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RCE Bulletin

Issue 135: November 2022

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! We are pleased to begin by congratulating winners of the RCE Awards 2022 once again for their innovative and inspiring projects on ESD over the course of this year! The full list of winners is on our website - take a look below for further details!

It has been a busy month for events - this month we held a side-event at COP27, highlighting community-based climate action, where we featured examples of RCE climate action education projects implemented by the Global RCE Network. If you missed it, a recording is available here.

At the end of this month, we will be holding our last RCE Regional Meeting for the year, the 12th African Regional Meeting - we look forward to this important event and will share highlights in a future bulletin!

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

2022 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 2022 RCE Awards, covered projects across the SDGs and themes including Curriculum Development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Plants & Animals, Forests & Trees, Ecotourism, Waste, Agriculture, and Arts. Take a look at a video announcing this year's winners here or see the full list here. Congratulations to all winners!

Reminder: RCE Annual Reporting

As we approach the end of the year, please be reminded to keep your RCE reporting up-to-date. We ask that you:

  • Keep your RCE profile page up-to-date
  • Ensure you submit your RCE Projects on the RCE Portal at least once a year

Please note: If no projects are submitted in a 3-year period (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec, 2022), the RCE will be deemed inactive. The Global RCE Service Centre reserves the right to de-list inactive RCEs.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Post-COP27 Climate Change Education: Where do we go from here?
29 November 2022, 14:00 CET, online

This webinar, part of UNESCO-UNFCCC's series on the road to COP27, will look back at COP27 now that it is over, and examine its key takeaways, achievements, and commitments made related to climate change education. Read more

Open Calls

World Symposium of Sustainable Development Centres
28 June, 2023, 9:00-17:00 (CET), Hamburg, Germany

The Research and Transfer Centre 'Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management' in Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, host of RCE Hamburg, will organise the 'World Symposium of Sustainable Development Centres' next year in June 2023. The event will provide an opportunity for sustainable development centres from across the world to present their work, studies they are undertaking, as well as research and practical projects which may contribute to the implementation of sustainable development as a whole, the UN SDGs in particular, and in pursuing sustainable future scenarios. Furthermore, the aim is to identify, document and disseminate ideas, experiences and visions from science managers and educators, on how to foster the cause of sustainable development in a more systematic way.

Expressions of interest, (abstracts consisting of 200 words outline of a paper and/or presentation, along with the names and full contact details of the authors) should be sent to the coordinating team at: isdrup@ls.haw-hamburg.de. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 December, 2022. Full papers are due by 20 May, 2023. More information can be found here.

Latest News

COP27 Event Showcases Community-based Climate Action Education Projects

As part of the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP27), UNU-IAS organised an event on 15 November 2022, 'Beyond Classrooms: Education as a Mechanism for Community Climate Action' which discussed transformative community-based climate action. Held at the COP27 Climate Action Hub, it presented innovative ESD projects implemented within the Global RCE Network. Opening the session, Dr. Philip Vaughter (Consultant, UNU-IAS) explained that education could be a leverage point for climate action when going beyond knowledge to focus on action, and highlighted RCEs education projects that had been successful in shifting behaviours in areas such as carbon neutrality and low-carbon governance. Read more

(Photo credit: Mei Maruyama, UNU-IAS)

UNESCO Launched the ESD for 2030 Global Network

On 4 October, 2022, hundreds came together online to participate in the launch webinar of UNESCO's ESD for 2030 Global Network (ESD-Net 2030). With the support of the Government of Japan, UNESCO's new network aims to facilitate the implementation of the ESD for 2030 framework and its Roadmap by enhancing knowledge sharing, collaboration, mutual learning, advocacy, monitoring, and evaluation, among a wide range of education stakeholders. The launch webinar introduced the objective and planned activities of the Network and featured interventions from several Member States as well as an interactive session highlighting the relationship between culture and sustainability. Read more

UN Transforming Education Summit Reaffirms the Need for Education for Sustainable Development

The UN Transforming Education Summit (TES), which took place from 16-19 September in New York, reaffirmed the critical role that education plays in responding to these global challenges as over 130 countries heed the call to reimagine key transformative elements essential to ensuring that education contributes to building peaceful societies, a healthy planet, and shared progress that benefits all. Read more

Luang Prabang Youth Present Solutions to Safeguard Intangible Cultural Heritage

On 15 October 2022, a final presentation session of the Youth Ambassadors' Forum concluded a series of workshops aiming to enhance the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in Luang Prabang, Lao People's Democratic Republic. Twenty-five youth ambassadors presented innovative solutions to address the needs of local ICH artisans who hope to pass on their knowledge and skills to the next generation.

