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RCE Bulletin

Issue 137: January 2023

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! We would like to wish everyone a happy new year and hope that you all had a nice break over the holiday period. We begin the year with news of two new RCEs joining the network, acknowledged at the Ubuntu Committee of Peers for the RCEs meeting held in Tokyo in December. Please join us in welcoming RCE Basque Country - Navarre and RCE South Poland!

As we look to the year ahead and the chances to come together as a network, we would like to remind RCEs interested in hosting an RCE event in 2023 (both the Regional Meetings and the Global RCE Conference) that applications are still open - see below for details on how to apply!

Finally, we would like to note that this year in 2023, there will be no call for RCE applications due to preparations for the mid-term review of the Roadmap for the RCE Community 2021-2030 and ESD for 2030 framework. Applications will open again in 2024, therefore an announcement for the next open call will be made in early 2024.

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

Seventeenth Meeting of the Ubuntu Committee of Peers for the RCEs Reviews Progress and Strategy

The Seventeenth Meeting of the Ubuntu Committee of Peers for the RCEs was held in Tokyo, Japan from 14-15 December, 2022, hosted by the Global RCE Service Centre at UNU-IAS. Members of the Ubuntu Committee, Regional Advisors to RCE communities, the Global RCE Service Centre, and a representative from the Secretariat Office of Environmental Education, Ministry of Environment, Japan were in attendance for the two-day meeting. The meeting provided an opportunity to review the progress, strategy, operational issues and challenges related to the Global RCE Network, in order to further develop RCEs in alignment with the Roadmap for the RCE Community 2021-2030. Read more

Global RCE Network Welcomes Two New RCEs

The Global RCE Service Centre is delighted to announce two new RCEs joining the network, who were acknowledged at the Ubuntu Committee of Peers for the RCEs meeting held in Tokyo, Japan, from 14-15 December, 2022.
Please join us in extending a warm welcome to the new members of the RCE family:

  • RCE Basque Country - Navarre (Spain)
  • RCE South Poland (Poland)

The updated list (including profiles) of RCEs worldwide can be viewed here.

Reminder: Open Call to Host RCE Events in 2023

Applications are still being accepted to host RCE events in 2023. The Regional RCE Meetings in Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, and the Global RCE Conference continue to be important mechanisms to create synergies within the network and specifically within and across regions. These events provide a platform for discussion, networking, the sharing of knowledge, and learning.
RCEs interested in hosting either a regional meeting or the Global RCE Conference are encouraged to apply. Applications are currently being accepted to host the following events:

  • 15th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting
  • 13th African Regional Meeting
  • 12th Americas Regional Meeting
  • Europe Regional Meeting 2023
  • 13th Global RCE Conference

To find out more about the process, view the open call here. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 15 February, 2023 (11:59pm JST).

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Launch of the IAU Global Survey Report on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development: Accelerating Action for the SDGs in Higher Education
31 January, 2023, 14.00-15.30 (CET), online

The International Association of Universities (IAU) conducted its third survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) in early 2022. In total, 464 responses from higher education institutions in 120 countries were collected. The findings show, that higher education and partnerships are essential to address the global challenges identified in the UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to build a more sustainable future together.

The virtual launch event will present the report and in the second part, experts from different countries will be invited to discuss the results and its implications for universities working with sustainable development, in particular the SDGs. Participants will be amongst the first to gain insights from the data and receive a direct access to the full report! Read more or register here.

Open Calls

Applications Open: 2023 UNU-IAS Master's and Doctoral Programmes

UNU-IAS invites applications for September 2023 admission to its postgraduate degree programmes: the Master of Science in Sustainability and the PhD in Sustainability Science. The programmes aim to produce the policymakers and researchers of tomorrow, who will be at the forefront of global efforts towards a more sustainable future. Starting this year, students enrolled in the Master's programme will have the option of selecting the new specialisation on the Paris Agreement on climate change, the first of its kind to be offered by a UN organisation.

The application deadline is 17 February 2023 for both programmes. Read more

Latest News

ESD Okayama Award 2022 Ceremony and Winners' Presentations Video Now Available

Okayama City and the Okayama ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) Promotion Commission held a ceremony to award the two winning projects of the 'ESD Okayama Award 2022', which recognises outstanding ESD activities in the world. Held as part of the Okayama ESD Forum 2022, the award ceremony took place on 19 November 2022 at the Okayama International Center in Okayama City, inviting representatives from the organisations initiating the winning projects: the network 'Hamburg Learns Sustainability' (Federal Republic of Germany) and the NGO 'Green Growth Africa Sustainability Network' (Federal Republic of Nigeria). Read more about the event, and watch a video of the ceremony here.

Transition at RCE Ostwürttemberg

BN2OW is the Network for Education for Sustainable Development (in German: Bildung fur Nachhaltige Entwicklung) in Ostwurttemberg (Eastern part of the Baden-Wurttemberg state) and was established in 2019 by the Department for Sustainable Development at Aalen University, in person by Prof. Ulrich Holzbaur and Daniela Dorrer. BN2OW was acknowledged as RCE Ostwurttemberg in January 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic presented the young RCE with the challenge to establish a network without being able to meet in person, however, through many virtual meetings and a few in-person meetings, the RCE has established a network of about 20 active partner institutions.

Several universities, schools, education centres, and various organisations form the backbone of this RCE, with coordination by the sustainability department at Aalen University, which initiated the network and in 2022 introduced a new website. In spring 2023, Prof. Ulrich Holzbaur will retire and Dr. Annika Beifuss will also leave the university. The sustainability department will be headed by Prof. Iman Taha and Prof. Katharina Weber from the Mechanical Engineering and Material Science Faculty of Aalen University. The Department for Sustainable Development will continue to coordinate the network activities of BN2OW, and host upcoming meetings and events.

Highlights from COP15

UNU-IAS experts were in Montreal for the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) on 7-19 December 2022, seen as the last chance to stop the destruction of Earth's ecosystems. It concluded with a historic agreement to protect 30% of the world's biodiversity by 2030, take urgent action on extinctions, and restore degraded ecosystems, while respecting the rights of indigenous peoples.
Through a series of side events and expert contributions, UNU-IAS advanced crucial discussions on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and transforming humanity's relationship with the natural world. These contributions showcased the institute's latest research and policy recommendations as well as the activities of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI), a global effort to realise societies in harmony with nature through the revitalisation and sustainable management of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS). Read more


A Review of ICT-enabled Learning for Schoolgirls in Asia and Its Impacts on Education Equity

Published in Educational Technology Research and Development, this review paper focuses on exploring and discussing how ICT-enabled learning may expand schoolgirls' education pathways and opportunities in Asia for inclusive and equitable education. Read more