Issue #59: June 2016

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Issue 59: June 2016


Message from the Global RCE Service Centre:


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

We would like to congratulate all winners of the 2015 RCE Award for their Outstanding Flagship Projects. It has been a pleasure to review all submitted projects. They all showed the great effort and hard work each RCE puts in towards a better and more sustainable world. A thank you goes to all the researchers and RCE members who took part in the screening and final selection of the winners. All RCEs received an official certificate to celebrate their Award and those in the ‘Outstanding Flagship Project’ category will receive a commemorating poster which showcases all projects.

Climate Change

Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge 2015, RCE Iskandar

Higher Education & TVET

Voluntary Sector Studies Network, RCE Saskatchewan

Sustainable Consumption and Production

Promoting ESD through food, agriculture, and environment in elementary schools and rural communities in Cambodia, RCE Greater Phnom Penh

NWEI EcoChallenge, RCE Greater Portland


Employability Plus Training for students in sustainability, RCE Severn

Children of Fujita: Learn in a community and develop the future,RCE Okayama


Working Groups 10th Global RCE Conference

This is an open call for RCE members interested in joining working groups to design sessions during the 10th Global RCE Conference, held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 23 – 25 November. In line with the new RCE Roadmap, we would like to extend this invitation to collaborate with your peers to create working groups around different themes which will be featured sessions during the conference.

Members of the UNU research team will act as co-facilitators for each working group. However, RCE members are encouraged to participate in the design and presentation of session content. Sessions may change relative to interest expressed in the topic. These working groups will serve as an intersection for learning and teaching, as working group members are encouraged to share their own experiences, learn about best practices related to the specific topic, and in turn disseminate this knowledge to the RCE community and beyond. We are also hoping to agree in which format (publication, project idea, contribution to policy process, etc.) we are to document our discussions.

If you or an RCE colleague are interested in one of the following working groups, please contact the UNU research team member indicated by July 15. We will begin our conversations, through email exchanges, shortly thereafter.

Thematic Working Groups

SDG Conversation

Further, also as a preparation to the Global RCE Conference, we would like to engage all of us in a conversation that helps to clarify:

  • What reaction on SDGs do you see in your country from the side of: national / local authorities? business? education sector? NGOs? Are there any sectoral or cross-sectoral initiatives to learn about SDGs and discuss a strategy for their implementation?
  • Are SDGs seen as a source of innovation -- both for education and other sectors -- at the national and local level? And, what are necessary conditions in order to achieve a long-term impact of innovative activities leading to societal transformation?
  • How do RCEs see their role in transferring SDGs to the national/ local context?

These questions help us to go beyond discussion relating ESD to SDGs. It focuses on the interests and capabilities – within the countries – on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It is, among other things, about visions, powers and institutions.

If you are interested to take part in the conversation, its useful framing and associated analysis, please contact Zinaida Fadeeva (Zinaida Fadeeva). We will start our engagement by a combination of emails and skype.

Annual Reporting 2016 and RCE Awards

As we are implementing a new search function on the RCE portal that will allow RCEs to search for similar projects and activities in a more coherent and user-friendly way, we encourage all of you to submit your annual report. The new search function – to be launched during the Global RCE Conference – will allow you to connect globally and find synergies within the network.

We will open the Annual Reporting interface on 1 August 2016. For those of you who wish to submit a project for an Award, you will be able to do so for a month, until 31 August 2016. Thereafter you can still submit your reports and projects but there will no longer be an option to nominate for an Award. We will keep the Annual Reporting function open until approximately mid November. Please note that Award nominations can only be submitted with a full Annual Report.


The Global RCE Service Centre


Upcoming Events


Mark your calendar for the 10th Global RCE Conference!

23-25 November 2016, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

More information and details will soon be published here.

6th African RCE Conference / TICAD VI

24-26 August, Nairobi, Kenya

The 6th African RCE Conference, held in Kenyatta University, Nairobi, is hosted by RCE Greater Nairobi and the National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA) in collaboration with other Kenyan RCEs on 24-25 August 2016. The theme of this year’s conference is “Developing Capacities of African RCEs for the implementation of the Global Action Programme on ESD and the achievement of the SDGs”, thereby focussing on capacity building within African RCEs in relation to these international frameworks. Featuring a youth conference, the event particularly promotes the participation of younger generations.

Held back to back with the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) on 27-28 August. The Global RCE Service Centre will organize a side event just before on 26 August “Strengthening the role of African RCEs to deliver the SDGs” . Delegates from UN agencies and ESD experts from Africa will be brought together in a panel discussion to explore ways of strengthening African RCEs as multi-stakeholder partnerships for scaling up innovation, resources and action to deliver the SDGs in local and regional contexts.

