RCE Bulletin 34: April 2014

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Issue 34: April 2014

Message from the Global RCE Service Centre:


Dear colleagues and friends,

The Global RCE Service Centre is delighted to welcome two new RCEs - RCE Dublin (Ireland) and RCE Ruhr (Germany) - to the global RCE family! As of April 2014, 129 RCEs are officially acknowledged by the United Nations University. You can find the updated RCE world map by clicking here.

We are also pleased to invite you to the 9th Global RCE Conference to be held in Okayama, Japan from 4 to 7 November 2014. Marking the final year of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD: 2005-2014), this Conference is regarded as one of the official stakeholder meetings to be held prior to the UNESCO World Conference on ESD (10-12 November). The Conference will provide a great opportunity to reflect on the successes and challenges of the RCE movement, with a view to charting a post-2014 agenda in reference to the Global Action Programme on ESD. The major objective of the Conference is to identify a tangible commitment of the RCE community to effective implementation of ESD beyond 2014.

The registration will be open in early June but we would like to draw your kind attention to it now so that you can start preparing for your participation! UNU-IAS will provide financial support for selected RCE representatives, including youth, who are willing to act as resource persons for the Conference. For those who would like to apply for financial support, please submit all the required documents to us by e-mail (rceconference@unu.edu) no later than 19 May 2014.

For more information, please refer to the invitation letter and Financial Support Request Form.

With much appreciation,

The Global RCE Service Centre



Upcoming Events


RCE Greater Portland Launch Celebration

4 June 2014

RCE Greater Portland was acknowledged by the United Nations University in December 2013. Its launch celebration will be held on 4 June in Portland, Oregon, and you are welcome to join their celebration! RCE Greater Portland is a growing collaborative network of higher education, school, non-profit, government, and industry partners, with 82 organizational partners and 230 members committed to sustainability education across the greater Portland region. For more information on RCE Greater Portland, please visit their site here.

Balkan Summit for Sustainable Development

13-15 June 2014

The First Balkan Summit 2014 for sustainable development will be held in Bitola, the Republic of Macedonia, with a motto of “Let’s create our future!” It will bring together actors within the sustainable development movement from Macedonia, neighbouring countries, and the rest of Europe to share their knowledge, stories, and visions, and may start co-creating projects. The event is internationally coordinated and inspired by “ThinkCamp”, who is a collaborator of RCE Middle Albania. For more information, please visit their website.

RCE West Sweden: 2014 Ed Summer Seminar

24-26 June 2014

This annual event by RCE West Sweden is dedicated to open learning environments that explore matters of social sustainability and individual and collective action. The Summer Seminar is a social learning laboratory in which you are invited to co-create new futures for yourself, your communities, and our world. For more information click here or contact Johan Boman (johan.boman@chem.gu.se).

7th RCE Asia-Pacific Meeting

26-28 August 2014

The 7th RCE Asia-Pacific Meeting will be hosted by RCE Penang in Malaysia from 26-28 August 2014, in conjunction with the International Symposium on Sejahtera Living, Sustainable Community. The registration will be open in May.

RCE Greater Western Sydney: 2014 Youth Eco Summit (YES)

22-23 October 2014

RCE Greater Western Sydney will hold its 2014 Youth Eco Summit (YES) in Sydney, Australia on 22-23 October. YES is an annual award-winning global education event that seeks to build the capacity of students and schools to take action and have a voice on sustainability, through targeted workshop training and project development. For more information click here.

International Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development: Higher Education Beyond 2014

9 November 2014

The United Nations University through its Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is organizing the International Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development: Higher Education Beyond 2014 in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan on 9 November, in collaboration with UNESCO, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), UNEP, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, and the International Association of Universities (IAU). The Conference will highlight the major challenges and pathways for transformation of higher education institutions (HEIs), with a focus on scaling up and mainstreaming innovative practices in learning and knowledge development and research.

The registration will be open in early July. For more information, please visit the UNU website.

Call for Consultation/Applications/Papers


Call for Consultation for the Commemorative Publication on 10 Years of RCEs

The Global RCE Service Centre is pleased to invite you to the consultation process in reflecting on the achievements, challenges, and possibilities of RCEs in advancing the ESD agenda in view of the five priority areas of the Global Action Programme on ESD proposed by UNESCO. Your reflections may be used in a book chapter dedicated to the 10-year anniversary of the RCE community and also for structuring deliberations at the 9th Global RCE Conference in Okayama. Please submit the survey form to rceservicecentre@unu.edu by 12 May 2014.

Call for Ideas on RCE Youth Involvement in Climate Change Discussion

Following up on the RCE Youth discussion at the annual YUVA Meet and RCE Youth Session in February 2014, we have been in touch with one of the coordinators of the Youth Climate Campaign under the Article 6 UNFCCC (UN Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness). A series of ideas for active engagement of RCE Youth in the ongoing dialogue were suggested including a “Challenge Badge” and a webinar series. For more details, please click here for a summary of the discussion. A brief report of the RCE Youth Session is also available here. Please share your experiences and suggestions on the RCE Portal.

