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RCE Bulletin

Issue 120: August 2021

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! Firstly, we would like to announce two new RCEs who have joined the network, RCE Greater Kuala Lumpur, and RCE Mishmi Hills, both acknowledged this month. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our new RCEs.

This month we commemorated International Youth Day with the very first RCE Youth Webinar - what a wonderful event this was, to be able to hear from our inspiring RCE Youth members and the efforts they are working on towards tackling the climate crisis. Thank you to all who participated! Off the back of this webinar, we are also delighted to announce our RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge (details below) - we are very much looking forward to seeing the creativity from the youth in the network! Entries will be featured at the 12th Global RCE Conference. 

Speaking of the Conference, we are pleased to announce registrations are now open! The call for submissions is also open, for case presentations, workshops sessions, and the Online Marketplace exhibition space, with submissions due by 15 September, 2021. We look forward to your active participation in this Conference, and the opportunity once again to gather as a network to collectively share, explore and work together towards the actions needed to achieve the SDGs. 

Registration is also open for the three Regional RCE Meetings to be held this year (Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas), see below for details on how you can participate. For those in Europe, the European meeting will be held in February 2022 and further details will be available later this year. 

Finally, we are also excited to announce the RCE Awards 2021 are back, and open for submissions now too! Now is the time to nominate your project/s as we celebrate outstanding projects and programmes on ESD.  

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

12th Global RCE Conference - Registrations Open, and Call for Submissions

Registrations are now open for the 12th Global RCE Conference, co-hosted by RCE Scotland and the Global RCE Service Centre (16-18 November, 2021) under the theme 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: action through learning in a time of global crises'. Register your attendance here

The call for submissions is still open too - this year's Global Conference will consist of keynote presentations, panel discussions, case presentations, interactive workshops, regional RCE sessions and an online 'marketplace' exhibition as well as opportunities to network and meet informally. 

RCEs have the opportunity to submit for any or all of the following:  

  1. Case Presentations 
  2. Workshop Sessions 
  3. Online Marketplace Exhibition Space 

Submissions should be based on one of the sub-themes from one of the three days: 

  • DAY 1 (16 November): 'Hearts' - What kind of world do we want? How do we inspire and engage hearts and minds?   
  • DAY 2 (17 November): 'Heads' - Visioning, thinking and reflecting: planning for action on ESD and the SDGs   
  • DAY 3 (18 November): 'Hands' - Make it happen: taking action on ESD and the SDGs   

Details on how to submit are listed on the open call here. The deadline for case presentations and workshops sessions is 15 September, 2021 (JST).

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

Submissions Open: RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge

Calling all young eco-artists! Share your voice through art and inspire others to take action on the climate crisis. Unleash your creativity and have your work seen by a global audience!   

The Global RCE Service Centre at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is now accepting submissions for its first RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge!  

We're looking for your creative works of art that capture the essence of engaging 'hearts, hands, or heads' - a notion that Scottish 19th century polymath and educational visionary Sir Patrick Geddes (1854 -1932) spoke about regarding the development of the concept of 'sustainability', spanning environment, society and community. These sub-themes will feature widely throughout the 12th Global RCE Conference, to be held online from 16-18 November, 2021.  

Submissions can be made for any of the following categories, with a focus on SDG 13 (Climate Action). Choose from:  

  • 'Hearts' - Show us one of your favourite places, tell us why you love it, and why it is under threat from climate change.    
  • 'Heads' - What would a climate-friendly home, school, or store (choose one) look like in your community? (What things would change? What things would stay the same?)  
  • 'Hands' - Show us what actions children, youth, adults and seniors can take together in your community to mitigate climate change. 

All entries will be featured and celebrated on RCE online channels, as well as the 12th Global RCE Conference this November. This is your chance to present your creative piece to people all around the globe, and contribute to inspiring others to taking action towards the SDGs! Entries close 30 September, 2021. See further details and how to submit here

Applications Open: RCE Awards 2021

The Global RCE Service Centre at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) announces a call for nominations for the 10th annual RCE Awards! RCEs are encouraged to nominate their most outstanding ESD project/s for the award; ESD projects are to 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 at the 12th Global RCE Conference this November.  

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 2021' before saving (Please note: projects submitted since November 2020 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, 15 October, 2021 (JST). 

Two New RCEs Join the Network

We are delighted to introduce two new RCEs this month; RCE Greater Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and RCE Mishmi Hills in India, who have joined the Global RCE Network - please join us in welcoming them to the RCE family!

10th Americas Regional Meeting - Registrations Open, and Call for Submissions

Registrations are now open for the 10th Americas RCE Regional Meeting, to be held online from 5-7 October, 2021 (please note the dates have changed) hosted by RCE Salisbury under the theme 'Creating an Ongoing Learning Space for Sustainable Development in the Americas'.  

