Japanese RCEs meet to discuss strategies for 2016

The Japanese RCEs meeting was held on 3 February 2016 in Yokohama, Japan hosted by RCE Yokohama. The new RCE, RCE Hokkaido Central was welcomed by all other six Japanese RCEs (RCE Greater Sendai, RCE Yokohama, RCE Chubu, RCE Hyogo-Kobe, RCE Okayama and RCE Kitakyushu). Each RCE reported on the activities implemented in 2015 and shared their strategies for 2016.

RCE Greater Sendai has been coordinating the ESD Consortium which covers a wider area of north part of Japan called Tohoku, thereby engaging UNESCO Associated Schools, education committees and private companies and higher education institutions. They also work with youth and have created a youth college at a university where students can learn about ESD. RCE Greater Sendai is also working on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), and working with stakeholders to create manuals for teachers on DRR.

RCE Yokohama continues to work with youth by organizing the youth competition on environmental activities and providing seminars on ESD at various schools and communities. RCE Chubu has reorganized their governance structure and they now have three divisions focused on strategy, implementation and research. They are also developing the interactive activity map by using Google Earth where people can find information about projects and people working on them. RCE Hyogo-Kobe has been implementing the ESD curriculums at a university and a graduate school in Kobe.  It also organizes the ESD Café and ESD study tours where people can address topics such as social business, community planning, international exchange, environment, DRR, and human rights/peace.

RCE Okayama arranged the ESD Award, trained ESD coordinators in communities, and coordinated ESD student internships at NPOs in 2015. They continue to work with youth, creating more learning spaces at cafes and libraries. They also continue to work with community learning centres and schools of all levels to promote ESD in the region in 2016. They will also arrange the ESD Award for 2016 as a way to showcase good practices of ESD projects of Okayama and of the world.

RCE Kitakyushu invited students from RCE Tongyeong in 2015. RCE Kitakyushu is also creating ESD coordinators in communities by providing ESD training. They will have a ten-year anniversary in 2016, and will be producing a book reflecting on their activities of the last ten years.

RCE Hokkaido Central has been acknowledged in December 2015, and it aims to address various issues in the area such as protecting its biodiversity and natural resources, tackling climate change and promoting equality in the minority population called Ainu.