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RCE Bulletin

Issue 141: May 2023

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! Following the announcement of several RCE Regional Meetings last month, we are pleased to announce details for the 15th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting. See below for further information and be sure to save the date!

This month we also opened the first-ever RCE Youth Art Challenge Exhibition in Tokyo, Japan. The exhibition will be on for the next two months until 15 July 2023, and features some of the awarded artworks from last year's RCE Youth Biodiversity Art Challenge. The Challenge will be back this year - stay tuned as details for this year's edition will be announced soon!

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

Save the Date: 15th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting

The Global RCE Service Centre is delighted to announce the 15th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting will be held in a hybrid format from 14-16 September 2023 at the Sejahtera Forest in Tongyeong City, Gyeongnam Province, Republic of Korea. The meeting will be hosted by RCE Tongyeong under the theme 'Empowering Sustainable Community through Education for Sustainable Development'. Updates will be posted on the event page, but for now, please save the date.

RCE Regional Meetings for the other regions were announced last month - in case you missed it, details are available on each event page for the African, Americas, and European Regional Meetings as well as the RCE Global Conference.

(Photo credit: Seol Hyeonjoong)

Visit the RCE Youth Art Challenge Exhibition
15 May - 15 July 2023, Global Environment Outreach Centre, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan

This exhibition features nine of the awarded artworks from the 2022 RCE Youth Biodiversity Art Challenge, which was held in partnership with UNESCO. The Challenge provided a creative platform for youth around the world to share their perspectives through art. All artworks focused on SDG 14 (life below water) or SDG 15 (life on land), highlighting the species, habitats, and ecosystems we need to work to protect. 

Entries consisted of drawings, paintings, craft work, digital art, and photographs across two categories: 'Animals & Plants' and 'Habitats & Ecosystems' (take a look at the artworks in this video featuring the awardees).

The exhibition is open to all and is free to attend; no registration is required. Read more

Introducing the Regional Youth Coordinators: Strengthening Youth Involvement in the RCE Network

The Regional Youth Coordinators to the RCE Community were formally appointed by UNU-IAS for the first time in February 2023. The coordinators will play a crucial role in strengthening youth involvement in decision-making processes and promoting youth-led initiatives within and beyond the Global RCE Network.

On 20 April 2023, the Regional Youth Coordinators commenced their roles and held their first meeting, where responsibilities and initiatives for their two-year term were discussed. At the recent 2023 ECOSOC Youth Forum side event, 'From Ideas to Action: RCE Youth Projects on Multistakeholder Partnerships', held online on 26 April 2023, Regional Youth Coordinators presented their projects aimed at empowering and supporting youth-led initiatives (see more below under 'Latest News').

Further information about the RCE Regional Youth Coordinators can be viewed on the RCE Portal here.

Upcoming Events

ESD-Net for 2030 Learning Webinar on ESD Pedagogy
31 May 2023, 13:00-15:00 (CET)

The ESD-Net for 2030 Learning Webinar May session will feature four workshops covering a range of topics from personal leadership, ESD in primary education, inspiring a generation of global goals innovators, to embedding climate education in schools and municipalities. Read more

UNESCO-UNFCCC Webinar Series: What does a climate-proof and climate-ready school look like?
20 June 2023, 10:00 (CEST)

The second session of the webinar series on greening education on the road to COP28 will look at how to transform learning environments to ensure sustainability principles in response to climate change. The conversation will also explore how school governance and culture become inclusive and participatory. Read more

Register Now for the 2023 HESI Global Forum
17 July 2023, 10:00-13:00 (EDT), hybrid

The HESI 2023 Global Forum, organised by the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), will take place on 17 July 2023 as an in-person gathering with virtual participation to highlight the critical role of higher education in achieving sustainable development. The Forum is held as a special event to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) - UN's main platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level.  

The Forum will place a particular focus on understanding the challenges and opportunities to accelerate the recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda at all levels, in line with the theme of the HLPF in 2023 of 'Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels'. 