Focusing on living heritage practiced in Luang Prabang - pottery making, basket weaving, traditional recitation, and the lanad musical instrument participants applied a design thinking approach to develop prototype projects aimed at solving the economic, social, and environmental challenges faced by practitioners. Read more

(Photo credit: TAEC)

ESD Okayama Award 2022 Winners Announced

The ESD Okayama Award rewards outstanding practices on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in local communities around the world. The aims of the award are to support the organisations carrying out ESD activities and to promote ESD to the communities globally through showcasing their initiatives. The award has been carried out since 2015 annually.

This year, 157 applications from 51 countries/regions were accepted. At the first round of selection, 10 projects were selected as finalists, with two projects selected as winners in the final stage.

Okayama City and the ESD Okayama Award Steering Board are pleased to announce the winners of the ESD Okayama Award 2022:
Project: The initiative 'Hamburg Learns Sustainability' has started the 'Hamburg Master Plan ESD 2030'
Organisation: Initiative 'Hamburg Learns Sustainability' (Federal Republic of Germany)
Project: Environmental Education Programme
Organisation: Green Growth Africa Sustainability Network (Green Growth Africa) (formerly International Support Network for African Development) (Federal Republic of Nigeria)

Read more here, or for more detailed information about the winners, please visit Okayama City's Award web page here.

COP27 Event Discusses Empowering Youth and Engaging Citizens in Science

At the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP27) on 9 November 2022, UNU-IAS and UNESCO organised an official side event that explored how engaging citizens in science and empowering youth could contribute to climate action. Introducing the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs), Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS) highlighted climate education projects implemented by RCEs in Nigeria, Uganda, and the United States. These innovative approaches for empowering youth at the local level have great potential for transformative impact. Read more

Twenty-Six Local Initiatives Recognised at 14th Annual RCE Saskatchewan Awards

Earlier this year on 4 May, 2022, for the 14th consecutive year, RCE Saskatchewan recognised sustainable development achievements in Saskatchewan, presenting awards to 26 initiatives that further the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina hosted the awards ceremony, with RCE Saskatchewan's Patron, His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, in attendance.

The projects educate, encourage, and engage others in local action that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

RCE Co-Coordinator, Dr. Roger Petry, is proud of the fact that more than 200 initiatives have been recognised since their inception in 2008. "These recipients are incredibly innovative and their impact is significant. Recognising them and helping them share their learnings is critical to a sustainable future in Saskatchewan. We can all be very proud of what is happening right here in our province."  

Read the CTV News Story, and see the event page for further details.

RCE Greater Dhaka Celebrates 1st Sustainability Festival 2022

The Department of Environmental Science of IUBAT and RCE Greater Dhaka organised the 1st Sustainability Festival 2022 at IUBAT on 29 October, 2022. The festival involved first-semester students from ten disciplines, with about 1,300 students taking part in a poster competition on sustainability, followed by a seminar. Read more


Minding the GAP: An overview of five years of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) projects under the Global Action Programme (GAP) within Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) on ESD

Research on Regional Centers of Expertise (RCEs) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has focused on how multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral partnerships can work to enable ESD projects, with a particular focus on how higher education institutions could effectively collaborate with community partners. However, much of this research has focused on how partners worked together (for example, what governance and coordination structures allowed higher education institutions to effectively collaborate with partners) without as much focus of investigation on what activities RCEs were working on. While diverse and compelling research on RCEs already exists, much of this research falls into conceptual theory building or case studies of individual RCE activities.

In this article, an overview and analysis of activities from RCEs around the globe is offered to provide some trend analysis for topics and modalities of ESD projects conducted during the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD which ran from 2015 to 2019. This empirical analysis can serve as record of where the Global RCE Network has been over the 5 years of the GAP, where it is now, and where it may wish to go in the future. Read the article here.