CEE facilitated RCEs Meet during CEE 2015 Annual at CEE Ahmedabad

Date: 2nd February, 2015

Time: 2 pm to 6 pm

Venue: Board Room, Director’s Office


Abdhesh Gangwar, Santosh Sutar, Simanta Kalita, Sanskriti R Menon, Preeti Rawat Kanaujia, Purvi Vyas


CEE’s Annual Meet was taken as an opportunity to organize several other meetings as most of the CEE staff travel to Ahmedabad and is available there. RCE Meet was one of such meetings. All CEE RCEs attended the meeting.

The main agenda was how different CEE RCEs strengthen each other’s work, work together and do joint projects, raise funds and other resources, share experience, identify common theme/s to work together across country, do better reporting of RCE activities, popularize RCE work and ESD using media, motivate other partners seeking their active participation and learn from each other.


 Some of the concerns described about functioning of RCEs in India are:

  • Due to lack of funds, RCEs have not been able to do activities as desired specifically dedicated for this programme. RCE activities are piggy backed on other projects/activities having common interest. This helps but limits RCE activities. Work of RCEs in Korea, Japan and elsewhere was mentioned highlighting that due to availability of adequate funding and other resources they are able to conduct planned/desirable activities on a big scale.
  • Currently CEE RCEs work on different themes (e.g. RCE Guwahati focus area biodiversity; RCE Lucknow on Natural Resource Management; RCEs Kodagu and Bangalore on ecotourism; RCE Pune on participatory urban governance; RCE Srinagar on climate change and disaster risk reduction). So the concern is how does the work of different RCEs complement each other or how do RCEs work together. Example of RCEs in Africa was given suggesting that they do active networking, collaboration, work together on a common theme and even have regional (for Africa continent) and national coordinators (country wise).
  • One key area of RCE work is to bring different stakeholders together to discuss the SD issues of the region chosen by the RCE. This is often challenging for reasons such as historical relationships between these different actors, different power relations or lack of funds to support meetings. The strategies for enabling such interaction or for the creation of such a platform should be an important area of work for CEE facilitated RCEs. We may study the experiences of different RCEs the world over who have been successful in doing this, review our own experiences, and ideate about what strategies we may like to develop in the future.
  • Other concerns mentioned regarding work with partners
    • They are not active, not updated, lack of ownership and do not understand the concept of RCEs well.
    • Time constraint was another factor mentioned hampering functioning of RCEs.
    • Documentation of RCEs is weak
    • The RCE concept is not well marketed

Participants agreed to address above mentioned concerns in following ways

  • Work on common themes
    • Biodiversity especially urban
    • sanitation (in context of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan)
    • mobility/transportation
  • Possibility of creating new RCEs  (Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Kolkatta)
  • Jointly write a proposal and apply for funds (e.g. UN Democratic Fund, UNU, JICA, others)
  • Share information of the work being done in RCEs on websites of UNU, NBA, CBD, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Institute of Urban Transport so that the work done by us gets visibility
  • Strengthen presence of government as one of the partners in RCEs
  • Organize RCEs activities and strengthen documentation process
  • With focus area on biodiversity some questions are
  • How development impacts biodiversity locally, regionally and globally?
  • Is there Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) at city level?
  • Few things that can be referred or considered are – city biodiversity outlook, new article on urban biodiversity in CBD, ICLEI’s work in biodiversity evaluation
  • The theme could be named as Education for Biodiversity Conservation in urban areas through RCEs       
  • Partners could be: Municipal corporation, universities, botanical gardens, zoological gardens, NGOs, resident associations, schools at local level; state biodiversity boards, NBA, CBD, Stockholm Resilience Centre, ICLEI, MOEF&CC could be national and international partners
  • Activities suggested are: offer internship programme through collaborating with universities and IITs like Guawhati ; organize conference/meeting to devise local strategy for Education for Biodiversity Conservation in urban areas in context of Aichi targets
  • RCEs may like to work together with the CEE CBD work (with Dr. Shailaja Ravindranath, CEE South) to develop proposals and access support (and Dr. Shailaja has agreed with this idea)


  • The theme area sanitation should be clubbed with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan so that possibility of getting funds increases and important national agenda is served

Help of Ms. Purvi Vyas, CEE DO in taking notes and preparing this report is gratefully acknowledged.