Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE)

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An RCE is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal education organisations, mobilised to deliver education for sustainable development (ESD) to local and regional communities. A network of RCEs worldwide will constitute the Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development. RCEs aspire to achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD, 2005-2014), by translating its global objectives into the context of the local communities in which they operate.

There are currently 127 acknowledged RCEs worldwide. To find out more about specific RCEs, click on the map below. To find out more about becoming an RCE, download the Becoming an RCE Factsheet or visit the RCE Call for Applications page

Core elements of an RCE

An RCE should have four elements:

1. Governance - addressing issues of RCE management and leadership

2. Collaboration - addressing the engagement of actors from all levels of formal, non-formal and informal education

3. Research and development - addressing the role of research and its inclusion in RCE activities, as well as contributing to the design of strategies for collaborative activities, including those with other RCEs

4. Transformative education - contributing to the transformation of the current education and training systems to satisfy ambitions of the region regarding sustainable living and livelihood.

RCE stakeholders
An RCE involves school teachers, professors at higher education institutions, environmental NGOs, scientists, researchers, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, local government officials, representatives of local enterprises, volunteers, media, civic associations or individuals who work in the spheres of sustainable development such as economic growth, social development, and environmental protection, students and learners at all levels.

Functions of an RCE
RCEs bring together institutions at the regional/local level to jointly promote ESD. They build innovative platforms to share information and experiences and to promote dialogue among regional/local stakeholders through partnerships for sustainable development. They create a local/regional knowledge base to support ESD actors, and promote four major goals of ESD in a resource-effective manner. These four goals are to:

  • re-orient education towards SD, covering existing programmes/subjects from the point of ESD and designing an integrated SD curricula. ESD programmes are tailored to address issues and local context of the community in which they operate;
  • increase access to quality education that is most needed in the regional context;
  • deliver trainers’ training programmes and to develop methodologies and learning materials for them;
  • lead advocacy and awareness raising efforts to raise public awareness about the importance of educators and the essential role of ESD in achieving a sustainable future. RCEs promote the long-term goals of ESD, such as environmental stewardship, social justice, and improvement of the quality of life.

For more information, please contact

The Global RCE Service Centre
Education for Sustainable Development Programme