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RCE Bulletin

Issue 144: August 2023

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! This month we begin with an exciting announcement of two new RCEs joining the network, RCE Kathmandu and RCE Mogadishu! Please join us in welcoming them to the RCE family.

This month we had the first of our RCE Regional Meetings for the year, with the 13th African Regional Meeting taking place on 17 August. Thank you to all who participated in this event and to the hosts RCE KwaZulu-Natal, RCE Makana and Rural Eastern Cape, RCE Lesotho, and RCE Eswatini! Stay tuned for a report from the event in an upcoming bulletin.

Speaking of RCE events, we are pleased to announce that registrations are now open for the 13th Global RCE Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We hope to see many of you there as possible either in-person or online! The event promises to be a great opportunity to reconnect and share best practices, addressing the five Priority Action Areas of the ESD for 2030 Framework through a Whole Community Approach. Details can be found below!

Finally, there is still time to nominate your most outstanding Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) project for this year's RCE Awards, but don't delay as entries will close at the end of this month.

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

Registrations Open & Call for Submissions: 13th Global RCE Conference

Under the theme 'Whole Community Approach for ESD', the 13th Global RCE Conference will be jointly hosted by RCE Greater Gombak and RCE Greater Kuala Lumpur, to be held in a hybrid format from 31 October - 2 November 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Registrations are now open until 29 September 2023 for in-person participation, and 15 October 2023 for online participation.

In addition, the call for submissions is open for RCE Case Study Presentations (deadline: 31 August 2023). See the event page for further details.
(Photo credit: Abe Nubhan)

Global RCE Network Welcomes Two New RCEs

The Global RCE Service Centre is delighted to announce two new RCEs joining the network, who were recently acknowledged as new members:

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our new members! The full list of RCEs worldwide can be viewed here.

Last Chance to Register: Europe Regional Meeting 2023 and 12th Americas Regional Meeting

There is still time to register for both the Europe and Americas RCE Regional Meetings, with registrations closing in early September. See the event page for each (linked below) for full details.

Closing Soon: RCE Awards 2023

Submissions are closing soon for the 12th annual RCE Awards! RCEs are encouraged to nominate their most outstanding Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) project/s for the award. RCE youth members are also strongly encouraged to apply.

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. Award recipients will be announced at the 13th Global RCE Conference and featured on the RCE Portal.

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 2023' before saving (Please note: projects submitted since September 2022 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 about the 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 31 August 2023 (11:59pm JST).

Upcoming Events

RCE Ogun Hosts 2023 Local Conference of Youth (LCOY) Nigeria

RCE Ogun won the bid to host the 2023 Local Conference of Youth (LCOY) Nigeria, an event held under the umbrella of YOUNGO, the official youth constituency of the UNFCCC. The theme of the conference is 'Building Resilient Systems for a Climate Smart Economy in Nigeria', and will take place from 11-13 September 2023 at the Covenant University Centre for Research Innovation and Development (CUCRID) from 10am each day.

Highlights include a plenary session, break-out session, hands-on practical workshop, and documentaries (impact stories). Expected outcomes include: the development of green talents for selected industries (such as agriculture, engineering, arts & entertainment, and paramedicals); the creation of a vibrant national youth network on climate action; capacity development for youth for community resilience against climate change; and a youth declaration on climate action.

View the event flyer or register to attend here.

Open Calls

Latest News

RCE Youth Webinar Spotlights Youth’s Pivotal Role and Innovative Community Actions Towards a Sustainable Future

On 10 August 2023, the RCE Youth Webinar was held under the theme 'Igniting Changes for a Sustainable World: Embracing Intersectionality in Sustainability and Local Community Actions', to celebrate International Youth Day 2023.

Organised by Regional Youth Coordinators (RYCs), and co-hosted by the Global RCE Service Centre at UNU-IAS, the event brought together 116 participants from around the world, and focused on youth-led initiatives, achieving sustainability, and employing local community actions. Read more

Scotland Launches Updated ESD Action Plan

Scotland's refreshed national Learning for Sustainability (LfS) Action Plan, 'Target 2030: a movement for people, planet and prosperity' was launched on 23 June 2023 at Grove Academy in Dundee by Jenny Gilruth MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. RCE Scotland is involved in supporting the co-development and implementation of this new ESD action plan, which shares a vision of a Scotland complete with 'Sustainable Learning Settings' by the year 2030, that weaves and embeds an ethos of learning for sustainability which is supported by the wider community.

The strengthened Plan outlines a roadmap to ensure that every learner receives their entitlement to Learning for Sustainability (LfS); that every educator demonstrates LfS in their practice; every setting has a whole-setting approach to LfS; that LfS is supported through the setting's physical environment and policies; and that a strategic national approach to LfS be implemented and supported. Read more


Policy Brief Informs Resilient Education in SIDS Facing Climate Displacement

A new UNU-IAS policy brief offers guidance on building resilient education systems in small island developing states (SIDS) to meet the needs of people displaced by climate change.

Considering the unique challenges faced by SIDS, it puts forward practical recommendations to minimise learning disruption during extreme weather events and facilitate post-disaster recovery. Read more

Community Engagement and Education for Sustainable Development: Promising Cases

Featured in the recently published book 'Evolution of the United Nations System: An East Asian Perspective', this chapter 'Community Engagement and Education for Sustainable Development: Promising Cases' proposes an urgent transformation of education for sustainable development (ESD) to position education as a main driver for achieving a sustainable society. The paper illustrates eight promising cases from RCE members from China, Finland, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Uganda, in engaging communities, finding local solutions to global sustainable development issues and leading action-oriented ESD learning. Read more

Op-Ed Argues for Protecting Education Rights Amid Climate Displacement

On 23 August 2023, The Japan News published an opinion piece by Jonghwi Park (Academic Programme Officer, UNU-IAS) and Ying-Syuan (Elaine) Huang (postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Education, McGill University) on the urgent need to address the education challenges faced by climate-displaced people. Drawing on recent research conducted by UNU-IAS and UNESCO, the authors argue that international and national efforts should focus on adapting the education sector to be more resilient to climate impacts. Read more

Report Highlights Integrated Solutions for Biodiversity & Climate Change, Transforming Food Systems

A new UNU-IAS report analyses recent international policy trends and local initiatives addressing climate change and biodiversity loss through integrated solutions. It introduces best practices compiled from local efforts towards transforming food systems. Read more

Gaia and the Globe Project

RCE London is currently supporting the 'Gaia and the Globe' project, a joint venture between Gaia's Company and Shapeshifter Productions, funded by Arts Council England. Central to the project is 'Gaia and the Globe', a multi-layered, interactive theatre, music and education project inspired by Gaia Theory, as developed by the celebrated scientist James Lovelock and distinguished microbiologist Lynn Margulis. Gaia science sees the Earth as a self-regulating system in which life and the environment are inextricably interwoven. The social and cultural implications of Gaia Theory are vital in addressing such problems as climate change and global inequality.

A video filmed on 24 September 2022 during a public 'show and tell' performance at Exeter University, provides a glimpse of the exploratory work undertaken during the ten days of the first Research & Development (R&D) phase of the project. The focus of the next phase will be for creatives Peter Horton and Alison Jones to develop this vital aspect of the project; an interactive performance workshop called, 'Singing the Gaia', to deliver in schools and communities using the songs as the basis for relaying how we already live in Gaia, and the fundamental changes we can make in our communities to keep the planet healthy.