During the 5th RCE Americas Conference Individual Plans are turned into collaborative action

RCE Curitiba Paraná, together with several universities, hosted the 5th RCE Americas Meeting on 19-23 October, 2016 in Curitiba, Brazil. The theme of the meeting was "Renewable Energy and Sustainable Education", and was held in parallel with a regional symposium on Low Carbon Economy, Renewable Energy and Cities.

The conference gave insight to Brazil’s approach to the Development Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). RCEs from the region heard Brazil’s challenges and opportunities in addressing the 17 SDGs. RCE Curitiba Paraná presented the different approaches both the city Curitiba and the state of Paraná are taking in implementing the SDGs through education. This included Quality Education (Goal 4), Affordable and Clean Energy (Goal 7), Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure (Goal 9), and Sustainable Cities and Communities (Goal 11).

RCEs from seven countries (Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and the United States) shared updates on their current projects. Based on the individual RCE Action Plans, a regional Action Plan was developed to consolidate ideas and projects in order to strengthen ESD in the region. The individual and the collaborative action plans linked to the implementation of the SDGs and the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD. Creating a collaborative regional Action Plan was seen as a means to tie actions from the local RCE level to global sustainability processes.

Discussion Points

  • Youth suggested designated youth coordinators for each RCE. They would report to a regional coordinator and then to continental coordinators for global RCE meetings.
  • RCEs will plan the next regional meeting close to other relevant ESD events in the region
  • RCEs proposed holding a youth workshop during the next regional conference. This could include youth working on a project to benefit the local communities.
  • RCEs requested to issue an open call for hosting the next regional conference.
  • RCEs wish to engage with indigenous communities, securing their permission for gathering at the next meeting and their possible engagement. RCEs will aim to make the event carbon neutral.
  • RCEs requested a mechanism for dealing with dormant RCEs. Many of these dormant regions represent large populations, where considerable work in sustainable development is needed.

Language translation during the meeting proved absolutely essential. RCE Curitiba Paraná and RCE Cuenca del Plata provided excellent translations from English to Spanish and vice versa.

Action Points

  • Finalize the regional Action Plan, adding input from RCEs not present.
  • Continuous work on individual Action Plans that address local sustainable development challenges and commit to engaging with the regional Action Plan.
  • RCE Assessment plans in different dimensions (project based versus RCE wide) will be explored.

Outcomes of the conference and photos can be found here.