Issue #56: March 2016

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Issue 56: March 2016


Message from the Global RCE Service Centre:


Dear colleagues and friends,

It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of a good friend and committed member of our community.

Lyle Benko, 66

Lyle passed away peacefully on February 26, 2016, from complications after heart surgery. We will miss all of the commitment and enthusiasm Lyle brought to our community, as well as his knowledge and friendship. Lyle was part of the RCE community since its very beginning. He helped lead the creation of RCE Saskatchewan (Canada) working diligently on the RCE Saskatchewan proposal starting in the summer of 2005. He was elected its Co-coordinator with the RCE's acknowledgement by the UNU in January 2007. Lyle enthusiastically helped plan the first RCE Conference of the Americas held in Saskatchewan in 2008, and actively supported subsequent conferences of the Americas, frequently piloting virtual participation in these events. Lyle also helped peer review a number of RCE proposals and subsequently mentored these RCEs following acknowledgement. Lyle was also an important mentor to young people and students in RCE Saskatchewan while generously hosting RCE visitors to Saskatchewan.

He was a tireless volunteer for the cause of ESD and brought his specific expertise and passion to the issue of climate change. Lyle was also a devoted teacher, and worked as administrator and consultant in the Regina Catholic School Division for over 30 years. He served as president of L*A*M*B* Consulting Inc. His kindness, humour and generosity will be missed by many! Lyle’s obituary was published in the Regina Leader Post.

With Sympathy,

The Global RCE Service Centre

Reminder: RCE Applications

146 RCEs have been acknowledged globally as of March 2016. Organisations that are interested in initiating the RCE process and applying to become an RCE are requested to submit an application (Guidelines for RCE applications) and an application summary by Tuesday, 31 May 2016 to the Global RCE Service Centre at RCE Service Centre.


Upcoming Events


Reminder: Asia Pacific RCEs meeting hosted by RCE Cha-am

27 June -2 July 2016, Cha-am, Thailand

The Asia-pacific RCEs are scheduled to meet during 27 June to 2 July 2016 in Cha-am, Thailand for a three-part gathering hosted by RCE Cha-am. The RCEs will be participating in the International Conference on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on 27-29 June and will hold the 9th Asia-Pacific RCE Meeting on 30 June. The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Capacity Building Workshop on Policy Support Tools and methodologies will be held on 1-2 July where a number of Asia-Pacific RCEs will also be participating.

Inquiries regarding the conference should be addressed to Ms. Areeporn Sittiyanpaiboon, Coordinator of RCE Cha-am ( or More information can be found here.

5th Americas RCE Regional Meeting

20-22 October 2016, Curitiba, Brazil

The Regional RCE Meeting of the Americas will be hosted by RCE Curitiba-Parana in Curitiba, Brazil from 20-22 October, 2016. The theme of this year’s Regional Meeting will be Renewable Energy and Sustainable Education, and will be held in parallel with a regional symposium on Low Carbon Economy, Renewable Energy and Cities. RCEs throughout the region are encouraged to attend and contribute to the development of a regional strategy for the Americas in addressing sustainability challenges through education and capacity building. Please mark your calendar! More details will soon be shared through the RCE Bulletin and the website.

Changwon/UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference

9-11 May, 2016, Phuket, Thailand

The main purpose of this conference is to provide an opportunity for discussion and collaboration with local government education policy makers, educational experts and stakeholders to create new development pathways for local societies through community learning center and on-line Lifelong Learning in both rural and urban area of Asia and Pacific region. Read more

International Conference on Ensuring Greater Impact of TVET for Sustainable Development

1-2 June 2016, Brunei Darussalam

The conference, organised by the Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education and Training of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO VOCTECH), aims to establish links for national, regional and international TVET initiatives, policies and practices in response to the need of the ASEAN economic community as well as to identify strategies to integrate sustainable development with TVET, and to promote innovative ideas of TVET. Abstracts can be submitted until 31 March. Read more

ICSBE-2016 - 7th International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment

16-18 December 2016, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Organized by one of the UNU-IAS/ESD ProSPER.Net members, the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, the conference is running the theme "Innovation for Resilience Environment". Read more.

