Issue #47: May 2015

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Issue 47: May 2015


Message from the Global RCE Service Centre:


Dear colleagues and friends,

Warm greetings from UNU-IAS! During the course of this month, we have received many reports on the interesting activities by different RCEs around the world.

On 23 May, RCE Tongyeong opened the Sejahtera Centre, a large education centre with an eco-park that serves as the hub for creating collaborative projects among RCEs. Many RCEs from Asia-Pacific attended the opening ceremony and discussed the role of the Centre. RCE Penang organized a webinar on whole-school strategies and approaches to ESD offered by the director and founder of Systainability Asia, Mr. Robert D. Steele. The next webinar will be offered on 6 August on faith-based education for sustainable development. The recordings are planned to be posted on the RCE Penang’s website. Feel free to browse their website, where further information related to these webinars will be posted soon.

We would also like to remind you again about the process of submitting RCE applications this year. Organisations interested in becoming an RCE are requested to submit an application and an application summary to the Global RCE Service Centre:, by Tuesday, 30 June 2015.The Global RCE Service Centre will communicate with the applicants during the following months, so that applications can be developed in time for the Ubuntu Committee Meeting in the last quarter of this year. Please visit the RCE Portal for more information.


Global RCE Service Centre


Upcoming Events


Events organized by UNU-IAS

Apply now for the ProSPER.Net Young Researchers’ School (YRS)

“Sustainable Energy for Transforming Lives: Availability, Accessibility, Affordability”

5-16 October 2015
Delhi, India

The 2015 YRS will be hosted by TERI University from 5 to 16 October 2015. The YRS provides graduate students with an opportunity to better understand the spectrum of challenges that underpin sustainable development. Along with a series of lectures, field trips and group work, participants will be introduced to sustainability challenges faced by local communities and the innovative approaches that can be used to address them. Applications are open for PhD students from ProSPER.Net member universities. For further details of the programme and application form, please visit the website. Applications will be accepted until 30 June 2015.

Events organized by RCE members

RCE Conference of the Americas

9-12 August 2015
Grand Rapids, USA

RCE Conference of the Americas will be held at Grand Rapids from 9-12 August hosted by RCE Grand Rapids. Please mark your calendar so that RCE members in the Americas can attend the conference!

At the conference, participants can take part in excursions to compelling sites such as the Frederik Meijer Gardens, the Medical Mile, a downtown market, and a beautiful lakeshore. Informative lectures will be held at downtown locations such as the DeVos Place, KCAD, and Seidman. In between lectures, lunches and dinners will be held at scenic sites such as the Public Museum, East Hills, the GRAM, Grid70, and Grand Haven. You can visit the conference website for more information.

Other Events


Workshop: Rethinking Education through Imagining Future Scenarios

2-4 September 2015
Bangkok, Thailand

UNESCO Bangkok and the Department of Lifelong Education of the Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University will organize a workshop, “Rethinking Education through Imagining Future Scenarios”. The core objective of the workshop is to strengthen the foresight/anticipatory thinking capacity in the region in order to promote the rethinking and transformation of education towards sustainable development. The workshop is targeted to practitioners in community-based learning and non-formal education from the Asia-Pacific region. Selected participants will be involved in collaborative activities that will enable them to construct and explore future possibilities for community-based learning and non-formal education. Through these activities, the workshop aims to generate new ideas and perspectives that could set the foundation of future actions on education for sustainable development.

The workshop is free of charge. For participants coming from outside of Bangkok, an economy return air ticket, meals and accommodation during the workshop period will be provided by UNESCO Bangkok. For more information, please visit the workshop webpage. Applications must be submitted to not later than 4 June 2015 (Bangkok time).


Open Calls


Call for the Coordinating Committee for the Asia-Pacific region - Deadline extended until 19 June

The Coordinating Committee is to take over the role of current Organizing Committee serving the Asia-Pacific RCE community in facilitating inter-RCEs communication and collaboration. The new general guidelines for Organizing Asia-Pacific RCE Meetings as well as for the Asia-Pacific RCEs Coordinating Committee have been formulated based on the discussions at the 8th RCE Asia-Pacific Meeting in March 2014.

For those who are interested in becoming part of the coordinating committee for the Asia-Pacific region, please contact the Global RCE Service Centre by 19 June 2015. The revised guidelines for the coordinating committee are available here and the guidelines for the meeting organizer here.

Apply now for the 2015 ProSPER.Net Leadership Programme- Gentle Reminder

The third ProSPER.Net Leadership Programme will be held in Sabah, Malaysia from 23 to 29 August 2015 under the theme of “Transformational Leadership in Implementing and Assessing Sustainability Projects”. This year’s programme will be jointly organized by ProSPER.Net and the Higher Education Leadership Academy of the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia in collaboration with Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS).

The Leadership Programme provides opportunities for participants to develop inter-disciplinary skills to lead sustainable development initiatives appropriate to local, regional or global contexts. Participants will go through a unique experience that will assist them in leading efforts towards developing work with a clearer vision and understanding regarding diverse perspectives, focusing on collaborative efforts, leveraging networks and involving multiple stakeholders. Applications are being accepted until 14 June 2015. Application form and tentative programme are available on ProSPER.Net website.