To register, complete the Registration form and email it to Dr. Brittany Foutz, RCE Co-Director, RCE Salisbury at blfoutz@salisbury.edu by 21 September, 2021.    

A call for submissions has also been announced, with full details on the event page here. The deadline for applying for an ESD project presentation is also 21 September, 2021.   

(Photo credit: Dr. Heather McCarty)

13th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (Part 2) - Registrations Open, and Call for Abstracts

Registrations are still open for the second part of the 13th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting, to be held online on 5 October, 2021 under the theme 'SDGs and ESD for 2030 Framework: Local actions during COVID-19 Pandemic'. To register, complete the Registration form and email it to rcekgz@gmail.com and nazira1988.mm@gmail.com by 1 October, 2021.   

A call for abstracts has also been announced, with full details on the event page here. The deadline for applying for a case study presentation is 10 September, 2021, and the deadline for registrations to the event is 1 October, 2021. Read more

(Photo credit: Elena Kreuzberg)

11th African Regional Meeting - Registrations Open, and Call for Video Submissions

Registrations are still open for the 11th African RCE Regional Meeting, to be held online on 2 September, 2021 under the theme 'It's time for Africa: Sustainability Futures'. To register, complete the Registration form by 31 August, 2021. Please note the meeting time has been changed, to 11:00-13:30 (Central Africa Time).

African RCEs are also invited to submit a 1 minute, You-Tube style video which will be played during the meeting. These can be submitted via Google Drive link, YouTube link, WeTransfer, or email to cpreven@gmail.com. If RCEs would prefer to send the video by WhatsApp, please email to wmponwana@gmail.com for further detailed instructions. The due date of the submission of the video has been extended until 27 August, 2021. For further details on the event and call for submissions, see the event page here

Upcoming Events

Universitas Gadjah Mada Virtual Summer Courses 2021

In 2021, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) is offering several interdisciplinary summer course programmes on a number of topics, under the main theme of the SDGs. The programmes gather international lecturers and students around the world to share their expertise, discuss, and learn from others on certain thematic issues regarding sustainability. Students from all over the world are encouraged to participate in these programs, not only to gain knowledge from the theoretical point of view, but also to discuss and share insight about current issues, as well as the opportunity to gain first-hand experiences from experts in the related fields. View the programme details here.

Online Webinar 'Empowering Students' Leadership in SDGs via Intergenerational Knowledge Transfer'
11 September, 2021, 10:00-11:30, online

Organised by RCE Penang, Universiti Sains Malaysia in collaboration with Penang State Education Department and Penang Education Council, the online webinar 'Empowering Students' Leadership in SDGs via Intergenerational Knowledge Transfer' will be held virtually on 11 September, 2021 (10:00am-11:30am). This project focuses on three SDG themes: No Poverty (SDG 1); Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12); and Life Below Water (SDG 14). All the themes were chosen as they are very close to students' life experience and are dynamic for empowering students about ESD and the SDGs. Read more or view the flyer

Webinar Series to Celebrate 10 Years of RCE London: Sustainability and Beyond

RCE London is marking its 10th milestone year with a webinar series hosted by London South Bank University, entitled 'Sustainability and Beyond' with the emphasis on an eclectic mix of themes around the Sustainable Development Goals. Each webinar will be presented virtually by members of RCE London with a range of inspiring speakers, with time for discussion and questions. The series starts on 30 September, 2021 with the first webinar, 'Art, Nature and Sustainability'. Details of the webinars in the series and links to register are available here.

Western Sydney University's Sustainability and Resilience 2030 Decadal Strategy Launch

Join Western Sydney University's (host to RCE Greater Western Sydney) Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover for the virtual launch of their newest Decadal Strategy, Sustainability and Resilience 2030, on 6 September, 2021. The strategy details the reasons why, as a leading anchor educational institution deeply embedded in Greater Western Sydney, we must envision a more resilient, sustainable and prosperous future. This webinar will be an opportunity to learn about their impacts to date, plans for the future and hear from their panel of distinguished respondents and students on what they think of the future they are trying to create. Participants must register online to attend. All RCE colleagues are welcome to join. Read more

Learning for a Sustainable Future and Live at the COP Courses

How to live a sustainable life affects - and connects - us all, educators and everyone with an interest in sustainability. Join a personal and professional global learning journey towards a sustainable future. Enrol now for the free online course by the University of Edinburgh, RCE Scotland and the British Council, starting 4 October, 2021 and live during the UN COP26 Climate Conference. Take a look at the trailer or view the course website for more details. 

Registrations Open: ProSPER.Net Webinar on Sustainability in Higher Education
22 October, 2021, 15:00-17:00 (JST), online

What lessons can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic that can help us take action against climate change? How can HEIs lead the way towards social and environmental transformation that will build resilience in our communities and promote a healthy planet?   

