Issue #51: September 2015

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Issue 51: September 2015


Message from the Global RCE Service Centre:


Dear colleagues and friends,

This is a kind reminder to submit your Annual Report on the RCE Portal. The call for nominations for the 4th annual RCE Awards is now open. 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. The categories, themes and eligibility criteria for this year’s Award have been published under the Annual Reporting section.

If you wish to prepare your report in advance, we have developed blueprints created as doc files which you can print ahead of submission to insert any information. Please note: you are still required to add all the data separately in the official online version to submit your report. The deadline for submission is 30 October, 2015.

There are some important changes to the 2015 RCE Reporting. (1) Only RCE Coordinators can submit a report. If someone else wishes to prepare the report, they will need the coordinator’s login. The Global RCE Service Centre will no longer provide additional logins for submission purposes. (2) An Award nomination can only be submitted together with the full Annual Report. (3) The reporting interface has a tagging system attached to it. Every report and project will have to be tagged with a certain number of tags in order to be searchable online. We look forward to your submissions and wish you the best of luck for your Award nomination!

RCE Global Conference 2014 Booklet

We would like to draw your attention to the publication of the RCE Global Conference Booklet 2014 that is now available online. The booklet is a summary of our gathering last year in Okayama, where we came together as a network to reinforce the fundamental role that education plays in achieving a sustainable future worldwide. We would like to extend our appreciation once more to RCE Okayama for hosting this special and memorable event.

UNFCCC – Climate conference in Paris

We are currently preparing our activities in the upcoming climate conference COP21 in Paris on 30 November – 11 December 2015. The UN Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness has offered us a slot to share a video from the network and participate through teleconference. We would showcase the work at the individual as well as the global network level. A second opportunity may be on the Youth Day itself. We are hoping to consolidate activities at this preparatory stage and would like to know from you:

(1) Do you already have plans with secured funding to participate in COP?

(2) Would you be interested in sharing your experiences at COP via the RCE Portal, facebook and other UNU channels?

(3) As a Youth, would you be interested in contributing a short video for “Our World Our Responsibility" Initiative organised by the RCE Youth Network? (As an RCE Coordinator please get in touch with Youth in your RCE and identify opportunities how these can participate in this initiative.)

If you are taking part in COP, please contact Philip Vaughter at Philip Vaughter, Zinaida Fadeeva and Hanna Stahlberg. If you wish to be part of the Our World Our Responsibility Initiative and submit a short video please follow this link for more information.

We thank you all in advance for your contributions. This may be the first example of a coordinated effort to communicate as a global network on a current and politically highly relevant event, which may change the way the world perceives climate change forever.


The Global RCE Service Centre


Upcoming Events


Events organised by RCEs

RCE Minna Youth Network inter-schools debate championship

1 October, 2015
Minna, Nigeria

RCE Minna is collaborating with the Young People for Africa Development (YPAD) and the African Center of Extra-Curricular Research and Development (ACERAD) to hold an Inter-Schools Debate Championship with the Theme: Youth, Education and Independence. The programme to be held on 1st October, 2015 together with Nigeria's Independence Day. The aim of the programme is to present a platform that creates voices for young Africans from its inception.

The idea of organising the 2015 Minna Debate Championship was first conceived at the latest RCE Minna Youth Network Round Table Discussion, held on 16th August, 2015 at the RCE Minna Resource Centre. The event was one of RCE Minna Youth Network Initiatives in bringing other youth led organisations to direct their focus on Sustainable Development and volunteer towards achieving it. RCE Minna Youth Network decided to collaborate with some of the youth organisations that participated at the round table discussion to organise the Minna debate championship to commemorate Nigeria’s Independence.

About ten secondary schools from Minna will participate in the debate. The schools are paired off in twos. Grading would be on an individual performance first, then on school performance. Therein, the first two schools would battle it out on the second stage of the debate to select the overall winner. RCE Minna Youth Network will provide expertise in framework, host the meeting and will be part of the judging team. Furthermore, RCE Minna will design and produce the programme banner and hire a Disc Jockey. For more information on this event and the programme please visit the RCE Portal.

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. Registration for this event is now closed. You can find more information on the website and the programme here.

RCE West Sweden webinar workshop: RCE Futures

28 October, 2015
9-11 am CET

Following on from the productive gathering at the WEEC in Gothenburg, RCE West Sweden is currently developing a series of on-line RCE Futures sessions. The intention is to develop and explore individual and collective aspirations of the RCEs, whilst also deepening the thinking and practice in linking these to the broader context of the ESD goals.

The organisers propose to begin this process with a two-hour session scheduled for October 28. It will kick off at 9am Swedish time and will be led by Zinaida Fadeeva (UNU-IAS), Marcus Bussey, Åse Bjuström and Miriam Sannum of RCE West Sweden. Prior to the session a 30 minute lecture will be made available sketching key elements of the futures process and also supplementing this with a couple of readings. A central value in their approach to futures is the belief in collaborative networks of co-creation. Spaces are very limited for this workshop, since it is a pilot event. Please check the RCE Portal for more information on this event. Registration will soon open here.

3rd RCE Youth Virtual Conference 2015: Energy systems and sustainability

Date TBA
Organised by RCE Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids RCE introduced an initiative to host an annual Youth Virtual Conference on sustainability related issues. For the past two years they have successfully connected schools from eight countries on three continents in real time to present and discuss issues pertaining to sustainability such as water and food systems.

The 3rd Annual Youth Virtual Conference will again be organised by RCE Grand Rapids and this year’s topic is Energy Systems and Sustainability. In February or March, 2016 (to be determined to avoid conflict with school calendars), multiple secondary schools (ages 14-19) from RCE cities across the world will be linked in a four hour, peer-education symposium. Each student group will present their research on a sustainability related energy issues of interest to them and their region.

The following RCE cities have participated in the past and/or have expressed interest in participating again: Grand Rapids, Michigan, US, Portland, Oregon, US, Curitiba, Brazil, Kerkrade (Rhine-Meuse), Netherlands, Lima-Callao, Peru, Bogotá, Columbia (Colegio Montessori in Medellin, Columbia), Nairobi, Kenya, and finally Saskatchewan, Canada.

The benefits of this conference are many and include the following objectives: (1) Create a global learning community in order to understand the complex issues of sustainability, (2) Develop a skills set of collaboration, communication and problem solving among bright young people and (3) Understand how local actions have a global impact.

For more information on this event and to register please visit the RCE Portal. Deadline for submission is October 14th, 2015.

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. Registrations for the event are now closed. A detailed programme can be found here.

Other Events

Resilience in a time of uncertainty: Indigenous peoples and Climate Change

26-27 November, 2015
Paris, France

The conference on Resilience in a Time of Uncertainty: Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change will take place in Paris, France, ahead of the UN Paris Climate Change Conference, from 26-27 November. The conference is organized by UNESCO, the French National Museum of Natural History, Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education), and the French Presidency of the Paris UN Climate Change Conference. The programme comprises a pre-conference public lecture at Musée de l'Homme, on 25 November, and two conference days, 26-27 November. The conference will bring together indigenous and local community representatives, scientists working with indigenous peoples and local communities, and governments to share case studies, research findings and policies and programmes relating to climate change. For more information on this event click here.


Open Calls


Eco-Thinking - Journal of the Global RCE Network: Call for papers

Eco-thinking is an open access journal of the Global RCE Network. Hosted by RCE British Columbia the journal recently published its first articles online and is asking for new submissions of original research or projects from other RCEs and projects worldwide. The aim of the Eco-thinking Journal is to describe and support research respondent to a variety of international programme developments and contexts where our global RCE network resides.

Research around ‘eco-thinking’ can be labeled under various genres: environmental education, global education, indigenous education, health education, eco-justice education, and of course ESD. However, what truly matters is that a broad range of perspectives and paradigms are described that critically inform our work as educators and as researchers within the RCE network. The journal aims to describe a range of possibilities that exist around the various contexts for research in this: ‘eco-thinking’ broadly defined.

In aiming to draw a collection of original research, Eco-thinking will describe aspects of diversity in research from all corners of the globe. It will do so in two ways: first, it will mirror a diversity of voices and cultures that are conducting research in this ever-broadening and global field of inquiry; second: it will illuminate further potential for diversity in research by highlighting a range of methodologies salient in other fields which may also have promise for the practice of research in environmental and sustainability related learning. Eco-thinking will make these finding accessible to both researchers and practitioners by publishing as an‘open access journal’, and by providing ‘extended abstracts’ so that a broader range of readers can access the ideas we publish.

With this call for papers, Eco-thinking is now accepting manuscripts and ideas from the Global RCE network. Submissions are encouraged that highlight diversity in cultural perspectives, methods and contexts. Manuscripts (or general inquiries) should be directed to the editor David Zandvliet.

The journal is also seeking broad representation from the global RCE community on it Editorial Board and assistance in the review process. Expressions of interest for positions are also being accepted and roles will be finalized prior to the launch.

UNESCO MGIEP collaborative curriculum development on Climate Change – M4C@LIBRE

The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (UNESCO MGIEP) has recently launched the M4C@LIBRE initiative. M4C stands for MGIEP Collaborative Climate Change Curriculum Project. Part of UNESCO MGIEP’s larger ‘Learning through Issue-based Reverse Embedding (LIBRE)’ initiative. M4C would target teachers, educators and curriculum developers to come together and co-create lesson plans and curricula on climate change on an online platform.

The platform is to be modeled on the lines of ‘wiki’ where the users would co-create the content by adding and sharing resources for teaching and learning climate change primarily through mainstream subjects like Maths, Science, Social Sciences and Languages. The resources will be tagged so that anybody looking for a math module on Climate Change would be able to find one. However, while activities will be aligned with subject areas to enable ease of integration into traditional classrooms, the modules will themselves be problem-based and interdisciplinary in nature, spanning subject areas and easily adapted to multiple grade and ability levels. Conceptualized as a complex web or mind map, the model would grow as more teachers and students share resources and add to the database.

