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RCE Bulletin

Issue 128: April 2022

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! This month we are very excited to share a brand new publication and video highlighting a selection of RCE Biodiversity projects conducted during the GAP from 2015-2019. We hope you and your RCE communities enjoy reading and watching these and are inspired by the projects featured!

We are also delighted to announce the hosts and dates for the RCE Regional Meetings for this year - as the year pans out, the exact modality of each will be made clearer. Please save the dates, and we will bring you further information leading up to the events.

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

RCE Biodiversity Education Projects Engage Local Communities on Ecosystem Restoration in New Publication from UNU-IAS

A new publication from the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) has been launched this month, featuring innovative biodiversity education projects developed by RCEs.

'Engaging Communities for Biodiversity Conservation: Education for Sustainable Development Projects from the Global RCE Network' features 12 case studies from RCEs conducted during the period of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) from 2015-2019. 

Utilising their model of multi-stakeholder networks, RCEs worked with a variety of partners and stakeholders on biodiversity and conservation education initiatives at both local and regional levels. These education projects focused on SDG 14 (Life Below Water) or SDG 15 (Life on Land), and served to educate, engage, and spur action in communities towards the protection and restoration of ecosystems, species, and habitats.

Read more about this exciting new publication here and the projects featured, or download the full publication here.

RCE Biodiversity Education Projects Featured in New Video

A new video highlighting the RCE Biodiversity Education Projects conducted during the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, from 2015-2019, puts a spotlight on the range of innovative projects focused on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration from the Global RCE Network.

A total of 135 RCE projects across 30 countries focused on SDG 14 (Life Below Water) or SDG 15 (Life on Land), and were tied to SDG 4 (Quality Education) along with a range of other goals.

The video provides an overview of the target audiences and thematic areas across the projects completed, following research which analysed the SDGs, themes, institutions, audiences and environments of RCE projects during the GAP. 

A number of projects from the recent publication 'Engaging Communities for Biodiversity Conservation: Education for Sustainable Development Projects from the Global RCE Network' are also featured, with RCEs describing the actions they took to address the threats to biodiversity in their region, and the impacts these had on both the biodiversity and community in the region.

Watch the video here.

Save the Dates: RCE Regional Meetings in 2022

The Global RCE Service Centre is delighted to announce the following dates for upcoming RCE Regional Meetings to be held in 2022. Further details will be announced in due course, but for now please save the dates!

  • 14th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting - 19-21 July, 2022, hosted by RCE Greater Gombak, under the theme under the theme 'Empowering Local Wisdom for Education for Sustainable Development'
  • 11th Americas Regional Meeting - 3-5 October, 2022, hosted by RCE Salisbury, under the theme 'Now, More than Ever! The RCE Network as a Peace Leader!'
  • Europe Regional Meeting 2022 (Part II) - 11-13 October, 2022, hosted by RCE Fryslan, under the theme 'Greater than the Sum of the Parts; Strengthening the European RCE Network for ESD'
  • 12th African Regional Meeting - 28-30 November, 2022, hosted by RCE Greater Nairobi, under the theme 'Role of African RCEs in Climate Action'

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates: UNESCO-UNFCCC Webinar Series - Climate Change Education and Social Transformation

UNESCO-UNFCCC's Webinar Series, On the Road to COP27, is dedicated to the goal of greening every education policy and curriculum to be climate ready. Taking place on the last Tuesday of every month, each episode will explore the critical role of climate change education, and how to harness its transformative power, in leading up to COP27. The dates are as follows: 26 April; 31 May; 28 June; 26 July; 30 August; 27 September; 25 October; 29 November. Sign up for the first webinar, 'Why Climate Change Education for Social Transformation?' (26 April, 10:00 GMT +2) here.

2022 IKSCM International Webinar Series

Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) will be conducting the 2022 Indigenous Knowledge System and Cultural Management (IKSCM) International Webinar Series via virtual mode from April-October this year. The series is entitled 'Decolonization of People and their Indigenous Knowledge: Issues, Concerns, Challenges and Emerging Trends in Education, Health and Medicine, Culture and Arts, and Agriculture and Food' and will cover the following thematic areas: cultural education; health care management and medical sciences; culture and the arts; and agriculture, environment and natural resources. Find out more and how to register here.

Upcoming Events from Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
  • 29 April-2 May, 2022: City Nature Challenge Saskatoon - Help put the City of Saskatoon wildlife on the world nature scene!
  • 7-8 May, 2022: Jane's Walk Festival Tour - Learn about urban planning in Saskatoon, and the importance of afforestation as a nature-based solution for climate action.
  • 21-29 May, 2022: Arbor Week activities - In collaboration with SOS Trees Inc., the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas and community partners are offering events during Arbor Week to celebrate and observe the spring planting of trees. 