IPBES Call for Contributions - Indigenous and Local Knowledge for Regional Assessments of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is conducting assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These assessments are to be based on, in addition to scientific knowledge, the knowledge, practices, observations and understandings of indigenous peoples and local communities. An important aspect of the assessment is to deal with interrelationships between biological diversity and society, including nature’s benefits to people, as well as human well-being. They focus on changes that affect food, water, energy, livelihoods and health. They also consider the importance of biodiversity for social relationships, spirituality and cultural identity, and address issues of equity, including inter- and intra-generational equity.

Fellows will attend two author meetings and receive training to gain an in-depth understanding of the IPBES assessment processes. Fellows from developing countries and countries with economies in transition will receive support to attend these two meetings, in accordance with UN rules.

If your community has relevant indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) to contribute, or if you know of projects or publications on ILK and biodiversity, its benefits for and relationships with local communities and indigenous peoples, then please submit your information by 15 June 2015 for Africa region, 29 June 2015 for the Europe and Central Asia region, and 15 July 2015 for the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions. For more information please visit the website.

2015 International Master’s Program in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development

United Nations Environmental Programme - Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development (UNEP-IESD) has implemented the International Master’s Program in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development since 2006. Application is now opened for the 2015 programme.

The programme provides students with the opportunity to broaden their academic and research experience. IESD offers courses on fundamentals of environmental science and technology, and courses on planning, management and development as well. The academic programme is flexible to a large extent, tailored to the educational goals of the individual student emphasizing problem-oriented learning, field-based learning, and systems approach to sustainability and interdisciplinary study.

Senior officers working in the government sectors, universities and institutions of environment-related fields in the developing countries are highly encouraged to apply. Scholarships are provided by the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China to cover tuition and local expenses.

For further details, please visit the programme website. If you are interested in applying for this program, please send your resume to Mrs. SHEN Jiaqi.


Latest News


RCE Bohol provided skills and professional development training with island locals

RCE Bohol, in collaboration with Bohol Island State University (BISU) and the Department of Education, Bohol Division, has just concluded its three waves of Skills and Professional Development Training for teachers and local residents of the island Barangay of Banacon on 4-5 May 2015. The event culminated in the afternoon of the 2nd day, when participants were given their certificate of participation by trainers and members of the Barangay council. The Skills and Professional Development Training in Banacon offered the medical and dental outreach activities and some 25 school children and 33 adults and children have benefited in the circumcision and tooth extraction respectively. A detailed report can be found on the RCE Portal.

West Michigan Community Sustainability Partnerships Ignite

The Community Sustainability Partnerships of West Michigan in the United States, which include Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Spring Lake/ Grand Haven, Holland, Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor/ St. Joseph, gave a talk in a TEDx style on 18 May 2015. There were 15 speakers on sustainability topics from various sectors, from academic to private, which shared their best practices and ideas. RCE Grand Rapids made a presentation as well. The event was recorded. The video can be watched here.

RCE Espoo’s digital learning tool: Sustainable well-being - Chance to live as unique and happy now and in the future

RCE Espoo developed a digital learning tool with drama instructions, videos, and tips for sustainable lifestyles that can be applied for early childhood education. The idea behind this tool was to create a sustainable society by solving problems educated citizens face in their daily lives. It also aims to ensure that more people have the opportunity to live a unique, participatory and happy life. For more information, please visit the website.


Media and Other Articles


CBC News: Canada sets carbon emissions reduction target of 30% by 2030

UN News Centre: New UN report shows mixed results for reaching MDG health targets by end of 2015

UN News Centre: Sustainable Energy for All 2015 – 'Converting commitments to kilowatts'

UN News Centre: INTERVIEW: UN adviser stresses 2015 critical to setting world on safer, more prosperous path

World Economic Forum: How can we finance the new sustainable development goals?

World Economic Forum: The Human Capital Report 2015

These and many more articles can be found on the RCE Portal. For instantaneous news, please sign up for our RSS Feed!




Orchestrating Regional Innovation Ecosystems- Espoo Innovation Garden

Dr. Kim Smith of RCE Greater Portland, Ms. Anna Maaria Nuutinen of RCE Espoo, and Dr. Charles Hopkins, an RCE Advisor for the Americas contributed an article to the book “Orchestrating Regional Innovation Ecosystems- Espoo Innovation Garden”. The article, “The Promises of RCEs: Collaborative Models for Innovation, Sustainability, and Well-Being”, explores how self-interest can be combined with greater awareness, higher purpose, and wisdom through cultural paradigms shifts and collaborative models, based in ESD. Specific case studies of RCE Espoo and RCE Greater Portland are introduced to demonstrate the potential for increasing collective impacts for a more sustainable future. An article can be downloaded from here (PP 103-120).

Policy Paper from the EFA Global Monitoring Report

The World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE), which helps track inequalities in education across countries, released a new policy paper titled “Education 2030: Equity and quality with a lifelong learning perspective” on the occasion of the World Education Forum at Incheon, Korea. The paper points out the important role of education in achieving most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 including gender equality, healthy families, reducing poverty and sustainable consumption. It says if we do not make substantial progress on the proposed targets of SDG 4, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all,” the broad vision of sustainable development will not be achieved. The policy paper can be downloaded here, and EFA Global Monitoring Report here.

This is a publication of UNU-IAS RCE Global Service Centre.

If you wish to contribute to the monthly bulletin or have news, upcoming events, or publications, you would like to share, please use this form. You can mail it to the Global RCE Service Centre: Submissions must be made by the 15th of every month. In addition, we encourage you to continue using the RCE Portal to exchange ideas, share expertise and resources and deliberate emerging sustainability issues towards ESD implementation at a global level.

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