RCE Puerto Rico

Photo Credit:
Rce details
Puerto Rico
Date of RCE acknowledgement:
January, 2020
Description of RCE and Geographic Region:

RCE Puerto Rico is a multi-sector network of collaborators dedicated to promoting education and training for advancing sustainability in Puerto Rico, an island archipelago in the Eastern Caribbean. We support and engage in projects and activities that develop sustainability awareness and lead to concrete actions. Our partners represent diverse organizations, institutions and agencies working on sustainability issues throughout Puerto Rico including in municipalities around El Yunque National Forest, the San Juan Metropolitan Area, and other regional cities. Our focal geography is an ecological tapestry of riparian and coastal wetlands and beaches, urban and exurban development, agricultural pastures and shrublands, and primary and secondary montane forests. The cultural character of the region is rooted in the rich amalgam of traditions mainly descended from pre-Columbian cultures, European colonists, enslaved people from Africa, and more recently, from various nations in the Americas. Puerto Rico faces both great challenges and opportunities related to its long-standing colonial status and the socio-economic and environmental impacts of climate change.

Goals and Objectives:

The vision of RCE Puerto Rico is to develop healthy, equitable and sustainable human communities that are resilient to socioeconomic and environmental changes.

Our mission is to construct a collaborative and inclusive education platform that strengthens human communities and the ecosystems that sustain them.

RCE Puerto Rico and the work of many of our collaborating partner organizations is framed around SDGs 3, 4, 10, 13, 14, 15, and 17 representing good health and well-being, quality education, reduction of inequalities, climate action, life below water, life on land, and partnerships for the goals. Recognizing the intertwined nature of the SDGs, we also welcome partners and projects that are working on education for sustainability as related to all 17 goals.

Considering the local context and sustainability challenges in Puerto Rico, the RCE's objectives include:

  1. Improving access to quality education focused on sustainability principles;
  2. Augmenting public awareness and education about sustainability concepts as related to social, economic and environmental well-being, ecosystem services, and resilience to extreme events;
  3. Promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable use/management of natural and cultural resources; and
  4. Strengthening sustainable economic development of agricultural, water, and energy resources.

Photo: Exposition of the SDGs in Puerto Rico (Photo credit: United Nations Association of the United States of America, Puerto Rico Chapter, and Escuela Inés María Mendoza).

Organisation Hosting RCE Secretariat:

Name of organisation: Co-hosts - Friends of El Yunque Foundation; the Center for Landscape Conservation
Type of organisation: Both are NGOs

Key Partners:

Name of organisation: Friends of El Yunque Foundation
Role: RCE Coordination, Communications, Governance
Contact name 1: Lissette González
Contact email 1: lissette.lgmcom@gmail.com; info@amigosdelyunque.org
Contact name 2: Nancy Merlo Hernández
Contact email 2: nancymerlo2008@hotmail.com

Name of organisation: Center for Landscape Conservation
Role: RCE coordination
Contact name: Edgardo González
Contact email: edgonz581@gmail.com

Name of organisation: USDA Forest Service - El Yunque National Forest
Role: Governance
Contact name: Pablo Llerandi-Roman
Contact email: pablo.Llerandi-Roman@usda.gov

Name of organisation: USDA Forest Service - International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Role: Communications
Contact name: Maya Quiñones
Contact email: mquinones@fs.fed.us

Name of organisation: Citizens Committee for Public Participation in El Yunque
Role: Governance
Contact name 1: Marcela Cañon
Contact email 1: marcela.canon@bahiapr.com
Contact name 2: Lissette González
Contact email 2: lissette.lgmcom@gmail.com

Name of organisation: United Nations Association of the United States of America, Puerto Rico Chapter
Role: Communications and Governance committees
Contact name: Ricardo Arzuaga
Contact email: unausapr@gmail.com

Name of organisation: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus - Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research Program
Role: Communications & Youth coordination
Contact name 1: Noelia Báez Rodríguez
Contact email 1: nbaez@ites.upr.edu
Contact name 2: Jess Zimmerman
Contact email 2: jesskz@ites.upr.edu

Name of organisation: Puerto Rico Dept. of Education, Science Program
Role: Communications
Contact name 1: Frances Zenón Meléndez
Contact email 1: fzenon@prsciencetrust.org
Contact name 2: Lilliam Rodríguez Laboy
Contact email 2: rodriguezlli@de.pr.gov

Name of organisation: Sierra Club of Puerto Rico
Role: Governance
Contact name: Adriana González
Contact email: adriana.gonzalez@sierraclub.org

Name of organisation: Fundación Alma de Bahía, Inc.
Role: Governance
Contact name 1: Ashley Pérez
Contact email 1: ashley.perez@bahiapr.com
Contact name 2: Marcela Cañon
Contact email 2: marcela.canon@bahiapr.com

Name of organisation: Sacred Heart University
Role: Academic collaborations; Youth coordination
Contact name 1: Javier De Jesús Martínez
Contact email 1: javier.dejesus@sagrado.edu
Contact name 2: María T. Martínez Diez
Contact email 2: mariat.martinez@sagrado.edu

Name of organisation: San Juan Bay Estuary Program
Contact name 1: Cristina I. Ramirez Colon
Contact email 1: cramirez@estuario.org
Contact name 2: Eliezer Nieves Rodriguez
Contact email 2: enieves@estuario.org

Name of organisation: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus - Dept. of Environmental Sciences
Contact name: Elvia Meléndez-Ackerman
Contact email: elmelend@gmail.com

Name of organisation: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus - Dept. of Geography
Contact name: Eliezer Nieves Rodriguez
Contact email: eliezer.nieves2@upr.edu

Name of organisation: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus – College of Education
Contact name: Lizzette Velázquez Rivera
Contact email: lvelazquez.uprrp@gmail.com

Name of organisation: Learning 2B Global, LLC
Contact name: Sandra Guzmán Figueroa
Contact email: learning2bglobal@gmail.com

Name of organisation: Corporación por la Sustentabilidad de Puerto Rico
Contact name: Angel Torres
Contact email: atorresv09@gmail.com

Name of organisation: Local Guest
Contact name: Monica Perez
Contact email: mperez@localguest.com

Name of organisation: Ana G. Méndez University, Cupey Campus - School of Science, Technology and Environment
Contact name: Maria C. Ortíz Rivera
Contact email: um_mortiz@uagm.edu

Name of organisation: Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico, Northeast Natural Protected Areas
Contact name: Ricardo J. Colón-Rivera
Contact email: ricardojcolon@gmail.com

Name of organisation: Caribbean Association of Evaluation and Investigation
Contact name: Nelybeth Santiago Yance
Contact email: nelybeth.santiago@upr.edu

Name of organisation: American University of Puerto Rico
Contact name: José A. Ramírez
Contact email: jramirez@aupr.edu

Name of Individual: José Jaime Rivera
Contact email: josejaimeriverarodri@gmail.com

Photo: RCE Puerto Rico working group meeting with representatives of several partner organizations (Photo credit: Noelia Báez Rodríguez).

Current Activities:
  • Development of internal governance and communications structure
  • Participation as candidate RCE in RCE Americas regional meeting, Burlington, VT, September 2019
  • Presentation of a SDG webinar (in Spanish)
  • A joint food systems project with RCE Greater Burlington to measure and document sustainability of small and medium farms in Vermont and Puerto Rico
  • Summary of SDG activities in Puerto Rico (hosted by UNA-USA PR)

Photo: Promotional flyer for an event about climate action and health at the 2019 RCE Americas Regional Meeting in Burlington, Vermont, featuring Adriana González of the Sierra Club Puerto Rico Chapter, a member of RCE Puerto Rico (Source: RCE Puerto Rico).

Upcoming Activities:
  • Development of joint proposal with United Nations Association of the United States of America, Puerto Rico Chapter and other interested collaborators
  • Development of inter-institutional academic collaborations
  • Development of youth network and engagement
  • Development of external communications and social media platforms
  • Collaboration with other RCEs
  • Awarded a grant (with RCE Greater Burlington) from the University of Vermont Agricultural Research Service for investigating sustainability of small farm food systems

Media mentions:​

Communication Channels
RCE Website:
Facebook page:
Twitter handle:
YouTube page:
Contact Details
Main RCE Contact:
Christopher Nytch
Secondary RCE Contact:
Edgardo González
RCE Youth Coordinator(s):
Noelia Báez
General RCE email:
RCE mailing address for correspondence: