RCE Kuching - 2021

RCE Asia-Pacific Thematic Collaboration: Rivers, Water and Livelihoods
Basic Information
Title of project : 
RCE Asia-Pacific Thematic Collaboration: Rivers, Water and Livelihoods
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Kuching
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE Kuching, RCE Srinagar, RCE Greater Western Sydney, RCE Otago/ Wai Wānaka, RCE Dhaka, RCE Hangzhou
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Prof Dr Yeong Siew-Wei
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Kuching and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSI University
Name: 
Ms Tan Sze Leng
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Kuching and Centre for Pre-U Studies, UCSI University
Name: 
Dr Hiew Lee Chea
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Kuching and Faculty of Business and Management, UCSI University
Name: 
Assistant Professor Azizan Yatim
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Kuching and Centre for Pre-U Studies, UCSI University
Format of project: 
Manuscript, powerpoint, audiovisual
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Additional resources: 
https://www.facebook.com/RCEKuchingUCSI/
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Asia-Pacific
Location(s): 
Malaysia, India, New Zealand, Australia, China
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
By translating global aims into the context of local communities, RCEs in the Asia-Pacific region provide a great platform for raising awareness about rivers and water ecosystem health. Thematic collaboration among RCEs in the Asia-Pacific region is crucial to attaining the objectives because it fosters more collegiality among RCEs in the region and the communities to which they belong. The RCE Asia-Pacific is represented in this thematic partnership by countries ranging from lower-middle-income economies to high-income nations. This provides a chance for RCEs to contribute their experiences and thoughts in order to promote education in the context of the SDGs.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Water is a basic human need. The rising demand for clean water and sanitation in the Asia-Pacific communities is a result of the region's growing economy and population. Most policymakers, governments and stakeholders in this region recognise the necessity of enough water sources, effective water cleanliness, and preserving a healthy water ecosystem.
Contents
Status: 
Ongoing
Period: 
March, 2021
Rationale: 
The United Nations World Water Development Report 2020 reported on the interrelations of water and climate change. The effects of climate change on waterways calls for an integrated effort of the consumers, communities, governments, industries and businesses in mitigating the situations. Rivers, water and their ecosystems influence, and are influenced by, the life practices and livelihood of people. RCEs with the mission of translating global objectives into the context of local communities serve as a good platform to enhance the awareness of rivers and water ecosystem health. Hence, a thematic collaboration among RCEs in the Asia-Pacific region focused on the above-mentioned issues is of great importance.
Objectives: 
To bring together and form a collegial partnership within the communities of the RCEs in the Asia-Pacific region for rivers and water ecosystem health in relation to SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 14 Life Below Water, SDG 15 Life on Land and SDG 17 Partnerships for Goals (this is not an exclusive list). The thematic collaboration focuses on rivers, water and livelihoods.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
(a) Encourage frequent communication among RCEs through discussion, forums and webinars
(b) Encourage hosting of events by participating RCEs in the thematic areas
(c) Frequent engagement with RCEs and their communities, businesses, industries, local authorities and international agencies on topics related to the thematic areas
Size of academic audience: 
There were 15 RCEs and a total of 416 participants in the live online sessions, comprising university students and youngsters from more than 17 countries.
Results: 
World Water Day (WWD) in March 2021 and World Rivers Day (WRD) in August 2021 were two regional activities that took place via virtual platforms. The panellists introduced their individual RCEs and discussed the activities they are pursuing in their communities to improve water use efficiency and water quality. Major issues regarding rivers, water and livelihoods were discussed with comments and suggestions. The panelists also discussed recent problems and constraints, the majority of which involved limited face-to-face contact with local populations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To close out the panel discussion, each of the panelists engaged in a lively discussion about potential collaborations between RCEs in Asia-Pacific.
Lessons learned: 
Lesson learned include:
(i) The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered and slowed progress of the SDGs.
(ii) The demand for clean water continues to rise, accompanied by higher pollution levels in the water system.
(iii) Thematic collaboration is important to support to ESD across the RCEs in the region.

Furthermore, most RCEs who spoke at the gatherings shared the difficulty of maintaining ESD in rural and disadvantaged communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key messages: 
To achieve a balance between the environment, economy, policies, and livelihoods, a continuous and coordinated effort is required of the various stakeholders.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
This RCE Thematic Collaboration on ‘Rivers, Water, and Livelihoods' was founded during the Asia-Pacific RCE (Part I) 13th Regional Meeting in 2020.
Funding: 
None
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Indirect
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 
Direct
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 
Indirect
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Direct
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 
Direct
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 
Indirect
Traditional Knowledge  
Indirect
Agriculture 
Indirect
Arts 
Indirect
Curriculum Development 
Indirect
Ecotourism 
Indirect
Forests/Trees 
Direct
Plants & Animals 
Direct
Waste 
Direct
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
state: 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
state: 
Direct