RCE Youth in Japan Discuss & Network on Education for Sustainable Development

Forty youth members from Japanese RCEs gathered online for the 3rd Japan RCE Youth Meeting held on 18 February, 2021, co-organised by RCE Okayama and UNU-IAS, to discuss youth activities on education for sustainable development (ESD) and to share relevant ideas among members. The meeting was held jointly with the Working Level Meeting of Japanese RCEs, and was divided into two parts: (i) the sharing of RCE youth activities, and (ii) a group discussion.

In the first session, youth members from seven RCEs presented their activities in the fiscal year 2020. While many of them experienced difficulties in carrying out their planned activities due to the pandemic, great amounts of effort seemed to be extended in order to further promote their ESD activities towards contributing to their local communities, or to reach out to other regions to collectively solve ESD-related challenges. Many RCEs have incorporated digitalised solutions into their activities in a flexible, lively and creative manner. For instance, the youth members of RCE Yokohama have regularly distributed videos via YouTube on individual, localised activities. It should also be noted that some RCEs have initiated activities with their global partners who share common interests in the SDGs and ESD.

In the second session, all participants, including both youth and working-level participants, were divided into ten groups. Each group discussed a topic selected from four themes provided: Challenges they have faced; Future direction of RCE youth; Activities with digitalisation under the pandemic; and Other topics. More than half of the groups selected the theme related to their activities under the pandemic. Among the topics discussed were the pros and cons of digitalisation, how to balance in-person and digitalised activities, and the necessity and importance of more frequent communication among RCEs.

The event displayed the efforts of RCEs in their local communities, with UNU-IAS highlighting its support of RCE youths and their efforts towards further collaboration and networking within and beyond the Global RCE Network.