RCE Puerto Rico

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

RCE Puerto Rico is known locally as REDeS (Red de Educación para el Desarrollo Sostenible). It 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 in Puerto Rico that are resilient to socioeconomic and environmental changes.

Our mission is to construct a collaborative and inclusive network that promotes on-going education and strengthens the well-being of human communities and life-sustaining ecosystems.

RCE Puerto Rico and the work of many of our collaborating partner organisations 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. Recognising 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.

The primary goals of RCE Puerto Rico include:
  1. Improving access to transformative education that focuses on sustainability principles.
  2. Augmenting public awareness and education about sustainability and resiliency concepts as related to social, economic, and environmental well-being.
  3. Promoting sustainable management and conservation of natural and cultural resources and ecosystem services that benefit society.
  4. Strengthen food, energy and drinking water security via sustainable economic development.


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, Education

Name of organisation: Center for Landscape Conservation
Role: RCE coordination, Governance

Name of organisation: Ana G. Méndez University, Cupey Campus - School of Science, Technology and Environment
Role: Communications, Education

Name of organisation: Citizens Committee for Public Participation in El Yunque
Role: Governance

Name of organisation: Fundación Alma de Bahía, Inc.
Role: Governance

Name of organisation: Interamerican University of Puerto Rico - Metropolitan Campus
Role: Communications, Education

Name of organisation: Learning 2B Global, LLC
Role: Education

Name of organisation: Local Guest
Role: Communications

Name of organisation: Puerto Rico Dept. of Education, Science Program
Role: Education

Name of organisation: Sacred Heart University
Role: Communications, Education, Youth coordination

Name of organisation: San Juan Bay Estuary Program
Role: Education

Name of organisation: USDA Forest Service - International Institute of Tropical Forestry & El Yunque National Forest
Role: Communications, Governance

Name of organisation: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus - Dept. of Geography
Role: Education

Name of organisation: United Nations Association of the United States of America, Puerto Rico Chapter
Role: Governance

Name of organisation: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus – College of Education
Role: Education

Name of organisation: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus - Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research Program
Role: Communications, Education, Youth coordination

Name of organisation: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus - Tropical Plant Ecology and Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Dept. of Environmental Sciences
Role: Education

Name of organisation: American University of Puerto Rico

Name of organisation: Caribbean Association of Evaluation and Investigation

Name of organisation: Corporation for the Environmental Sustainability of Puerto Rico

Name of organisation: Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico, Northeast Natural Protected Areas

Name of organisation: Puerto Rican Association of Sustainability

Name of organisation: Sierra Club of Puerto Rico

Several individuals also participate in REDeS in a personal capacity.

Activities
Current Activities:
  • Workshop module for the International Sustainability Certification in Puerto Rico, in collaboration with CTI Consulting Group.
  • Compilation and dissemination of educational resources related with the SDGs developed by RCE Puerto Rico network partners
  • RCE internship with an exchange student from the University of Vermont
  • Professional development experiences for youth from local schools with RCE Puerto Rico partner organisations
  • Public exhibition highlighting content related to the SDGs, the RCE network, and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program, to be included in the renovation of El Portal Visitors’ Center, El Yunque National Forest, in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service and the United Nations Association of the United States of America, Puerto Rico Chapter
  • Participation in multiple conference and webinar activities focused on sustainability topics
  • Updating of internal governance and membership structure
  • Development of network website and communications materials (logo, brandbook, social media accounts, activities calendar)
  • Participation in the RCE Americas Steering Committee and Planet Task Force


Photo: Compilation of photos from farms in Puerto Rico and Vermont that participated in the cross-cultural research project focused on measuring and cultivating resilience on small farms (Photo credit: RCE Puerto Rico).

Upcoming Activities:
  • Publishing of an RCE Puerto Rico newsletter
  • Increasing participation of youth representatives in network activities
  • Development of inter-institutional academic collaborations and internships
  • Development of relations with representatives from industry and the private sector, and local governments
  • Collaboration with other RCEs

Photo: RCE Puerto Rico working group meeting with representatives from several partner organisations (Photo credit: Noelia Báez Rodríguez).
Achievements:
  • Awarded a grant from the University of Vermont Agricultural Research Service – implemented a cross-cultural, participatory research approach for measuring and cultivating resilience on small and medium farms in Puerto Rico and Vermont, a collaborative effort with the Greater Burlington Sustainability Education Network https://scholarworks.uvm.edu/arsfoodsystems/1/
  • Participation in the Virtual Congress: Participatory Territorial Governance Platforms in the Face of the Global Crisis
  • Development of Réplicas para la Vida & ¡PreSeրTes! -Pre-Service Teachers in sustainable development education -- in collaboration with the College of Education, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus; United Nations Association of the United States of America, Puerto Rico Chapter; and la Cooperativa Educativa para la Reinvención y la Acción
  • News article in El Nuevo Día highlighting the establishment of RCE Puerto Rico
  • Opinion piece in El Nuevo Día emphasising the importance of education for sustainable development
  • Summary of SDG activities in Puerto Rico (hosted by UNA-USA PR)
Communication Channels
Publications:
YouTube page:
Other(s):
https://www.instagram.com/rcepr_redes/
Contact Details
Main RCE Contact:
Christopher Nytch
chris.nytch@ites.upr.edu
Secondary RCE Contact:
RCE Youth Coordinator(s):
Noelia Báez
General RCE email:
RCE mailing address for correspondence: