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RCE Bulletin

Issue 147: November 2023

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! We start off by highlighting how wonderful it was to come together and connect again (both in-person and online) at the recent 13th Global RCE Conference! We must thank our incredible hosts, RCE Greater Gombak & RCE Greater Kuala Lumpur, for their dedication, tireless efforts, and superb organisation hosting this event, as well as all attendees from across the RCE community for their active participation - see below for a report from the event!

In this issue, we also celebrate awardees of both the RCE Awards 2023 and the RCE Youth Art Challenge - congratulations to all awardees for your outstanding achievements!

As we gear up for 2024, we would like to announce that our open call for RCE applications is now open. We look forward to receiving applications from interested organisations looking to join the Global RCE Network (see below for further information). In addition, we now turn our attention to planning for the RCE Regional Meetings for 2024, and have also announced an open call for any RCEs wishing to host one of these events. Held annually, they provide a platform for discussion, networking, the sharing of knowledge, and learning from one another. Take a look below for further details.

We would also like to take this opportunity to announce that this edition of the RCE Bulletin (Issue 147: November 2023) will be the last edition for the time being. We will therefore not be accepting RCE bulletin submissions until further notice. In addition, please note that RCE website updates will be kept to a minimum in coming months, due to preparations for the website migration. We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation. Please stay tuned in 2024 for announcements about communication platforms for the Global RCE Network.

Please note that the Global RCE Service Centre will be closed during the UNU's official vacation period (25 December 2023 - 1 January 2024). We will process your requests and emails when we return in the New Year.


The Global RCE Service Centre

13th Global RCE Conference Highlights Whole Community Approach for ESD

The 13th Global RCE Conference was held from 31 October to 2 November 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, co-hosted by RCE Greater Gombak and RCE Greater Kuala Lumpur. The three-day conference highlighted the importance of adopting a whole community approach for ESD, and brought together 165 in-person participants, along with 41 online participants for the event. 

In his keynote speech, Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (Rector of IIUM and co-chair of RCE Greater Gombak), outlined seven practical steps for the whole community approach in embedding the SDGs. He stressed that co-learning, collaborating, co-creating and co-existing underlie the concept of "Communiversity" where the community and university come together to initiate transformation.  

Four panel discussions were convened to deliberate on transformative learning, partnerships and global movement, capacity building, and empowering youth for the whole community approach. Parallel sessions focused on sharing good practices of local actions on mainstreaming the whole community approach for ESD, and the identification of common or specific issues by region, with discussions on how to enhance collaboration. Throughout the programme, participants visited two Real World Labs to witness first-hand the whole community approach in action. Read more

(Photo credit: UCSI University)

RCE Awards 2023 Awardees Announced

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 2023 RCE Awards, covered projects across the SDGs and themes including Curriculum Development, Plants & Animals, Waste, Arts, Traditional Knowledge, Disaster Risk Reduction, Forests & Trees, Ecotourism, and Agriculture. Take a look at a video announcing this year's winners or see the full list here. Congratulations to all winners!

RCE Youth Art Challenge Awardees Announced

The Global RCE Service Centre at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), in partnership with UNESCO, is delighted to announce the awardees of this year's 'RCE Youth Art Challenge: From Waste to Art'.

For the third year in a row, the Challenge, which is open to anyone aged 35 or younger worldwide, attracted entries from across the globe, with 212 submissions received from 34 countries.

Focused on the theme of SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), artworks sought to inspire others globally on how to use resources more efficiently, reduce waste, and shift to sustainable consumption and production (SCP). These demonstrated the actions that participants and their local community have been taking in the pursuit of SCP. 

View the awarded artworks here by category:

Please join us in congratulating the awardees for the 2023 RCE Youth Art Challenge: From Waste to Art! See the full list of awardees here and watch the video celebrating the Challenge.

2024 RCE Applications Now Open

Is your organisation interested in facilitating learning towards sustainable development in your local or regional community? The Global RCE Service Centre is currently accepting applications for 2024 - apply now to become an RCE!

Before applying, please take time to review the Guidelines for RCE Applications and key dates in the application process, announced in the open call here. Sample applications are also available from RCE Greater Portland and RCE Bordeaux Aquitaine

To apply, please submit an application and an application summary to the Global RCE Service Centre (rceservicecentre@unu.edu) by 15 May 2024 (12:00pm, noon JST).

Open Call to Host RCE Regional Meetings in 2024

The Global RCE Service Centre is excited to announce an open call to host RCE Regional Meetings in 2024.

Applications are being accepted to host the following events:

  • 16th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting
  • 14th African Regional Meeting
  • 13th Americas Regional Meeting
  • Europe Regional Meeting 2024

RCEs in the Global RCE Network that are interested in hosting a Regional Meeting are encouraged to apply. RCEs may host the Meeting as individual RCEs or work with other RCEs as joint hosts. Because RCEs are multi-stakeholder networks, participation from different actors (organisations and individuals) within the RCE is critical in hosting duties.

TO APPLY: Please complete the Proposal to Host RCE Event 2024 Form, to be submitted with an official letter of interest, a tentative programme, budget sheet, and any other supporting documents (optional), to the Global RCE Service Centre at RCEServiceCentre@unu.edu by 28 February 2024 (12:00pm noon JST). View the open call here.

Reminder: RCE Annual Reporting

As the end of the year approaches, 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 2021 - 31 Dec, 2023), the RCE will be deemed inactive. The Global RCE Service Centre reserves the right to de-list inactive RCEs.

Upcoming Events

ESD-Net 2030 Global Meeting
18-20 December 2023, Tokyo, Japan

Co-organised by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan and co-hosted by the United Nations University, this year's ESD-Net 2030 Global Meeting will focus on sharing the implementation and progress of the ESD for 2030 country initiatives, trends and innovation in the context of Agenda 2030 and discuss action points in 2024-2025. The event will take place from 18-20 December 2023 at United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan.

UNU-IAS will organise a session at the event, co-organised in collaboration with UNESCO Jakarta. Stay tuned for updates on the UNU-IAS website for further details.

Open Calls

Latest News

UN General Assembly Discusses UNESCO’s Report on Education for Sustainable Development

On 9 October 2023, UNESCO unveiled a comprehensive report on the implementation of ESD within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

At the 78th session of the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly (Economic and Financial Committee), representatives of member states and the UN system came together to explore pathways towards achieving sustainable development. Their discussions spanned a wide array of crucial topics, from the implementation of international commitments regarding climate change to agreements on financing for development. Additionally, they delved into efforts dedicated to advancing education for sustainable development on a global scale. Read more

RCE Middle Albania Joins 'SDG Watch Europe', Receiving Observer Status

Dr. Kalterina Shulla will represent RCE Middle Albania in 'SDG Watch Europe', the largest cross-sectoral coalition for the implementation of the SDGs. This new initiative is a basis for SDGs collaboration in a European context, highlighting the role of RCE networks within and beyond their local settings, and will amplify the advocating efforts of RCE Middle Albania for the SDGs.

SDG Watch Europe is a European cross-sectoral civil society alliance advocating for ambitious implementation of the SDGs. The tasks of SDG Watch Europe are divided between four interlinked work strands to ensure coherence at all levels: 1) Joint advocacy & policy coordination; 2) Monitoring, accountability & review; 3) Engaging CSOs & citizens; and 4) Reflection & innovation. Read more


Op-Ed on Addressing E-Waste Challenges in Nairobi & Surrounding Regions

On 29 October 2023 Africa Business, an African digital business magazine, published an opinion piece on the problem of e-waste in Nairobi and surrounding regions, authored by experts from RCE Greater Nairobi.

The piece focuses on a project developed by the E-Waste Initiative Kenya, aiming to address the e-waste challenge and promote awareness of this issue in the Greater Nairobi area. It features a video produced by UNU-IAS on innovative education projects by RCEs that have inspired local communities to adopt more sustainable and responsible consumption and production patterns, as well as the UNU-IAS publication featuring RCE projects on the same topic.

The Role of the Human Dimension in Promoting Education for Sustainable Development at the Regional Level

Published in Frontiers of Sustainability, this special collection of articles on the research topic 'The Role of the Human Dimension in Promoting Education for Sustainable Development at the Regional Level' has been developed in cooperation with RCE representatives around the world. The collection strives to assess the role of education and reflect on its transformative impact on practices, policies and shared visions for the future - all of which highly depends on the actors' potential to bring about necessary changes in their local/regional context. Read more

Project: Pathway to Stewardship & Kinship

Pathway to Stewardship & Kinship is a foundation for nurturing healthy and engaged children and youth. Through simple, age-linked "Landmark" activities that grow with them, children gain vital tools for physical and mental health, and lifelong relationships that bring joy and meaning to life.

When families, schools and the community work together to give these experiences to every child, the benefits are deep and lasting - for all of us, for future generations, and the world we share. This project involving school boards, university, college and over 40 organisations - provides a road map to creating a culture and ethic of stewardship for every age and stage of a child's development. A book has just been published that can be accessed for free here.

RCE Greater Atlanta Annual Report 2022-23

The RCE Greater Atlanta Annual Report 2022-23 provides detailed coverage of a year's work dedicated to Education for Sustainable Development and community engagement in the Greater Atlanta area. From initiatives fostering community resilience to educational programs promoting sustainability, the report outlines the strides made at the local and regional levels in pursuit of our shared global mission. The report features information on RCE Greater Atlanta's network coordination structure, community engagement activities, conference presentations and proceedings, key RCE initiatives, and a look into next year's projects. Read the Annual Report here.

Have Your Say: Ecosystems Restoration Educator Survey

UNESCO, FEE and NAAEE are leading an education challenge for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, in order to embed ecosystem restoration education into all education systems globally by 2030. A survey is currently being conducted to learn about the current implementation of ecosystem restoration education amongst educators to get a better understanding of ongoing practices. Provide your feedback and contribute to this very important work on Ecosystems Restoration here.