Issue #50: August 2015

RCE Logo

Issue 50: August 2015


Message from the Global RCE Service Centre:

Dear colleagues and friends,

Just as we have hit the 50th edition of the RCE news bulletin, we are delighted to announce that the Global RCE Network is now on facebook! Instantaneous news, current issues and events of interest will be posted here. We have linked to individual RCE facebook pages and will also share content from other UNU institutes, UN-wide organisations and relevant institutions. Please LIKE US! in order to follow what is happening in the RCE Community!

We hope that this platform will allow us to engage even more with RCE members and that it becomes a vibrant place for obtaining timely information. Please be aware that if you wish to connect with other members or initiate discussions, we still encourage you to use the RCE Portal as the official communication channel for the RCE Network. Furthermore, we will publish our ‘Rules of Engagement’ soon on the RCE Portal and on facebook. These are a set of guidelines on how to use social media and how to engage with the community.

RCE Awards

Soon we will make the call for nominations for the 4th annual RCE Awards. This year’s award is linked to the RCE annual reporting. RCEs can nominate one of their ongoing flagship projects or programmes for the award after submitting their Annual Report. Flagship activities illustrate how RCEs address prioritised local sustainable development challenges. They have the potential to leverage partnerships and funding for other projects or programmes within an RCE network. We are hoping to launch the adapted Annual Reporting system latest by mid September.

There will be some new features in the Annual Reporting interface, such as a tagging system, which will allow any information posted in the Annual Reports to be searchable. This way we are hoping to encourage synergies between RCEs and across projects and/or themes. The purpose of the Award is to celebrate outstanding projects and programmes on ESD with a view to increasing the visibility of the work of individual RCEs as well as the Global RCE network. The Award also aims at highlighting how distinct sustainable development capacities, expertise and resources within an RCE network are being drawn upon to implement transformative collaborative processes to encourage development of learning towards sustainable development.

The categories, themes and eligibility criteria for this year’s Award will soon be published on the Portal under the Annual Reporting section and on facebook.


The Global RCE Service Centre


Upcoming Events


Events organised by UNU-IAS

8th ASEAN+3 Leadership Programme on SPC and Workshop on ASEAN and SCP Governance in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

20-23 October, 2015
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

UNU-AS, UNEP, UNIDO, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the ASEAN Environment Ministries, together with partner organisations, have over the years, collaborated in the offering of the ASEAN+3 Leadership Programmes on Sustainable Production and Consumption under the framework of the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan (AEEAP 2008-2012 & 2014-2018) endorsed by the Governments of ASEAN Member States. The 8th ASEAN+3 Leadership Programme will be held in conjunction with the SWITCH-Asia Programme Workshop on ‘ASEAN and SCP Governance in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.

The aim of the 8th ASEAN+3 LP is at capacity building for policy makers focusing on policy development and implementation, and to up scaling and mainstreaming SCP practices. It intends to expose policy makers to practical learning cases that demonstrate a change process from a business-as-usual scenario to one which effectuates, or can potentially influence, change in behaviour, practice and systems, as well as in policy making. The target participants for the Leadership Programme are mainly government policy makers from the ASEAN Member States and three ASEAN dialogue partner countries - China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. This year’s ASEAN+3 LP is also inviting the participation of mixed inter-ministerial delegations of two-three delegates from countries, to highlight the crosscutting nature of SCP in national governance. Inquiries on detailed programme and how to register may be addressed to the ASEAN Secretariat to Rocky Pairunan.

Events organised by RCE members

5th African RCE Conference

14-16 October, 2015
Entebbe, Uganda

The theme of the conference is “Building a stronger African RCE network for transforming lives and communities through Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)”. RCE Greater Mbarara will host the conference in collaboration with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in Uganda and UNU-IAS. Details on how to register and a call for abstracts will soon be uploaded on the RCE Portal and on facebook.

4th European Fair on Education for Sustainable Development

9-11 September 2015
Hamburg, Germany

The 4th European Fair on Education for Sustainable Development is being organised by the Research and Transfer Centre “Applications of Life Sciences” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, under the auspices of the RCE Hamburg and Region. The aims of the 4th European Fair on ESD are to provide European organisations with an opportunity to present their work (i.e. research, activities, practical projects, products), to foster the exchange of information and ideas, to discuss methodological approaches and projects which aim to better integrate the work of the various actors in the field of sustainable development and finally to support the cross-linking and the exchange of people and organizations being active in ESD. For more information please visit the conference website.