Registration to attend in-person and virtually is now open. Read more and register here

Open Calls

Call for Applications: ESD Okayama Award 2023

The ESD Okayama Award 2023, which recognises outstanding ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) activities in Japan and abroad, is now open for applications.

Okayama City (Japan) and the ESD Okayama Award Steering Board are looking for projects that educate and develop people to learn from each other and take action toward the creation of a sustainable society from various perspectives, such as environmental conservation, community development, inheritance of traditional culture, diversity and inclusion, and more.

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: 14 July 2023, 17:00 (Japanese Standard Time)
Award Ceremony: One representative from the organisation(s) implementing the awarded project(s) will be invited to the Award Ceremony in Okayama, Japan and requested to give a presentation on the project. The scheduled date is 23 November 2023 (Thursday).

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

Applications Open: JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme 2023

UNU-IAS is now accepting applications for the JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship programme, which will commence in September 2023. Jointly organised by UNU-IAS and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the programme provides promising, highly qualified, young researchers with the opportunity to conduct advanced research in sustainability in co-operation with host researchers at Japanese universities and research institutions. Under this programme, fellows conduct research relevant to one or more of the main thematic focus areas of UNU-IAS: Biodiversity & Society; Governance for Climate Change & Sustainable Development; Innovation & Education; and Water & Resource Management. The application deadline is 31 May 2023. Read more

Apply Now for UNU Intensive Core Courses

Applications are now open for the Autumn 2023 session of the UNU Intensive Core (UNU-IC) Courses. The session will be conducted in hybrid mode from 1-29 September 2023. Lectures will be delivered on-site at the UNU Headquarters Building in Tokyo, Japan and live-streamed for online participants.

Every year UNU-IAS organises these four-week courses in Tokyo, Japan. They are designed to provide analyses of global issues from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Drawing on research projects undertaken at UNU-IAS and other UNU institutes, the courses provide students with a solid background in the essential theories and multilateral approaches to issues of sustainability and development while emphasising interdisciplinary perspectives. Applications close on 7 July 2023. Read more

Call for Papers: Asia-Pacific Symposium on Sustainable Development in Higher Education

In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Asia-Pacific region, higher education institutions and civil society need to engage in meaningful dialogue and action to ensure that information needs are met. Against this background and in order to cater to a wide discussion on the contribution of higher education institutions to sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region, the 'Asia-Pacific Symposium on Sustainable Development in Higher Education: sustainability as a driver of prosperity and peace' is being held from 4-5 March 2024 in Hiroshima, Japan. 

The event will be organised by the Research and Transfer Centre 'Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management' at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and the University of Hiroshima (Japan).

As an output of the Symposium, the book 'Sustainable Development in Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: sustainability as a driver of prosperity and peace', will be published by Springer Nature, as part of the World Sustainability Series

Abstract submissions are now being accepted until 30 July 2023. Further details are available here.

Call for Papers: 1st Mount Kenya RCE Conference

Kenya Methodist University, the host organisation of RCE Mount Kenya, is organising the first RCE symposium in the region from 18-21 July 2023 at their main campus in Meru, Kenya, under the theme 'Adapting to Climate Change for Survival; Building Community Resilience'. The aims of the symposium are:

  1. To bring together institutions in the region to discuss how best to run ESD programs.
  2. To bring together the national and county governments in the region, the NGOs and the community to showcase climate actions and strategies adopted to address impacts of climate change, domestic and municipal waste, unemployment, destruction and loss of forest cover and biodiversity.
  3. To provide a mentorship, learning and engagement platform for the youth in the region on ESD programs and also as climate action champions.
  4. To provide an engagement platform for the community and avenues for research and extension for universities.

A call for papers or presentations is now open. For further information on the sub-themes and to register, access the registration form here.

RCE Delhi Invites Registrations for GREEN Olympiad 2023

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) invites schools to participate in the GREEN Olympiad 2023. The examination serves a dual purpose of testing the environment quotient of students and enhancing their understanding about issues related to sustainable development. In 2023, GREEN Olympiad will be held offline on 1 September 2023 and 12 October 2023 (schools have an option to choose one of the dates for conducting the examination). Registrations close 15 July 2023. Read more

Latest News

Side Event at UN ESCAP Discusses Climate Change and the Right to Education

On 17 May 2023, UNU-IAS and UNESCO co-organised a side event of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) 79th Session, on the theme 'Climate Change and the Right to Education'. The event discussed how the right to education - including access to and continuity of quality education and lifelong learning - is being threatened by the effects of climate change, as well as the critical role of education in climate solutions. Read more

(Photo credit: UNESCO/Chairat Chongvattanakij)

Side Event at 2023 ECOSOC Youth Forum Highlights Importance of Multistakeholder Partnerships for Youth-Led Initiatives

On 26 April 2023, UNU-IAS organised an online side event at the 2023 ECOSOC Youth Forum, showcasing the commitment of youth leaders to environmental sustainability. The event, titled 'From Ideas to Action: RCE Youth Projects on Multistakeholder Partnerships', aimed to promote a deeper understanding of initiatives developed by RCEs. Presentations highlighted best practices from across the Global RCE Network to encourage youth participation in driving positive change. Read more

(Photo credit: UNU-IAS)

RCE Dobong-gu Holds 'Orientation of Project Neuru Season 3'

On 21 April 2023, RCE Dobong-gu held an orientation on Zoom for the '2023 Global ESD Youth Project Neuru Season 3' to promote ecological literacy and glocal leadership among domestic and international youth. Over 100 students, teachers, and guardians from various RCE cities participated in the orientation to celebrate the start of Project Neuru Season 3.
Project Neuru, which has been running for three years, operates annually with a different theme each year, and uses a Zoom-based photo-voice research method. In 2021, Season 1 was focused on 'The Truth of Hamburgers', and in 2022, Season 2 was focused on 'Sustainable Fashion'. This year, Season 3 will be held under the theme 'A House that Saves the Earth', and will focus on sustainable and eco-friendly residences. Read more

RCE Hangzhou Holds '2023 Sino-Foreign Scientific Dialogue'

RCE Hangzhou jointly hosted the '2023 Sino-Foreign Scientific Dialogue' on 13 March 2023 in Linping, Hangzhou. Held under the theme 'Achieving the zero-carbon era through technology', it not only served as a discussion forum, but also as the kick-off ceremony for the second University-Level Zero Carbon and Cyclic Economy Technology Innovation Competition. Read more

(Photo credit: RCE Hangzhou)


Asia-Pacific Regional Synthesis: Climate Change, Displacement and the Right to Education

A new book published by UNU-IAS and UNESCO analyses the impacts of climate change and displacement on the right to education in Asia and the Pacific - the global region most impacted by natural disasters and climate change. Asia-Pacific Regional Synthesis: Climate Change, Displacement and the Right to Education provides guidance for policymakers to ensure education is protected, by applying a human rights-based approach.

The book presents case studies in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Tuvalu, and Viet Nam, examining specific and common vulnerabilities to climate change and related mobility. It shows that climate change threatens education both directly - through the destruction of schools and property - and indirectly, by forcing people to cross borders, ensuring neither legal residency nor the right to education. The book offers evidence-based recommendations for building national education systems that are resilient to the impacts of climate change and ready to ensure the minimum learning disruption for all ages during displacements. Read more

Bridging the Governance Gap: Protecting the Education Rights of Climate Displaced Persons in South and Southeast Asia

A new UNU-IAS policy brief provides recommendations on ensuring education and learning continuity for people affected by climate-induced displacement. The brief, 'Bridging the Governance Gap: Protecting the Education Rights of Climate Displaced Persons in South and Southeast Asia', identifies policy gaps contributing to the persistence of learning disruptions, and offers guidance on building education systems resilient to the impacts of climate change. It is authored by Ying-Syuan (Elaine) Huang, Philip Vaughter, and Jonghwi Park.

The brief is based on research conducted by UNU-IAS and UNESCO in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Tuvalu and Viet Nam. This research also produced the book Asia-Pacific Regional Synthesis: Climate Change, Displacement and the Right to Education, published by UNESCO & UNU-IAS in April 2023. Read more