More details on the RCE conference and how to register will be available from 1st July here.

RCE Conference of the Americas

19-21 October, 2016, Curitiba,Brazil

More information will soon be posted on the Portal.

ProSPER.Net Forum on Sustainability in Higher Education

Higher Education and the SDGs

10 July, 2016, UNU Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan

This year’s ProSPER.Net Forum, to be held on 10 July, will take place back to back with ISAP2016.ProSPER.Net one of UNU-IAS flagship projects, is a network of universities committed to the Promotion for Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Forum will showcase some of UNU-IAS’ contributions to the SDGs, highlighting how higher education initiatives can be used as a mechanism for sustainable development, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. As one of the largest and most diverse regions, HEIs in Asia-Pacific have considerable potential to innovate and collaborate on how their teaching and research can advance sustainability. Researchers will present on how their cross-institutional research projects address a number of SDGs, such as health and nutrition, climate change, urbanization, and energy. More details on the Forum can be found on ProsPER.Net.

International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP) 2016

12-13 July, Yokohama, Japan

The Forum, which is co-organized by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and UNU-IASprovides a platform for discussions on how the international community can ensure effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement at the international, national and local/community levels, under the theme of “Translating Knowledge into Actions towards 2030 and beyond”. Registrations are open until 30 June. Read more

18th UNESCO-APEID International Conference, In Pursuit of Quality Education: The Past, Present and Future

26-28 October, Bangkok, Thailand

The event aims to facilitate leading-edge discussions about the quality of education, and to identify gaps where more research and efforts are needed to achieve inclusive and quality education by 2030. Read more

For more events visit our ESD calendar.


Open Calls


UNESCO’s Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems Programme (LINKS)

Did you know about LINKS? It is a ‪‎UNESCO‬ interdisciplinary initiative that works together with with the Convention on Biological Diversity (‪‎CBD‬), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (‪‎UNFCCC‬), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (‪‎IPCC‬) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (‪‎IPBES‬). Read more

Newton Fund UK – Southeast Asia Small Scale Research Partnerships Call for Proposals 2016

The UK – Indonesia – Malaysia – Philippines – Thailand Small Scale Research Call for Proposals 2016 is now open and applications are invited until 2 August, 2016. This initiative will provide funding for flexible short-term support for high-quality, collaborative research which address different topics. Read more

UNFCC Youth video competition on climate change

‪The UNFCCC‬ announces its 2nd annual Global Youth ‪‎Video‬ Competition on ‪‎Climate Change‬. Young people (18-30 years of age) are invited to submit a three-minute video about their actions to address climate change or to raise public awareness. Deadline for submissions is 1 August 2016. Read more

Abe Fellowship Program competition.

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) announce the annual Abe Fellowship Program competition. This competition is open to citizens of the US and Japan as well as to nationals of other countries who can demonstrate strong affiliations with research communities in Japan or the US. Deadline for applications is 1 September, 2016. Read more

FILM4CLIMATE Global Video Competition

The Film4Climate Global Video Competition invites filmmakers between the ages of 14-35 years old to showcase their talents and create a Public Service Advertisement (PSA) (less than 1 min) or a Short Film (1-5 minutes) about climate action. The videos should show a personal climate change narrative. Submission deadline is 15 September, 2016. Read more

UN Young Leader Initiative for the SDGs

The UN has launched a worldwide search for Young Leaders to help achieve the SDGs, recognizing their efforts to end poverty, combat climate change and reduce inequalities. Deadline for nominations is 15 July, 2016. Read more

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


Latest News


RCE North East uses documentary to highlight sustainability issues

Cinema Politica Newcastle by RCE North East, a project that received the RCE Award 2015 in Category B “Acknowledged Flagship Project uses ‪‎documentaries‬ to explore the link between social, political and environmental issues, recognising that barriers to ‪sustainability‬ are often related to intersectional issues of ‪inequality‬. More documentaries are planned for 2017, including a feminist film series, featuring gender-based and female-directed‬. Read more

No Where to Run - RCE Minna celebrates World Environment Day (WED)

This year’s WED on the 5th June ¨Go Wild for Life¨ focussed on the fight against illegal wildlife trade. RCE Minna and its partners commemorated the day with the screening of a video called ¨No Where to Run¨. A documentary on the effects of Climate Change on Nigeria’s Environment, “No Where to Run” was produced by the Yar’adua Foundation in collaboration with the European Union. RCE Minna organised an awareness campaign to widely screen the video in order to raise awareness on the issue of climate change in Nigeria. Read more

CEE Himalaya and RCE Srinagar celebrate WED across the Himalaya region

As ¨Illegal Wildlife Trade¨, the WED 2016 theme, poses a great threat to the Himalaya region, this was used as an occasion to organize an array of successful events across the Himalaya region. Read more