In this webinar titled 'Planetary Health Perspectives: Lessons from COVID-19 towards Climate Action', a panel will reflect on the role of HEIs in ensuring that the lessons learned from the pandemic are put into practice towards inter-/trans-disciplinary and sustained climate action.   

This webinar is organised by the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines Diliman, in collaboration with the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability. Please see the event page for the concept note, tentative programme, and the link to register. Registration is free and will be open until Friday, 15 October, 2021.

Open Calls

Call for Papers: Invitation to Contribute to an Editorial Project on the SDGs

The process leading to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been negatively influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and its substantial socio-economic impacts in particular, have led to many setbacks. These vary from the emergence of competing priorities, to restrictions in the availability of financial resources needed to implement the SDGs. This state of affairs suggests that new - and innovative approaches - to support the implementation of the SDGs are needed. One of them is the support to regional implementation efforts across the various geographical regions, and the documentation and promotion of these experiences. It is also important to promote studies, research, projects and good practice, which illustrate how the SDGs may be implemented in practice.  

It is against this background that the series 'Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals - Regional Perspectives' is being produced by RCE Hamburg and Region. The Series aims to support the acceleration needed for the implementation of the SDGs, by mobilising the academic community, industry and the civil society by generating information and communicating on experiences focusing on the SDGs deemed as being most important for the world's regions. 

RCEs are warmly invited to take advantage of this opportunity, with expressions of interest currently open. The deadline for abstracts is 30 September, 2021, and further details can be seen here.

Free Certification Course on Climate Change from MGIEP

The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) is offering a free, self-paced interactive course focusing on the role of emotions in the context of climate change, through discussions, reflections, simulations, games, and other interactive activities. The course is designed for middle school students and teachers to acquire a range of social and emotional competencies to deal with climate change and act towards building a more sustainable future. Read more

'Anatomy of Action' Social Media Challenge

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will be organising the Anatomy of Action social media challenge during 28 September - 12 October, 2021.

Join the 15-day sustainable living challenge and have a positive impact within your community and contribute to a global movement toward achieving the SDGs.

Find out more on the event page here.

International SDG Challenge School Program (Quality Education) During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Perspective from Students through Sustainability Competition

Organised by RCE Penang, Universiti Sains Malaysia in collaboration with SMK Datuk Onn Butterworth, Penang, the 'International SDG Challenge School Program (Quality Education) During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Perspective from Students through Sustainability Competition' will be held virtually from 1 September to 2 October, 2021. This program will feature elements of sustainable community focusing on co-curriculum activities focusing on SDG 4: Quality Education and the COVID-19 pandemic. How does this pandemic affect the students in terms of the teaching and learning process: before, during and post the COVID-19 pandemic? Read more

Latest News

RCE Youth Voices on Climate Action Join to Commemorate International Youth Day

Over 50 participants took part in the very first RCE Youth Webinar, 'Youth Voices on Climate Change, Action for Sustainability', held on 11 August, 2021. The event was organised by the Global RCE Service Centre to commemorate International Youth Day 2021 (celebrated on 12 August globally), and provided a platform for youth to dialogue on the actions needed to address the climate crisis and how efforts can be accelerated to address the climate emergency.

A keynote speech, 'Youth Voices on Action for Sustainability - Leveraging Networks: RCE SDG Youth Challenge Youth for the Goals' was given by Ms. Brittany Hardiman (RCE Greater Western Sydney), underlining the reality that youth have inherited, however also noting the opportunity this presents for young people in how they respond as powerful agents of change. Ms. Hardiman spoke about the RCE SDG Youth Challenge, a project borne out of an RCE Youth collaboration. This international, youth-led initiative uses a peer-to-peer learning model, connecting youth leaders globally who are working on projects connected to one of the SDG themes, as they lead efforts towards driving change within their local communities. Following the keynote, four RCE youth members from RCE Bogota, RCE Lusaka, RCE Okayama, and RCE Denmark shared examples of climate actions for implementing ESD for 2030 towards achieving the SDGs. Read more

RCE Greater Dhaka Host Organisation Holds Campus Sustainability Seminar

A Seminar on Campus Sustainability was held virtually on 27 July, 2021 at the IUBAT - International University of Business Agriculture and Technology. Organised by the IUBAT-Institute of SDG Studies (IISS) and Centre for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC), the host organisation of RCE Greater Dhaka, a range of speakers presented speeches and presentations on campus sustainability and related areas such as students' engagement in sustainability. Read the press release here.

RCE North Rift Engages Communities on Integrated Solid Waste Management

RCE North Rift, in its mandate to help communities to identify and develop solutions for emerging global environmental issues, has been engaging communities at different levels in realising their mandates. Recently a group of individuals from the network took an initiative to address different environmental challenges faced by the communities in Trans zoia County. Kitale town in this county, is faced with poor waste management strategies, especially solid and liquid wastes. Read more

(Photo credit: RCE North Rift)