RCE Logo

RCE Bulletin

Issue 117: May 2021

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre!

What a busy and exciting month it has been in the world of ESD, with the UNESCO Conference on Education for Sustainable Development taking place where the Berlin Declaration on ESD was adopted. This important milestone calls for urgent action to accelerate sustainability and climate action through education, with a commitment to ESD - of which the Global RCE Network is firmly committed to, and which we look forward to continuing on this journey with you all to achieve this goal!

With this in mind, the next opportunity for us to get together as a network is just around the corner - the 2nd RCE Global Webinar will take place early next month on 8 June, 2021. Details on how to register are below - we hope to see you all there!

Speaking of RCE meetings, we are pleased to announce the date for this year's African Regional Meeting below. Stay tuned for more information on other regions in coming months.

Finally, if you 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).

The Global RCE Service Centre

Registrations Closing Soon: 2nd RCE Global Webinar
8 June, 2021, 8:00-10:00am GMT

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

Don't forget to sign up for the upcoming 2nd RCE Global Webinar, 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: action through learning in a time of global crises'.

Hosted by RCE Scotland and the Global RCE Service Centre, this webinar is the second of two 'bridge' events between the 2020 RCE Regional Meetings and the RCE Global Conference in Autumn 2021.

This webinar will:

  • Enable and sustain collaborative conversations across the RCE Network
  • Launch the new Roadmap for the RCE Community 2021-2030
  • Share and celebrate good practice regarding climate-related activity from across the RCE community
  • Explore how we take action on the UNESCO ESD Roadmap through the 'lens' of climate-related activity as we approach COP26.

Please see the event page for further information, including the agenda, link to register, key documents and updates. Registrations close on 6 June, 2021 (17:00 BST). We look forward to seeing you at this event!

Save the Date: 11th African Regional Meeting

The Global RCE Service Centre is delighted to announce the 11th African Regional RCE Meeting will be co-hosted by RCE KwaZulu-Natal and RCE Makana and Rural Eastern Cape, to be held online on 8 September, 2021.

Please keep an eye out on the event page to stay up-to-date on information for this meeting, but for now, please save the date!

Upcoming Events

Webinar on Re-imagining the Future of Education Management Information Systems
26-28 May, 2021, 13:30 - 15:30 Paris (CEST/GMT+2)

This 3-day webinar 'Beyond Head Counts: Leveraging Data Systems to Support Inclusive and Effective Learning for All', held from 26-28 May, 2021 aims to stimulate a debate on the future of Education Management Information Systems (EMIS). It will share lessons learned during the COVID-19 crisis and explore ways to optimise existing systems integrating new technologies and innovations. Find out more here or register here.

Open Calls

Call for Applications: ESD Okayama Award 2021

RCE Okayama and the ESD Okayama Award Steering Committee are pleased to announce that the 'ESD Okayama Award 2021' is now open for entries.

The Award rewards outstanding ESD practices in local communities around the world to support organisations carrying out ESD activities and to promote ESD to local communities globally through showcasing their initiatives.

Eligibility: Organisations based in any country implementing ESD activities in local communities are eligible.
Number of Award-Winning Projects: Up to two projects
Prize: US $3,000 per project
Deadline for Application: 15 July 2021, 17:00 (Japanese Standard Time)
Award Ceremony: The scheduled date is 20 November, 2021. One representative of the winning project(s) will be invited to the Ceremony in Okayama, Japan to give a presentation. It has not been decided whether this will be held in-person or online.

View the Application Guide and Application Form, and for more details, please visit the official website.

Call for Nominations: 2021-2022 UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development

The call for nominations of the seventh edition of the UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development is now open. Funded by the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance, the Prize is awarded every two years and recognises innovative practices that contribute to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning around the world.


  • The Prize of US $300,000 will be divided between three winners. Candidates should be institutions, organisations and educational or research institutes which are working to enhance the performance and effectiveness of teachers.
  • Applications are to be submitted in English or French by 31 October, 2021 midnight (Paris time, UTC+2) via a dedicated online platform.

Read more information about the Prize here, including the call for nominations and application process.

Survey: Second Edition of IAU Survey on the Impact of COVID-19

The International Association of Universities (IAU) and partners are pleased to invite all Universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to take the Second IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education. Aimed at gathering substantial data on the ways global higher education systems are affected by the pandemic from an institutional standpoint, the Survey includes questions about the challenges encountered in four different areas: (i) Governance and financing, (ii) teaching and learning, (iii) research, and (iv) societal/community engagement. The survey is available in English, French, and Spanish and is open until 1 June 2021. Read more

Latest News

UNESCO Conference on ESD Adopts Berlin Declaration Calling for Urgent Action and Commitment to ESD

The UNESCO Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, held virtually from 17-19 May, 2021, gathered more than 2,800 participants from 161 countries together, including decision-makers and those in the education for sustainable development (ESD) community across the globe (with an additional 10,000 viewers on the public livestream) to mobilise support for ESD for 2030 and commit to plans for action via the Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development.