For more events visit our ESD calendar.


Open Calls


Online Course: Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities, Lund University, Sweden

Runs April 25 – June 6, 2016. Read more

IPBES Call for nomination of experts and fellows for the Global Assessment and experts for the scoping of the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity

Governments and other relevant stakeholders are invited to nominate experts to participate in the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the workshop to further scope the thematic assessment of the sustainable use of Biodiversity. In addition, governments and relevant institutions and organizations are invited to nominate fellows to the IPBES Fellowship Pilot Programme, to participate in the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.Deadline for all calls: 5 May 2016. Read more

UN calls on Local Business Leaders, Changemakers to ‘Pioneer’ Action on SDGs

The “Local SDG Pioneers” programme will honor selected business leaders and change makers who can demonstrate business success through the advancement of sustainable development in their country. Individuals acting on new SDG business opportunities can nominate themselves until April 30, 2016. Read more

More open calls and vacancies can be found in the CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT section on the RCE portal.


Latest News


Okayama becomes a Learning City!

Congratulations to Okayama for joining the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities which reinforces its partnership with the UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD. Read more

Youth Virtual Conference 2016 successful

Congratulations to all participants for a very successful YVC! The feedback from all involved as participants and viewers has been very positive. For videos and outcomes click here.

ESD experts discuss education and SDGs

Over 750 participants from 22 countries shared their thoughts on the role of education in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals, at the international conference ‘Education as a Driver for Sustainable Development Goals’, which began at CEE, on 11th January, 2016. Read the full UNU-IAS report and several individual reports on different SDGs. Read more

CEE Himalaya and JSW Foundation organize World’s Wetland Day 2016

On the occasion of World’s Wetland Day 2016, CEE Himalaya conjointly with JSW Foundation organized various activities for school children and the Kuroli village to show the linkages between wetlands and livelihoods to motivate them to undertake sustainable actions for safeguarding wetlands present in their region. Read more

RCE East Arunachal Pradesh holds a two day seminar on Traditional Health Practices

A two day seminar on strengthening community health by integrating traditional health care practices was organized from 30-31 Jan 2016 in Roing, India, by RCE East Arunachal Pradesh. This was attended by eminent experts in the field of traditional knowledge and natural resources; and the various RCE partners including universities and research institutes. Read more

The Finland we want by 2050

Finland’s national strategy on sustainable development was renewed in 2013. Instead of a traditional strategy document, the National Commission on Sustainable Development decided to introduce Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development, ”The Finland we want by 2050”. With this the commitment, the public sector, together with other actors, pledges to promote sustainable development in all its work and operations.

Referencing Guide for Social Learning

The Learning for Sustainability (LfS) site is 10 years old this year! It provides a reference guide to on-line resources for those working to support social learning and constructive action. Read more

RCE Bogota Coordinator Olga María Bermúdez Guerrero receives lifetime Award for environmental contributions in Colombia

On February 26, 2016 the District Secretary of Environment honored Olga María Bermúdez Guerrero, Coordinator of RCE Bogota, for her lifetime achievement and contribution to environmental thinking in Colombia. Read more


ESD Books, Publications and Other


Transformations for Sustainable Development: Promoting Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific

The report aims to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific. Developed by ESCAP together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations University (UNU), and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), it shows that the SDGs will only be achieved when Asia-Pacific megatrends are managed to create opportunities for achieving development outcomes that are in line with environmental limits. Read more

Critical milestones towards coherent, efficient and inclusive follow-up and review at the global level

The report of the Secretary-General on the “Critical milestones towards coherent, efficient and inclusive follow-up and review of the 2030 sustainable development agenda at the global level” includes a proposal of themes for the future, with Cities for example being featured for 2018. Read more

SDG reports from the Commons Action Commons Cluster for the United Nations

The Nature Group Task Force of the Commons Cluster now completed their report on integrating Nature into urban environments. So far reports on Integrating Nature into Education (SDG 4) and into Gender considerations (SDG 5) have been produced. Reports and other related documents from the group Commons Action Commons Cluster for the United Nations can be downloaded 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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