Inspiring Learning in the outdoors - for a worthwhile future” – Multiplier Event

30 September, 2015
Vechta, Germany

ACEWild stands for ‘Alternative Curriculum Education out of the Wild’. A EU-funded program showing how schools can demonstrably support disadvantaged or more vulnerable young people (including those that have a strong personal desire for such) to gain experiences, qualifications and work opportunities in the outdoors or linked to the environment. ACEWild is especially relevant where practitioners are supporting pupils who may present more challenging behaviours and/or are at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training).

The Research and Tools developed throughout ACEWild will be of interest to those who need to demonstrate the impact of an ‘alternative curriculum’ and would like to use an action research approach to ensure a programme meets the needs of its pupils and community. All learning and tools will be disseminated through an Open Educational Resource (website) and training events. The focus of the programme is on Vocational Education, Learning and Training. For more information please visit the RCEs in Europe facebook page.

World Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation (WSCCA-2015)

2-4 September, 2015
Manchester, UK

The event is a joint initiative by Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), the Research and Transfer Centre “Applications of Life Sciences” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and the Baltic University Programme in Uppsala (Sweden), in cooperation with the International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP) and the RCE network initiative.

The symposium will be a truly interdisciplinary event, covering some of the key areas in the field of climate change adaptation. Around 200 scientists, member of non-governmental organisations, representatives of companies and local authorities from 40 countries, are expected to attend the event. It is one of the rare occasions where some of the leading agencies working in the field of climate change, such as UNEP, WMO, WHO and UNESCO, as well as the Met Office and the European Environment Agency, will be together to present their work on climate change adaptation. Also, a summary of the main lessons learned from the Working Group II of the IPCC, will be presented.

The full programme is already on-line and you can download it here.

Other Events

UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015

25-27 September, 2015
New York, USA

More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September, at the UN headquarters in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the summit “will chart a new era of sustainable development in which poverty will be eradicated, prosperity shared and the core drivers of climate change tackled”.

The Summit will feature six interactive dialogues with the following themes: Ending poverty and hunger, tackling inequalities, empowering women and girls and leaving no one behind, fostering sustainable economic growth, transformation and promoting sustainable consumption and production, protecting our planet and combating climate change, building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions to achieve sustainable development, and finally delivering on a revitalised Global Partnership. It is envisaged that each dialogue will address the three dimensions of sustainable development. For more information please visit the UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

33rd EESA 2015

21-24 September, 2015
Matsapha, Swaziland

EEASA is an organisation for environmental educators in the SADC region. The organization provides a forum for Environmental Education (EE) practitioners and learners to share their experiences and ideas necessary for developing EE practices. For a detailed programme and more information please visit the conference website.


Open Calls


EcoChallenge: Join the team to change one habit that benefits you and the planet!

You are invited to participate in this year’s EcoChallenge. For two weeks, 15-29 October 2015, EcoChallenge leads you and your team to change one habit to benefit both you and the planet. The EcoChallenge is a free annual event that encourages individuals and teams to pick a category—water, trash, energy, food, transportation, civic engagement, connect with the earth, or your own category —and set a goal that stretches your comfort zone and makes a difference for you, your community, and the planet. EcoChallengers accrue points for engagement, can compete between teams, and are eligible to win fun prizes! More than 8,000 people have used the EcoChallenge to kick start change. In fact, many find that once they get started, they don’t want to stop. Last year, 98% of participants told us that they planned to continue their EcoChallenge activities.

This year, there will be a team for RCE members so that RCEs can join this event online and easily interact with other participants working on sustainable development issues within their regions and around the world. This is a great example of community engagement, as it successfully fills the “say-do gap”, making connections between “saying” what we believe and “doing” what we believe. Plus, it is a free, easy, and fun way to promote participation in your RCE!

This event, which began in 2009, is run by one of the stakeholders of RCE Greater Portland, the North West Earth Institute. NWEI has helped community centers, colleges, book clubs, neighborhood associations, non-profit organizations, libraries, city governments, nature and science centers, private companies and groups of friends move their communities from “I should” to “I do,” inspiring more than 140,000 people to change for good.

For those who are interested in the being part of the RCE team or engaging your stakeholders for the EcoChallenge, or if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with Ms. Kyoko Shiota or visit the RCE Portal for more information. We look forward to your active participation!

10 YFP “Sustainable Lifestyles and Education (SLE) : scaling-up and mainstreaming” Proposals

The Secretariat of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) invites government institutions, agencies, and not-for-profit organizations from developing countries and countries with economies in transition to present proposals. The mission of the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education (SLE) programme is to foster the uptake of sustainable lifestyles as the common norm, with the objective of ensuring their positive contribution to addressing global challenges, such as resource efficiency and biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, poverty eradication and social well-being. The deadline for this programme is 11 September, 2015. For more information please follow this link or go the 10YFP website.

