RCE Greater Western Sydney - 2020


Engaging our region: The Asia-Pacific RCE webinar series
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Engaging our region: The Asia-Pacific RCE webinar series
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Western Sydney
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE Srinagar and RCE East Kalimantan, with support from RCE East Java (candidate)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Brittany Hardiman
Organizational Affiliation: 
Western Sydney University
Format of project: 
Webinars, report publication
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW, 2751
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Decades of high economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region have transformed its socioeconomic landscape – lifting a billion people out of extreme poverty in the past two decades and raising living standards of even greater numbers. However, such growth has been accompanied by growing inequality of income and opportunity and is beginning to breach planetary limits, thus endangering the well-being of future generations. (UN ESCAP, 2020)
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
COVID-19 has brought with it a lot of uncertainty for our collective future. It has caused significant economic, social and cultural impacts around the world causing major disruptions to our lives. It has also seen the gap in inequality grow. Many are at a risk of being left behind in education and economic opportunities, as well as impacting our on health and wellbeing, particularly our youth and vulnerable communities. It underlines the vital importance of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in supporting a recovery that leads to greener, more inclusive economies, and stronger, more resilient societies.
May, 2020
The COVID-19 global pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in March 2020 and has deeply challenged nation states in responding to the pandemic itself and to cascading health, social and economic crises. In response to this crisis RCE Greater Western Sydney, RCE Srinagar and RCE East Kalimantan organised a series of webinars to reconnect with the RCE community and to learn from each other about how each RCE is responding to this pandemic through varying themes. Through the webinar series, the RCE Network has proved to be an excellent platform from which to collaborate, respond, support each other and build an inclusive society where all can live with pride and purpose. RCEs must continue to discuss pandemic-related issues and further cultivate intra- and inter-RCE collaboration. The initiatives and insights shared in all webinars could usefully be taken up in other communities
and thus potentially influence policymaking. Through these webinars the RCE community may well have built a foundation for what might evolve as the RCE
Global Learning Space on ESD. Citizen science taken by RCEs to the community can connect people globally and accelerate the efforts of achieving the SDGs.
The aim of this webinar series was to connect/reconnect the RCE community of the Asia-Pacific, and share learnings and stories during the global pandameic. Each webinar was themed around the impact of COVID in relation to ESD activity, indigneous communities, youth, and further webinars will look at food security and diaster and risk reduction.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The entire Asia-Pacific RCE community was invited to present and/or attend the virtual webinars via Zoom. The webinars were promoted through a series of channels, including reaching beyond the RCE network and also including a representative of 1 of the 3 other regions (The Americas, Africa and Europe). Over half of all A-P RCEs (37 out of 62) participated. By having these experiences virtually it allowed for more accessible events, that were delivered in bite size chunks. The demand to participate and present was so high, multiple events for the first ESD series were held. A total of 6 webinars were held: “ESD Action in COVID-19 Era: Experiences of RCEs of Asia Pacific Region” (as a 3-part series) in May and June, "2020 International Day of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples: COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience" in August and "International Youth Day 2020: Youth and Sustainability in a COVID Era" in August. Two further webinars are in planning as well.
Size of academic audience: 
1300+ virtual participants
The 'ESD Action in COVID' webinar seriers was attended by 220 virtual participants, with 16 countries and 39 RCEs represented through 37 presentations.

The 'Indigenous People in COVID Era' webinar was attended by over 200 participants, including 37 RCEs within the Asia-Pacific Region. Presentations were made by RCE Srinagar, RCE East Arunachal Pradesh, RCE Delhi, RCE Kuching, RCE Greater Gombak, RCE Bohol, RCE Waikato, RCE Sundarbans, RCE Kyrgyzstan, RCE Sakon Nakhon, RCE Yogyakarta, RCE East Kalimantan and RCE East Java (Candidate).

The 'Youth and Sustainability' webinar was attended by just over 100 participants. The webinar featured 17 youth presenters from RCE Sundarbans, RCE Hangzhou, RCE Srinagar, RCE East Kalimantan, RCE Yogyakarta, RCE Hyogo-Kobe, RCE Kitakyushu, RCE Greater Gombak, RCE Kuching, RCE Waikato, and RCE Sakon Nakhon.

‘Making Right Choices, Becoming A Responsible Consumer’ to mark Green Consumer Day 2020 (held across two webinars) was attended by 595 virtual participants collectively. The webinar's first day consisted of a panel discussion by experts and practitioners, followed by a Q&A session. The webinar consisted of a panel discussion by experts and practitioners and a presentation from RCE representatives from several regions, followed by a Q&A session. These included RCE Hangzhou, RCE Dobong-gu, RCE Greater Dhaka, RCE Sundarbans, RCE Srinagar, RCE Jammu, RCE East Java (candidate) and RCE Penang.

The final webinar ‘Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Preparedness, COVID-19 and Sustainability' was attended by 250 participants. Considering RCEs engagement in the 13th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting presentations by the RCEs were not required in this webinar, instead external representative made up the speakers for this session.
Lessons learned: 
The webinars created a ripple effect and enthused and recharged the RCE community. There are repeated requests from several RCEs to hold more such webinars. The challenges always come with such varying timezones for the A-P region, but all participating RCEs were enthuastic regardless. It provided greater opporunity for RCEs to participate that are underresourced due to the flexibility of being online and no cost in travel. It kept the community connected while travel is banned, and helped share stories to inspire one another. It was successful as it was RCE-led, and the organisation that went into making the events run smoothly was paramount.
Key messages: 
The COVID-19 global pandemic has deeply challenged us in responding to the pandemic. In response to this crisis RCE Greater Western Sydney, RCE Srinagar and RCE East Kalimantan hosted a series of virtual webinars to reconnect with the RCE community and to learn from each other about how each RCE is responding to this pandemic through varying themes of sustainable development.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The webinars were a collaborative activity between the three hosts, and also engaged a further 37 RCEs in our region through multiple webinar series, 3 RCEs outisde of the A-P (repesenting each of the 3 other regions).
There was no funding the support this project. All aspects, including the Zoom platform, was donated in kind by the RCE hosts.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level