Japanese RCE Youth Discuss Development of Youth Network and Activities at Kobe Meeting

On 1-2 February, 2020, UNU-IAS and RCE Hyogo-Kobe held a Japanese RCE Youth Meeting in Kobe, Japan. Twenty-five youth members from seven Japanese RCEs, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan (MOEJ), and UNU-IAS attended the meeting over the two days, whilst some other members from each RCE also joined the field visit and workshop on the second day. The meeting's aim was to discuss how to develop the Japanese RCE youth network and future direction of RCE youth activities.

On the first day, the meeting provided an opportunity for youth participants to present their backgrounds and experience in relation to ESD and to share possible ideas for promoting ESD activities. Following a team building session, small group discussions took place and each group created a project proposal with the aim to promote ESD locally. The meeting was held in parallel with an RCE Working-level Meeting and a Forum on 'Perspectives of Future RCE Activities', hosted by RCE Hyogo-Kobe.

On the morning of the second day, youth participants together with some RCE members conducted field visits to learn from selected local ESD activities of RCE Hyogo-Kobe, including a reconstruction site built after the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquakes, a Satoyama area and a small river site, and a bakery shop operated by handicapped employees.

In the afternoon, both youth participants and other RCE participants convened World Café-style group discussions on the future perspectives of ESD activities of RCEs. The meeting provided a chance for members to offer perspectives on how RCE activities could be further developed, as well as how RCEs can more actively involve youth members and develop innovative ideas within RCEs, in collaboration with other RCEs within Japan and abroad, taking into account the current movements on ESD and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the last session, participants discussed and explored the next steps, including how to share respective RCE youth activities with others, how to develop RCE youth networks after the meeting (including the use of social media), as well as how they could learn from each other and improve their own activities.

It is expected that the discussions at this meeting will lead to a basis for RCE youth activities to be further elaborated at the next meeting.

Photos from the meeting have been shared on Facebook here

(Photo credits: RCE Hyogo-Kobe)