Enabling Leadership for Transformational Teaching and Learning for Sustainable Development (ELTT) Course

ELTT is a new professional training programme provided by the Sustainability Team of the University of Zurich, targeting university educators. The programme supports capacity building for leadership in higher education for sustainable development. Universities can contribute to sustainable development through their teaching and research, and by improving their own actions (see also principle 8 of the Rio+20Treaty on Higher Education). For more information please visit the RCE Portal.

RCE Structure and Governance Survey

Over the years, RCEs have discussed and explored many different organizational structures and governance models. RCE Greater Portland has designed a short survey to gather information on the different types of RCE governance, membership, and funding models, in order to collect recommended best practices. They hope that this research will be beneficial for existing and new RCEs, as well as UNU-IAS, with results being shared with all RCE participants who express interest.

To complete the survey, please click here. The deadline is September 20. Your input is greatly valued. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kim Smith.

SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award and SEAMEO Angklung Contest

21 SEAMEO Regional Centres have jointly developed the SEAMEO 50x3 Schools' Network - a network to promote sharing and development between schools across Southeast Asia. The Network will provide great opportunities and help schools to develop partnerships, exchange teachers and students, share practices, participate in SEAMEO programmes, obtain scholarships, and improve teachers and students' capacity through various SEAMEO activities.

All primary, secondary and vocational schools in 11 Southeast Asian countries are invited to apply for the SEAMEO 50x3 Schools' Network. There is no registration fee. Only 50 primary schools, 50 secondary, and 50 vocational and technical schools will be selected for the 2015 programme. For more details, click here.

SEAMEO also would like schools to participate in the following contests. A school can participate in more than one activity and there is no registration fee. The SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award (Theme: Safeguarding Cultural Traditions): deadline is 4 September, 2015. The SEAMEO Song Angklung Contest - with two categories: 1) Traditional Angklung Performance and 2) Digital Angklung Performance by using a mobile phone. The deadline is 30 September. Finally, the SEAMEO Cultural Week - schools are invited to submit a video of students performing their cultural heritage such as a song, a dance, traditional cooking, storytelling and other. The deadline to submit a video is 31 September.

For more information, please contact the Network at School Network SEAMEO.

Environmental Performance Index Urban and Sub-National Applications

Environmental Performance Index (EPI) provides cross-country comparisons by measuring environmental performance at the national scale. While assessment at this scale is important, it does not always account for the variations of environmental quality and performance relevant to decision-makers at the regional, provincial, or city level. The EPI supports a number of efforts to respond to the demand for more fine-grained data. To apply and for more information on the initiative ‘Demand for Smart Scaling the EPI’, follow this link.


Latest News


RCE Conference of the Americas: Photos and Outcomes

The 4th RCE Conference of the Americas was hosted by RCE Grand Rapids from the 9th-12th of August, 2015. Representatives from 11 regions spanning six nations of the Americas came together to present projects from the past year, discuss challenges they regionally and globally in sustainable development, and collaborate on initiatives to move sustainability forward in 2016.

Outputs emerging out of the conference included a Statement of Commitment to a Regional Strategic Plan for RCEs of the Americas, created to address three priority action areas: (1) Working together to strengthen local RCEs; (2) Increasing the ability to influence and synergize with other organizations; and (3) Contributing to urgent international initiatives. To read the full summary of the event please visit the RCE Portal. Pictures of the conference have also been uploaded on facebook.

8th WEEC: Outcomes and Potential Follow Up Actions

The 8th World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) was held by the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, through the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, and the WEEC permanent secretariat. Many RCEs from Scandinavia and other countries (estimated 12) attended the Congress. UNU-IAS co-organised and/or supported three events including the plenary session on GAP, parallel and side events dedicated to relations between ESD and 10YFP and to RCEs and GAP productive engagements. Read more....

All abstracts of this event are now searchable in the WEEC abstract database and can be downloaded via this link.

First meeting of the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP) Partner Networks

The first meeting of the Partner Networks of the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development took place on 26-27 May. Nearly 100 participants representing almost 80 organisations, committed to the GAP on ESD, participated in the event. One of the key outcomes of the meeting was the initial consolidation of actions within Partner Networks under each of the five priority areas of GAP. The Partner Networks members who had been selected on the bases of their submitted GAP commitments, their impact potential and the innovative character of their initiatives, are to carry their commitment activities to the GAP, while coordinating them with others for synergies. Many RCE members have become representatives of Partners in various networks. We encourage them to take a lead in informing us about developments in their groups!

UNESCO has nominated focal points designated in the ESD team for each Network with promise of logistical support for the annual meeting, review forums and other online exchanges. A summary of the Partner Group discussions can be found on the RCE Portal.

RCE Minna Youth Network Hosts a Round Table Discussion: Volunteering Towards Achieving ESD

The RCE Minna Youth Network held a round table discussion with the theme: Volunteering towards achieving ESD: the Role of RCE Minna Youth. The programme was held on the 16th August, 2015 at the RCE Minna Resource Center. It was aimed at bringing together RCE Youth and other youth organisations to foster strong youth commitment and action through volunteering to achieve Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Read more...

Photos of the event have been uploaded on facebook.

Stepping Up to Sustainability in 6 SADC countries: A USAID Climate Change Education Project

Over sixty participants, representing a range of government, university, schools and civil society organisations, met in Francistown, Botswana on the 18th and 19th August for the 3rd National Environmental Education conference which was hosted by the Botswana Department of the Environment. One highlight of the conference was the launch of the USAID supported “Stepping Up to Sustainability Project” in Botswana. Delegates selected from, and made a commitment to, a range of “change-choice-practices” as a living experiment in sustainable living for themselves, their communities and work-place institutions! A range of further courses, follow-up workshops and sustainability commons practices will follow. Read more...

Kuala Lumpur Declaration from the UNESCO Asia Pacific Conference on Education and Training

From 3 to 5 August 2015, the Asia-Pacific Conference on Education and Training (ACET) took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Hosted by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education on behalf of the Government of Malaysia, the conference stimulated policy debate and dialogue on a number of topics including ICT in TVET, partnerships and greening TVET. It followed up the recommendations of the Shanghai Consensus of the 3rd International Congress on TVET held in China in 2012.

One of the key outcomes of the conference was the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Quality Education and Skills Development for a Sustainable Future. The Declaration presents a transformative vision of TVET in the region and highlights the potential of TVET to contribute towards achieving the SDGs. In this regard, Member States called upon the UNEVOC Network to support and function as an active platform for peer learning, knowledge production and dissemination, and experience and promising practise sharing.

UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Education, Mr. Qian Tang, addressed Ministers and conference delegates from 26 Asia-Pacific countries stressing the need to make TVET a priority within their national agendas and transform TVET to maximise its potential to stimulate innovation and support vibrant societies. For more information please visit UNESCO.


Media and Other Articles


UN Radio: Supporting indigenous people's right to health care access

Carbon Brief Blog: The climate change papers most featured in the media

Global Goal Campaigns: The Global Goals for Sustainable Development

UNICEF: MDGs and SDGs progress in simple terms

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


Hot Off the Press: ESD Books, Publications and Other


Communities in Action: Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development

Fumiko Noguchi, Jose Roberto Guevara, Rika Yorozu

This handbook identifies principles and policy mechanisms to advance community-based learning for sustainable development, based on the commitments endorsed by participants in the Kominkan-CLC International Conference on ESD, which was held in Okayama, Japan, in October 2014. To inform policymakers and practitioners new to this field, the handbook clarifies the international vision and goals for sustainable development and ESD, and identifies the potential contributions of community-based learning centres and organizations. It documents both policy and practice from different regions and concludes with a summary of principles and policy support mechanisms.Download publication and Download slides.

Green City collection

Throughout 2015, Routledge is building a free article collection on the topics that surround 'Urban Sustainability', including urban planning, community development and transport. The Routledge Green City collection explores the ever-increasing need for urban sustainable initiatives and provides an insight into its theory and implementation with the latest articles from our Urban, Housing, Environmental, Regional and Politics titles, among others. Explore the Green City Collection for free here.

Local Authorities Major Group´s Position Paper March 2015

Advancing with SDGs at the local and sub national level, to provide their vision and priorities for the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the wider post-2015 development agenda, the Local Authorities Major Group produced the following position paper

Papers of interest – suggestions by RCE Stakeholders

Taylor, J. (2014) Shaping the GAP: Ideas for the UNESCO Post-2014 ESD Agenda Journal of ESD (only abstract is available).

Kuruppu, N. and Willie, R., Barriers to reducing climate enhanced disaster risks in Least Developed Country-Small Islands through anticipatory adaptation, Weather and Climate Extremes 7 (2015)

Rahman, S. and Rahman, M, Climate extremes and challenges to infrastructure development in coastal cities in Bangladesh, Weather and Climate Extremes 7 (2015)

Carius, Alexander 2015: Opportunities for the New Urban Agenda – Moderator's Conclusions, Cities Alliance Secretariat.


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.

Please send your comments, suggestions and materials to