free for leaders, faculty, and students affiliated with any RCE worldwide. Further information and registration details are available here

Open Calls

SDG Youth Challenge 2020/2021 - "Youth for the Goals": Highlights and Invite for Youth to Join in 2021

(Photo credit: RCE Yogyakarta)

The 3rd annual RCE SDG Youth Challenge 2020 "Youth for the Goals: Resilient Communities and Planet" was hosted by RCE Greater Western Sydney (Western Sydney University). It focused on localised action to address SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). Commencing in February 2020, this year's youth-led sustainability projects have been broad and included virtual summits, school workshops and DIY activities, training courses, conservation camps, restoration activities, design competitions, and e-learning development. A total of 12 youth-led projects engaged almost 2,500 young people directly across eight countries, representing nine different RCEs. The annual youth e-publication "Youth for the Goals" highlights their outcomes and achievements, and will be available in late January 2021.

Due to the continued success of the project, and the impacts faced by COVID-19, the SDG Youth Challenge will run again in 2021. The focus will be again on SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production) and SDG 15 (Life on Land), to give youth leaders from this year a second chance at their original project plan BUT also for new youth-led projects to join. The Challenge is open to youth from any RCE or external affiliation. Interested RCEs must submit their EOI, detailing their short project plan, by 31 January, 2021 through this form.

RCE Greater Western Sydney is also seeking a volunteer as co-host of the 2021 SDG Challenge, and then to take over running the project completely from 2022 onwards. RCE Greater Western Sydney will be available for guidance and advice in an ongoing capacity. If you have youth interested, please discuss this with your RCE youth and contact RCE Greater Western Sydney (b.hardiman@westernsydney.edu.au) with your commitment, or if you would like more detail on what is involved in managing the Challenge. Please note this project is unpaid/un-resourced and all efforts are in-kind. See the full article and photos from this year's Challenge here.

Futures of Education: Share Your Views on Non-discrimination and Equality of Opportunities

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, UNESCO is launching a global conversation on how the right to education around this Convention can evolve. Share your thoughts, ideas and reflections on how the right to education can embrace new areas to respond to emerging challenges, and their implications for ensuring quality education for all here.

Latest News

RCE Chandigarh: UNDP's SDG Action Award 2020 for Environment Sustainability

RCE Chandigarh's lead agency Punjab State Council for Science & Technology has been honoured with a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Action Award 2020 for 'Environment Sustainability' from UNDP and the Government of Punjab, India for promoting Cleaner Technologies to enhance Climate Resilience Capacity in the Punjab state, India. 

The RCE has carried out pioneering work in demonstrating economically viable technological interventions to address two main grand challenges of the state - namely the gainful utilisation of Paddy Straw, and reducing the carbon footprint of MSMEs. Read more 

RCE Hangzhou Host German Language SDGs Roadshow

(Photo credit: RCE Hangzhou)

The 4th Zhejiang German Language SDGs Roadshow, with the theme of "Qiantang River Dialogue with the Rhine", was held in Hangzhou and was jointly organised by RCE Hangzhou, Green Zhejiang, and Sino Education. 

The Zhejiang German Language SDGs Competition has been held annually since 2017. Starting in 2019, the competition began to use SDGs as its theme, hoping to stimulate people's motivation to change the world through working together, and encourage and influence more people to participate in the implementation of the SDGs. Read more

RCE Otago Officially Launched at Workshop Event

(Photo credit: RCE Otago)

RCE Otago, "Whaiao - Education for Sustainability Otago" was officially launched at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand, on 15 October, 2020. The launch was part of a day-long workshop that involved a broad range of partners joined by a common goal - to identify and address sustainability issues in the region.

The workshop was the latest in an ongoing series of sustainability education initiatives involving a wide range of regional partners, who have been working under the mandate for RCEs since the acknowledgement of RCE Otago in January 2020. Read more

RCE Greater Dhaka Organises National Seminar on Food Security and Ecosystem Management during COVID-19

The IUBAT Institute of SDG Studies (IISS) and RCE Greater Dhaka organised a National Seminar on Food Security and Ecosystem Management in COVID-19, held on 19 November, 2020. During the seminar, guests discussed in detail the management of food security during the pandemic and that in order to sustain Bangladesh's success in agriculture, action plans need to be drawn to meet the food and nutrition needs of the growing population. As an agriculture-based nation, Bangladesh has still experienced food shortages during the pandemic, highlighting the need to strengthen coordination between farming and other social, economic, and environmental aspects. Sustainable agriculture needs to be planned and implemented in such a way that it is resource-efficient, socially conducive, commercially competitive, and environmentally friendly. The seminar brought together policymakers responsible for integrating ecosystem management and effective ecosystem governance, and academia, to address the social aspects of the ecosystem connections to food security by strengthening local organisations and gender equality. 

RCE Ogun Launches EMA Smart Kids Project and New Publication

In partnership with Hebron FM 95.5, RCE Ogun has recently launched the EMA SMART KIDS Project as one of their programmes. The programme addresses the issue of high failure rates of Mathematics and English Language subjects of Secondary/High School students by moving them from the 'fail zone' to the 'pass zone' within an academic session. This is done through a disruptive and sustainable educational model that is both interesting and exciting, under the motto of 'fostering functional education for sustainable living'. Further information is available on RCE Ogun's website

RCE Ogun is also pleased to announce a new publication 'Handbook of Research on Institution Development for Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Growth in Africa' with the lead editor as Professor Evans Osabuohien, Chair, RCE Ogun. The handbook provides comprehensive research on the processes of building viable institutions in Africa that will serve as the fulcrum for utilising and managing resources as well as promoting economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable. Details are available on the publisher's website

Webinar Marks 'International Mountain Day' (IMD) 2020

(Photo credit: RCE Srinagar)

RCE Srinagar and RCE Kuching, with support from RCE East Kalimantan, RCE East Java (candidate) and RCE Kyrgyzstan, and International Alliance for COVID-19 Community Response (IACCR) co-hosted an International Webinar of RCEs of the Asia-Pacific Region on 11 December, 2020 celebrating 'International Mountain Day' (IMD) 2020 under the theme 'Mountain Biodiversity'.

The aim of the webinar was to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of mountains and the people who rely on them for their livelihoods. The webinar also addressed aspects such as institution building, training and capacity-building, which were highlighted in the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Report to be instrumental for strengthening productive actions. Read the full report prepared by RCE Srinagar here

RCE Greater Dhaka Host IUBAT Ranked Second in Bangladesh for Sustainable Universities

RCE Greater Dhaka host International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT), the first non-government university in Bangladesh was founded in 1991 by Prof Dr M Alimullah Miyan. Professor Alimullah Miyan was the pioneer activist of ESD in Bangladesh, declaring the university as a Green Campus in 2008 with the vision of providing an environment designed for learning, with sustainability embedded in higher education. In the 2020 UI GreenMetric World University ranking, IUBAT has ranked second for sustainable universities in Bangladesh and 257th in the world. IUBAT provides a three-credit mandatory ESD course to all undergraduate students.


UNESCO Videos: Debating the Futures of Education

UNESCO has produced a series of videos on "Debating the Futures of Education" to raise important issues that need to be discussed as we all work together to shape the futures we want. Viewers are encouraged to discuss and share their thoughts on the questions posed in the videos. The series is part of the Futures of Education initiative which aims to generate a global debate on how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet.

Videos available to view are: 

Join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #FuturesOfEducation, share a link to one of the videos, or find out more information about the Futures of Education initiative here.