Organised by UNESCO in cooperation with and supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, with the German Commission for UNESCO as advisory partner, over three days participants were inspired across keynote speeches, plenary sessions, and roundtable and panel discussions to delve into how ESD can foster change towards sustainability. Ministers from Members States shared their country-level plans, challenges and commitments to drive forward the ESD for 2030 roadmap. Sessions and virtual booths presented innovative projects and good practices, bringing to the fore new ideas and applications of ESD.

The Conference underscored the urgency with which steps need to be taken, including strong leadership to transform education and to ensure ESD is embedded as a foundational element in education systems worldwide. The Conference ended with the Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development being adopted, which calls for urgent action to accelerate sustainability and climate action through education, with a commitment to ESD. This commitment will be taken forward via other key processes such as COP26 this year in Glasgow and others towards 2030. Read more

RCE Salisbury Hosts Lecture with the Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Arun Gandhi

RCE Salisbury hosted a virtual lecture with the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Arun Gandhi, entitled 'How is Anger a Gift', on 20 April, 2021 at 6:00 pm, EDT. This lecture was part of the annual 'One Person Can Make a Difference Lecture Series' from the host RCE Salisbury, the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution. Dr. Arun Gandhi revealed his personal journey of self-discovery and struggles in learning to express his emotions and harness the power of anger to bring about good. He described ten extraordinary life lessons from his grandfather - one of the most important and influential philosophers and peace activists of the twentieth century - Mahatma Gandhi. Read more or watch a recording of the event here.

RCE North Rift Adopt Two ESD Model Schools

RCE North Rift, NEMA, University of Eldoret has identified two schools within its region (Kimumu Primary School and Kobil Integrated) to be ESD model schools in the region. Activities undertaken have included the provision of two 10,000 litre water tanks for roof water catchment, with the two model schools each having received two handwashing tanks. A third school, Kimumu Secondary (a Green club school) also received handwashing tanks. One of the priority areas for the country has been to transform learning and training environments by ensuring that there is a sustainable learning environment such as eco schools or green campuses. As the eco schools and model schools are being implemented by different institutions with minimal coordination among the actors, there is a need to have a multi-stakeholder collaborative and synergised approach in order to effectively coordinate the schools. In view of this, an initial meeting/forum to bring together all the stakeholders to deliberate on how to develop this common approach will be organised, which will be followed by a meeting to share experiences. Read more

RCE London Celebrates its 10th Year Anniversary

RCE London will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a series of virtual events on a range of subjects starting in September 2021, looking at 'Art, Nature and Sustainability'.

A message from RCE London:

"We are very happy to celebrate being a part of this inspiring global network. We have met many wonderful colleagues from the RCE family and much mutual learning has taken place. Our main focus for the past year has been on localising the SDGs and this will continue for the next three years. RCE London now has two key partners, COMMEET Fellowship for community empowerment, and Schumacher Institute and it has been a privilege to work them on a number of projects."

Read more here. Further information on the events will be provided in due course.


Learn for our Planet:  A Global Review of How Environmental Issues are Integrated in Education

Recently released by UNESCO, this publication presents the extent to which environmental issues are integrated in primary and secondary education policies and curricula across 46 UNESCO Member States.

It finds that 45 per cent of national education policy and curricula documents studied made little-to-no reference to environmental themes including sustainability, climate change and biodiversity. Access the publication here.

Reflect–Share–Act: A Guide to Community-based Education for Sustainable Development

This guidebook from UNESCO Bangkok aspires to build a community where learning for sustainable development takes place everywhere for everyone as an ongoing practice. It introduces readers to Reflect-Share-Act, a process to discover and define sustainable development in their own contexts together with others in their community.

The guide compiles resources that can support this learning process, including stories of various communities' actual experiences of Reflect-Share-Act. Read more

ASPBAE Youth-led Action Research (YAR) on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Marginalised Youth

This study, conducted by members of the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), documents the voices of different groups of marginalised youth from nine countries in the Asia-Pacific region during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It provides key recommendations from the youth for the government and civil society to improve infrastructure, services and access. Access the publication here.

COMMEET Toolkit for Community Groups: Promoting the Well-Being of Migrants & Displaced Persons

This toolkit is designed for communities who are trying to promote well-being and inclusion and who wish to celebrate diverse cultures and experience.

RCE London is inviting RCE members to join COMMEET's mission to promote community empowerment to localise the SDGs. RCEs are invited to become friends or fellows of COMMEET. Find out more here.