Open Calls

Have Your Say: IAU Global Survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development

The International Association of Universities (IAU) has launched its 3rd iteration of the IAU Global Survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) 2022 - Accelerating Action for the SDGs.

The survey uses the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs as a framework to foster better understanding of how HEIs engage with sustainable development (SD), how they work, who is working on this at the institutional level and which SDGs are mainly in the focus. Furthermore, the outcomes of the survey will be useful for HEIs engaging or wishing to engage with SD; and to advocate for the significant role of higher education in implementing the 2030 Agenda at the UN level and to national governments.

Learn more here, or take the survey in English, French, or Spanish.

It is recommended that only one response per institution is submitted, and that ideally, the person is familiar with the SD work at the institution (e.g. leadership, advisor, other). The questionnaire takes approximately 30 min to complete. The deadline to fill out the survey is 15 May, 2022.

Applications Open: APEC-Australia Women in Research Fellowship 2022

The Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT University is pleased to announce the opening of applications for the 2022 APEC - Australia Women in Research Fellowship. This exciting opportunity supports women's economic empowerment in the APEC region and human capital development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related fields in developing economies.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, there are 20 fellowships available of up to AU$20,000 in financial support each for female researchers from developing APEC economies to work in partnership with an Australian education institution to undertake a research project over one to four months. This opportunity is open to citizens and permanent residents from People's Republic of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Applications close on 17 May, 2022. Read more

Latest News

RCE Lucknow Observed Green Month in March

RCE Lucknow commemorated March as a 'green month', with a focus on the theme of 'Celebrating Nature'. During the month, the Centre for Environment Education, Northern Regional Cell (CEE North) and Institute of Wildlife Sciences, University of Lucknow conducted a series of events from 3-21 March in association with partner institutions to observe different environmental days. Events started with a virtual event held on the occasion of Wildlife Day, which was followed by face-to-face and online events held on Women's Day, Spider Day, Butterfly Day, Sparrow Day and Forestry Day. Education and awareness activities included hands-on workshops, awareness drives, exhibition stalls, and online and offline competitions. These activities were focused on reaching out to school students, college youth, women, the general community, and media etc. to sensitise them towards wildlife and biodiversity conservation, with over 1000 students participating from more than 100 schools and colleges. Read their Activity Report here.

RCE Hangzhou Holds Pre-Charity 'First Class of New Semester' Event

(Photo credit: RCE Hangzhou)

On 4 March, 2022, RCE Hangzhou held the 'First Class of New Semester' event at Hangzhou Xuejun Primary School, together with other organisations such as the Zhejiang Provincial Teacher and Cadre Training Center, Alibaba Foundation. This event was held under the 'Pre-Charity' program (the 2022 Adolescent Sustainable Development Public Welfare Program), whereby student representatives from nine primary schools presented the practical activities they completed during the previous Winter break, all designed on the 17 SDGs. Read more

SDSN Youth AusNZPac Release Student Position Statement on the Climate Crisis and Universities

In October 2021, the United Nations' Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Youth branch brought together student sustainability leaders from across the region to workshop the top priority climate action goals and support needs that students want from their university. A Student Position Statement was developed, outlining the goals they want their universities to achieve and the support needed for climate-action projects. Read more


The Second IAU Global Survey Report on the Impact of COVID-19

The International Association of Universities (IAU) has launched a report 'Higher Education One Year into the Covid-19 Pandemic', following the second edition of a global survey conducted on the impact of COVID-19 on higher education. The survey gathered institutional responses across four main areas: governance; teaching and learning; research; and community/societal engagement.

The report highlights trends from a global perspective, in addition to a comparison between regions, and public and private HEIs. UNU-IAS contributed to the survey on which the report is based, and produced one of the report's regional perspective sections that focuses on the Asia-Pacific region.

The results of the survey highlight both the resilience demonstrated by the higher education sector, but also of the challenges brought about by the pandemic. It provides a detailed picture of the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, and can serve as a valuable resource to address these challenges, but also to pursue new opportunities that the pandemic has created.

Find out more and download the report here.

Sustainable Agroforestry Crop Rotation System for the Tropics: A Theoretical Exposition

Population pressure is the key reason that has been reducing the duration of fallow in shifting cultivation. As a result, soil productivity is declining since long fallow is required for its regeneration after land is planted for a few years. An agroforestry tree crop/arable crop rotation system was proposed to mimic the natural fallow system and improve nutrient recycling through litter drops. This paper from Sir Anthony Wakwe Lawrence, RCE Greater Yenagoa, published in Sustainable Agriculture Research, equally elucidated on other benefits of this system towards achieving maximum land productivity and obtaining benefits from the land without subjecting the land to the traditional fallowing system. Read more