Indian RCEs meet during International Conference on ESD

The Centre for Environment Education (CEE) Ahmedabad, India organized an International Conference on ‘Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for Transforming Education for Children and Youth’ on 16-18 September, 2016 to discuss best practices of engaging youth in both formal and non-formal settings.

The conference was structured around ten topics which were discussed in parallel workshops. Workshop 10 on ‘ESD and Youth’ focused on RCEs and their work on promoting ESD. Engaging Youth in ESD has been an important objective of the RCE community.

  1. School based projects/programmes towards sustainability
  2. Innovation learning approaches in educational methods
  3. Outreach education
  4. Pedagogy and material development for transformative education
  5. Learning through environment
  6. Sustainable consumption and production and climate change education
  7. Water, sanitation and hygiene education
  8. Education for global citizenship, gender and peace
  9. Making monitoring of SDG target 4.7 a success
  10. ESD for Youth

RCEs of CEE – RCE Guwahati, Lucknow, Srinagar, Kodagu, Bangalore and Pune were present at the workshop, as well as the RCEs run by TERI University RCE Delhi, Mumbai and Goa. 20 youth from India representing Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) also joined the session. CEE through the South Asia Youth Environment Network (SAYEN) supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had engaged these Youth in green activities and conducted a competition prior to the conference. The winners were called to participate in the International Conference.

During the session, ways for YRE to be engaged in the RCE network were identified. Participants discussed how they could reach out further to youth and get them involved in their programmes. Other agenda items included how RCEs in India translated global objectives into the specific context of their local communities, and how this contributed to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Finally, opportunities of collaboration to empower and mobilize youth for ESD were formalised.

Considering RCEs bring together multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary members to work collectively on present issues and decide future actions, a possible collaboration with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) was considered. ICIMOD, a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre, operates in eight countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas. RCEs are locally and city-based, whereas ICIMOD is more regionally focused. Both promote learning and knowledge sharing. In light of this, a potential collaboration may be of great benefit.

Below recommendations emerged during the workshop:

  • Need to establish more RCEs in India
  • Indian RCEs should increase their collective efforts to address common issues.
  • RCEs need to raise their efforts for collaboration with partners in higher education to engage Youth
  • RCEs’ collaboration in India on a regional level can be strengthen as well as globally with other RCEs outside of India

Photos of the event have been uploaded on facebook.