RCE Czechia - 2019

Location

Czech Republic
CZ
Sustainable development goals on regional level – empowering rural communities through education
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Sustainable development goals on regional level – empowering rural communities through education
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Czechia
Contributing organization(s) : 
National Network of the Local Action Groups, https://www.nsmascr.cz/
Society for Sustainable Living, https://stuz.cz/
South Bohemia University, Faculty of Economics, Department of Regional Development
other members are invited to contribute
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Jana Dlouhá
Organizational Affiliation: 
Charles University Environment Centre
Format of project: 
3 year project of cooperation of the academic institution
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Update
Additional resources: 
Methodology for increasing the capacity of local actors for sustainable development of the region https://www.czp.cuni.cz/knihovna/EDU/MAS_metodika.pdf
Portal:Sustainable development at local level https://enviwiki.cz/wiki/Port%C3%A1l:Udr%C5%BEiteln%C3%BD_rozvoj_na_m%C3%ADstn%C3%AD_%C3%BArovni
Article: Local Action Groups and sustainable development agenda: Case study of regional perspectives from Czechia. Frontiers in Sustainability. 3:846658. doi: 10.3389/frsus.2022.846658
Article: Role of actors in the processes of sustainable development at local level – experiences from the Czech Republic. Front. Sustain. 3:888406. doi: 10.3389/frsus.2022.888406
Article: Conditions for sustainable rural development – how to support transformation processes in practice? The role of local knowledge and lifelong learning in sustainable development processes of regions Envigogika 16(2), https://doi.org/10.14712/18023061.633