Call for Papers for the SEAMEO Congress

The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Secretariat, in collaboration with the British Council and the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) Thailand, will jointly organize the SEAMEO Congress with the theme ”Southeast Asia in Transition: Re-Thinking Education, Science and Culture for Regional Integration” on 21-22 October 2014 at the Imperial Queen's Park Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. The Congress aims to explore new avenues for managing the diverse changes in education, science, and culture and to enhance regional understanding and cooperation among educators and different stakeholders in Southeast Asia and beyond.

The organizers would like to invite educators, researchers, scholars, university professors, practitioners, and teachers to submit papers on the themes of (1) Re-shaping Education to Bridge the Skills Gap; (2) Prospects and Possibilities for Enhancing Science and Technology Education; and (3) Cultural Knowledge and Education for Regional Integration and Development (submission deadline: 31 May).

For more information about the SEAMEO Congress and Abstract Submission Guidelines, please visit their website.

Call for Applications for the ProSPER.Net-Scopus Young Scientist Award in Sustainable Development

The Prosper.Net-Scopus Young Scientist Award is given annually to young scientists or researchers who have made significant contributions in the area of sustainable development. This year the award is open to those engaged in graduate education and research activities that emphasize sustainable development in three areas: disaster risk reduction, sustainable agriculture, and waste. The deadline for submissions is midnight GMT on 20 May 2014.

Candidates must be employed at institutions of higher education in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding the USA and Canada), and should have completed their PhD degree between 1 June 2009 and 1 June 2014.

As part of the judging process, the top three finalists in each category will be sponsored to present their work in a public symposium that is to be held on 10 July 2014 in Tokyo. Winners will receive a cash award of US$1,000 and a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to spend up to 18 months collaborating with any research group of the recipient’s choosing in Germany.

For further details please visit the ProSPER.Net website.

Call for Applicants for UNESCO Youth Conference

The UNESCO ESD Youth Conference will be held in Okayama, Japan on 7 November 2014, bringing together 50 young leaders between 18-35 years of age who are actively engaged in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

This will provide a great opportunity for participants to discuss innovative approaches to ESD and ways to promote young people’s contributions and further involvement in the global ESD movement. All participants will be invited to the UNESCO World Conference on ESD to be held in Aichi-Nagoya from 10 to 12 November.

The Youth Conference is being organized by UNESCO; the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT); the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO; the City of Okayama; and The Goi Peace Foundation. The application deadline is 1 June 2014. Successful applicants will receive travel sponsorship provided by the organizers. For more details, please visit the UNESCO website.

Latest News


RCE Gippsland: Open Space Forum on “Creating a Sustainable Gippsland: What are the Issues and Opportunities?”

RCE Gippsland organized an Open Space Forum on “Creating a Sustainable Gippsland: What are the Issues and Opportunities?” at Federation University on 10 April. The forum was attended by 42 participants and provided a great opportunity to discuss various sustainability issues that are relevant to the community. Several action points were identified to be further discussed and materialized. For a summary report of the forum, please click here or you can find a full report here.

Looking for New Initiatives in Sustainable Vocational Learning

Last year a group of colleagues developed an initiative to promote vocational schools and training centers (TVET) through a new approach. The approach is based on the demand-driven principle to ensure that vocational learning institutes match perfectly with local/regional needs and visions. In many countries, young people follow the common line of secondary and university education, while vocational training gets much less attention, both in governmental policies and in people’s minds.

As we mark the end of the UN Decade of ESD (DESD) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it is time to start developing new initiatives in sustainable vocational learning systems. RCEs are well placed in supporting the development of sustainable vocational schools in the regions as highlighted here.



Quality Education for Sustainable Development: A priority in Achieving Sustainability and Well-being For All

The Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) — one of the main partners and collaborators of UNU-IAS — has just published a new policy brief titled ‘Quality Education for Sustainable Development: A priority in Achieving Sustainability and Well-being For All’. The policy brief presents an ESD Learning Performance Framework (LPF) to address both learning processes and educational contents. The LPF provides a roadmap for how stronger ESD can promote greater educational quality and can serve as a basis for developing targets and indicators for both the Global Action Programme on ESD and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The material used for this policy brief is based on a two-year (2011-2013) collaborative research project on Monitoring and Evaluation of Education for Sustainable Development for the Asia-Pacific Region jointly organized by UNU-IAS and IGES in cooperation with UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau of Education. The policy brief is available here.

Learning from Yolanda

The role of education is crucial in building a resilient society, and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is thus one of the key thematic issues for many RCE members. During the 8th Global RCE Conference in Nairobi last November, active discussion led to some concrete action points, one of which was to create a knowledge base for DRR by developing learning case studies that would be classified into preparedness, response, and rehabilitation.

The article by RCE Northern Mindanao coordinator Fr. Eric G. Velandria shares his reflections and lessons learned from his experience with Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. It was one of the most powerful storms ever to devastate large parts of Southeast Asia, particularly the central Philippines on 8 November 2013. His full article is available here. To share your comments and reflections, please contact Eric at evelandria@gmail.com.


This is a publication of UNU-IAS RCE Global Service Centre.

Please send your comments, suggestions and materials to rceservicecentre@unu.edu.

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