Following this Climate Change module, MGIEP is going to launch a module on migration and Sustainable Consumption and Production. For more information on this programme, please contact Yoko Mochizuki or visit the UNESCO MGIEP website.

Call for papers for special issue of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

The special issue on ‘Professional Development in Higher Education for Sustainable Development’ focuses on capacity building of university educators and their role in promoting ESD. The following objectives will be addressed: (a) identifying national, regional or institutional policy frameworks that support ESD professional development, (b) concepts of professional development, (c) competence frameworks and ESD approaches, and (d) principles for scaling up successful capacity building initiatives. Please find the detailed call here.

The abstracts should be a maximum of 500 words and deadline for submission is 15 October 2015 ( For more information, please contact Marlene Mader at Leuphana University of Lüneburg and RCE Graz-Styria. Full papers are due by the end of February 2016.

UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the use of ICTs in education

Since 2005, the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize has rewarded innovations in teaching and learning that leverage technology to improve educational outcomes. The theme for the 2015 edition of the Prize is Pedagogical Innovation in the Use of ICT in Teaching and Learning. NGOs are invited to submit nominations for this year. The circular letter, the submission form, the application guidelines, the statutes and the financial regulations can be found on the RCE Portal or on the UNESCO website. For any enquiries, please contact

Reminder: 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! 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. It is a free, easy, and fun way to promote participation in your RCE!

For those who are interested in the being part of the RCE team or engaging your stakeholders for the EcoChallenge, please feel free to get in touch with Kyoko Shiota or visit the RCE Portal for more information.Prizes for RCE members will be posted soon. We look forward to your active participation!


Latest News


Strengthening ESD at the local level

by Alexander Leicht, Chief of Section, ESD, UNESCO

The Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) aims at generating and scaling up ESD action across the world. The GAP was endorsed by the UNESCO General Conference in 2013 and acknowledged by the UN General Assembly in 2014 as the follow-up to the UN Decade of ESD. It was launched at the World Conference on ESD in November 2014 in Japan.

One of the five Priority Action Areas of the GAP is dedicated to accelerating sustainable solutions at the local level. As suggested by the UNESCO Roadmap (link is external) for Implementing the GAP, relevant stakeholders for this Priority Action Area include public authorities such as mayors and city councils, the leaders of education institutions, managers of private companies, and non-governmental organizations. All of them are called upon to increase and strengthen learning opportunities for sustainable development at the local level.

As local multistakeholder networks, Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) are well-placed to make a strong contribution to Priority Action Area 5 of the GAP. RCEs can mobilize relevant actors in their community and, through the research component of each RCE, support innovative approaches. Through the worldwide network of RCEs they also function as a global community of ESD practice. UNESCO is therefore pleased that the worldwide network of RCEs has become one of the GAP Key Partners and has joined the Partner Network for Priority Action Area 5.

As GAP Key Partners, RCEs should build on the momentum generated by the UN Decade and take further steps to scale up and multiply their activities. It will be particularly important to move beyond the circle of the ‘ESD converted’ and reach out to new stakeholders – in the education sector, and in all other sectors relevant to sustainable development, such as climate change, sustainable consumption or poverty reduction. Such a broader outreach strategy will be critical for a successful contribution of the RCE’s to the GAP.

UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD winners

Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, announced the names of the first winners of the newly established UNESCO-Japan Prize for outstanding projects related to ESD here. The three laureates are Asociación SERES from Guatemala/El Salvador; the Centre for Development of Early Childhood, non-formal and informal education from Indonesia; and rootAbility from Germany. The three organizations will each receive an award of USD 50,000.

The UNESCO-Japan Prize was established in 2014 to honour outstanding efforts of individuals, institutions and organizations engaged in ESD activities. The Award Ceremony for the 2015 Prize will take place in the evening of 5 November at UNESCO Headquarters. The next call for nominations is planned to be launched in January for the 2016 edition of the Prize.

For more details on the winners: rootability,Green Office Model and SERES ESD Youth Ambassadors initiative also on video.


Media and Other Articles


UNU’s “17 Goals 17 Days” series, a Blog series on SDGs, featuring research and commentary in support of the UN Sustainable Development Summit, 25-27 September 2015 in New York.

World Economic Forum and the Stockholm Resilience Centre:SDG#15 on Ecosystems and Biodiversity is key to the development agenda.

UN Global Compact: Global CEOs Sign on to New UN Goals at United Nations Private Sector Forum.

UNU-WIDER Videos: Mapping the Future of Development Economics: Nobel laureates in economics Joseph Stiglitz (video) and Amartya Sen (video) discuss the SDGs and key elements of inclusive, equitable development.

UN News Centre: When we stand together, there is no limit to what we can achieve Ban tells UN Assembly.


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!

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