Agenda 2030; Strategy for the regional development CR; Strategy for lifelong learning
At what level is the policy operating?: 
National
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Europe
Country: 
Czech Republic
Location(s): 
Local Action Groups - network of 180 LAGs throughout CR
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Charles University Environment Centre, José Martího 2, 162 00, Prague 6, Czech Republic
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Czech Republic is extremely diversified with regards to the economic development and well-being – having relatively rich regions, with different opportunities for development (especially big cities), compared with the underdeveloped ones. This is also a reason for envy and misunderstanding between different social groups – split of the society is then a reason for political instability, raise of populism and other negative phenomena. Historical heritage and recent economic and other problems are thus activated that prevent to find solutions to contemporary problems. People do not see the opportunities for (sustainable) development, feel disempowered to invest energy in their own plans, and rely on external drivers of success (which often appear to be populists or other manipulators). Often, this is due to lacking life-long education system that would help people to orientate in the new sustainable development and green economy opportunities. This knowledge, together with understanding of environmental principles to stay within planetary boundaries while achieving personal objectives and realizing economic activities, will be delivered by the partners of the project.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
There is a well-being gap between big cities and rural settlements in CR. Consequently, these local communities are disempowered and expect "external investment" instead of relying on rich resources in local context. Investors often bring unsustainable practices, and local potential is not used.
This situation is a source of raising populism, and extremism in CR. Frustration of local communities is translated into the expectation of a "strong leader" which often represents non-democratic attitudes.
Contents
Status: 
Completed
Period: 
February, 2019
Rationale: 
Participatory approaches have not a long tradition in CR. Often top-down solutions replace initiatives from bottom-up. Education provides necessary motivation of the local stakeholders to change this attitude. The courses prepared under the project will deliver not only the technical knowledge to enhance capacities of local communities to deal with climate change challenges, adopt sustainable agricultural processes etc. but also will empower stakeholders to innovate, engage in sustainability oriented initiatives; and also to formulate their position in the SDG debate. This aspect is the theme of the associated research.
Objectives: 
The goal was to develop a model of lifelong learning in which different stakeholders meet and benefit from each other experiences/knowledge – in practice to develop interfaces between these different worlds that will enable information flows, sharing ideas / projects, exchange of experiences / expertise, joint research planning & realization, and involvement in strategic policy making. This allowed not only “knowledge transfer”, but rather interactive collaboration based on skills and capacities of all involved.
Within this collaboration, comprehensive methodology of how to apply SDGs in all sustainability dimensions (environmental, economic, social) at the local level was developed. Analysis of local actors and their (potential) contribution to different SDGs was carried out and published. Comprehensive knowledge base on local/regional opportunities for SDG implementation was developed and published open access. Two academic years of seminars on the whole range of sustainable development topics for representatives of LAGs was realized which consisted of more than 30 seminars some of which were half day events with numerous lectures.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Through the seminars, the regional actors were provided with information and materials that would enable them to frame regional development with SDGs – to use potential of the region where they live in a sustainable way. Based on experiences from the seminars, the model of lifelong learning was described in the Methodology for increasing the capacity of local actors for sustainable development of the region. Comprehensive information materials associated with the seminars were published open access in the Portal od Sustainable regional Development. Feedback on local needs and interests in relation to the sustainable development principles was analysed and provided to the Local Action Groups Network as a basis for their future strategy development.
Size of academic audience: 
anticipated number: 180
Results: 
Networking activities with the Local Action Groups network were realized. Courses were prepared in cooperation with leading professionals/initiatives in the field. The network of experts developed around the prepared themes of training: 3 of which are oriented on social aspects of sustainability, 3 other on economic aspects, and the remaining 3 on environmental issue.
Methodology for increasing the capacity of local actors for sustainable development was certified by the Ministry of Regional Development CR and displayed at its web page: https://www.mmr.cz/cs/microsites/uzemni-dimenze/dokumenty-(1)/vyzkum
Lessons learned: 
Social capital is one of the crucial aspects of sustainable development (not only) at the local level. Supporting this social capital through lifelong learning was thus one of the important conditions for SDG implementation in the regions of CR. Local Action Groups are one of the key partners in this regards – they use the “LEADER method” to work with local actors in a participatory way.
Participatory approaches must be constantly promoted in the Czech environment - if there is no driving force, most of the initiatives are only developed to benefit from financial resources, such as EU funding. If this happens, the social capital is suffering (a lot of envy and individualism), so the "envisioning" and "transformative" aspect must be stressed. This is the role independent academic institution, among others.
Key messages: 
The project addressed the challenge of underdeveloped regions in CR through supporting social capital – empowering local population to engage with sustainable plans and practices. It capitalized on academic knowledge and experiences of the National Network of Local Action Groups, and developed and tested concept of lifelong learning. The aim was to initiate bottom-up process in the field of green economy, social entrepreneurship etc. to achieve sustainability transition at the regional level. Associated analytical work (analyses and methodologies developed for support of regional sustainable development) work provided formative feedback to these activities.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
As the "method" of delivery of the most important information is transformative education, this aspect is being explored also in other projects and activities of the RCE. It is also a research theme that plays a role in educational activities.
3 of the RCE members were involved in the project, and others invited to cooperate; traditional RCE knowledge base Enviwiki has been enriched by numerous texts; many other individual were involved in the lifelong learning processes and activities.
The outcome highlighted the role of the RCE as an interface between academic knowledge and sustainability practice. UN Information Centre which cooperated throughout the project established the link of the project with SDGs implementation on regional level.
Funding: 
Applied research financed by the Czech Technology Agency. Voluntary work represents at least 20% of the project activities.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
Indirect
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
Indirect
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Direct
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
Indirect
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Indirect
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
Indirect
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
Indirect
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
Indirect
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
Direct
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Indirect
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Indirect
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Indirect
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
Indirect
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Indirect
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Indirect
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Direct
Theme
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Direct
Traditional Knowledge  
Indirect
Agriculture 
Indirect
Arts 
Indirect
Curriculum Development 
Indirect
Ecotourism 
Indirect
Forests/Trees 
Indirect
Plants & Animals 
Indirect
Waste 
Indirect
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Direct
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
Direct
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
state: 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
state: 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
state: 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
state: 
Direct
I acknowledge the above: 
Yes