Celebrating traditional knowledge in the Himalayas during UN International Day for Biological Diversity

On the International Day for Biological Diversity, the Centre for Environment and Education (CEE) Himalaya team showcased the importance and vital role of biodiversity in protecting the communities against these natural hazards. They combined this with promoting traditional knowledge on medicial and aromatic plants. Read more

RCE Minna promotes SDGs during Nigeria's Children's Day

Each year, Nigeria celebrates Children’s Day on the 27th of May. RCE Minna used the occasion to raise awareness amongst children on the 17 SDGs especially on Goal 3 and 4 (Good Health and Quality Education). A Spelling Bee Competition with the theme “Safeguarding the Future of the Nigerian Child through the SDGs” aimed at engaging students in research beyond the four walls of their classrooms and to promote the understanding of the SDGs. Read more

RCE Dublin’s project ‘Dublin in the Coming Times’ featured as a vision for a city

‘Dublin in the Coming Times’ is one of six projects being promoted by RCE and was featured in the Irish Times as ‘The project, which is in partnership with Dublin Unesco City of Literature, is intended to enable Dublin’s citizens to participate in illustrating a vision of the city as a place that, although it might change and adapt to new circumstance, will continue as a living, creative environment and a place for the storyteller and poet.’ Read more

Sign up for the UNESCO ESD newsletter

This newsletter is a good source of information on ESD related events, news and publications. Read more

IPBES Webinar Series - Webinar 3 is now online: The IPBES Pollination Report

The IPBES task force and technical support unit on capacity-building hosted its 3rd webinar with Professor Simon Potts, co-chair of the IPBES Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production. Read more

G7 Education Ministers reaffirm commitment to quality education in Okayama

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova participated in the first G7 Education Ministers’ meeting held in 10 yearsthat closed on 15 May in Kurashiki, Okayama (Japan) with the adoption of a Declaration committing to implement the SDGs and raise the attention of G7 leaders towards education as a priority policy agenda. Read more

Pact of Amsterdam: The Urban Agenda for the EU

EU Member States met on 30 May to sign the ‪Pact‬ of ‎Amsterdam‬ and establish the ‪Urban‬ Agenda for the ‪EU‬. The Urban Agenda for the EU is a new working method to ensure maximum utilisation of the growth potential of cities and to successfully tackle social challenges. It aims to promote cooperation between Member States, cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders, in order to stimulate growth, liveability and innovation in the cities of Europe. Read more

Sustainable and Educational Cities Platform in Brazil

Sustainable and Educational Cities is a platform aimed at the social transformation and sustainable development in some of the most impoverished regions of Brazil through a combination of specially designed management and planning strategies, social entrepreneurship, and evaluation programs. Read more

ESD guideline reaches thousands of schools in Japan

The Japanese Ministry of Education has developed a ¨Guideline on the promotion of ESD¨ that is now being disseminated to all municipal and prefectural boards of education in Japan and to nearly 1,000 Japanese UNESCO Associated Schools. Read more

Asian UN Body calls for paradigm shift in development thinking

In an Economic and Social Survey of the Asia Pacific region, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), argues that while the centre of global economic gravity continues to move eastwards, it is futile to continue the exclusive reliance on export-led development. ESCAP calls for more rural agriculture and industrial development, with better rural-urban connectivity via transport and communication links. Read more

Africans vow to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization

The 3rd Pan African Capacity Development Forum has vowed to boost industry together with infrastructure, in order to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and innovation in line with the SDGs. As such, he organisation says it has invested more than $1 billion, building institutions in 45 countries on the African continent and supporting regional economic communities as well as continental organisations. Read more

Youth in Asia transforms communities towards a sustainable future

Representatives of NGOs working with youth communities in South and South East Asia came together in Bangkok, Thailand from 17-19 May 2016 to launch Phase II of their successful project “Youth-led Sustainable Community Development” and to plan the work ahead. Read more


ESD Books, Publications and Other


UNU-IAS Policy Brief - Unmaking Disasters: Education as a Tool for Disaster Response and Disaster Risk Reduction

Education on disasters has tended to focus on disaster response and recovery, as opposed to proactive actions to reduce disaster risk and increase preparedness. Furthermore, disaster risk is framed as an external event or threat rather than being integrated into development patterns. In order to build disaster resilience in societies around the world, education will need to reframe how disaster risk can be understood and reduced — not only reducing existing risks, but also preventing the creation of new risks. Read more

Innovation for 2030 - the 2015 review by UNDP

Looking back on several initiatives UNDP analyses how innovation can contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda in a number of different ways. This report focuses on the 62 initiatives that the Innovation Facility supported in 2015. Read more


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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