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RCE Bulletin

Issue 102: February 2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre!

Thank you to all the RCEs who submitted applications to host either the Regional RCE Meetings or the Global RCE Conference for 2020. Further details on these events will be announced shortly!

As a reminder, the Global RCE Service Centre is currently accepting applications for 2020 for those organisations wishing to apply to become an RCE. Further details about the guidelines for applications and process can be found in the open call here. The deadline for submissions is 17 April, 2020 (11:59pm JST).

If your RCE wishes to submit any news, upcoming events, open calls, or publications to an upcoming bulletin, please complete this form and email your submission to the Global RCE Service Centre at rceservicecentre@unu.edu (submissions close on the 15th of each month).

The Global RCE Service Centre

Upcoming Events

Join RCE Greater Portland for its 2020 Sustainability Symposium
17 April, 2020, Portland, United States

RCE Greater Portland and co-host Portland Community College are hosting their third annual Sustainability Symposium, on Friday, 17 April, 2020, at the Portland Community College, Cascade Campus in Portland, United States.

The organisers are calling all change agents, leaders, teachers, scholars, students, and community members across the greater Portland region and beyond to explore how we can amplify our work through the power of education, networks, and collective impact.

Highlighting local and global issues, cutting-edge academic and community research, and sustainability projects and solutions, participants will focus on collaboration, diversity, innovative problem-solving, and reflections on the SDGs. Enjoy a day full of community, faculty, and student presentations, interactive workshops, posters, an art exhibit, tabling, an award ceremony for local sustainability leaders, and a networking reception and celebration. Read more

RCE Ogun to Run 2nd Climate Change Convention and Biodiversity Conservation Workshop
26 March, 2020, Ota, Nigeria

RCE Ogun is organising its 2nd Climate Change Convention and Biodiversity Conservation Workshop under the theme 'Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation for Sustainable Development of Ogun State'. It will be held from 9am on 26 March, 2020 at the CUCRID Building, Covenant University, Nigeria. Read more

2020 Youth & Ocean Conference
17-20 April, 2020, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The 2020 Youth & Ocean Conference, organised by the World Youth Foundation, is a four-day event that provides the opportunity for young people from around the globe to discuss, find solutions, share best practices and develop innovative projects on ocean issues pertaining to marine protected areas, climate change, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, ocean acidification and sustainable blue economy among others. Taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 17-20 April, 2020, the conference aims to gather 100 to 120 young people from youth organisations, representatives from NGOs, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), UN agencies, academia, and corporate agencies to share their experiences on how they are taking actions in their communities to protect and conserve the ocean. Late registration for the conference closes on 10 April, 2020. Further details can be found here.

Open Calls

Nominations open for The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2020

The MIDORI Prize, a biennial international prize co-organised by the AEON Environmental Foundation and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), honours three individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Winners of the prize will each be honoured at an award ceremony held in Tokyo, Japan on 18 September 2020, prior to the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, and will each receive a monetary prize of US$100,000. On the same day, The AEON Environmental Foundation will hold an event to mark the 30th Anniversary of its establishment, with all past MIDORI Prize winners invited for a panel discussion.

Nominations for candidates for this prize are currently being accepted through the website of the AEON Environmental Foundation, and remain open until 30 March, 2020. To find out more or to nominate a candidate, visit the website here.

Call for Submissions: Case Studies for the 5-Year Progress Review of SDG 4 in the Asia-Pacific

UNESCO Bangkok and UNICEF (East Asia and Pacific Regional Office and Regional Office for South Asia), as co-chairs of the Regional Thematic Working Group on Education 2030+, will gather case studies from across the Asia-Pacific region on good practices on SDG 4 (Education 2030) implementation. These case studies should illustrate policies, programmes and projects which have contributed towards achievement of one or more of the 10 targets of SDG 4. Target participants are government and private-sector institutions, research organisations, community-based organisations (CBOs) and non-government organisations (NGOs). The deadline for submissions is 30 April, 2020. Further information and submission instructions can be found here.

Call for Contributions: Higher Education Summit 2020

From 31 August - 2 September, 2020, educators from around the world will gather at the Higher Education Summit 2020 in Bern, Switzerland. Co-organised by the COPERNICUS Alliance, saguf, td-net, the University of Bern, and the University of Lausanne, the three-day summit will address the question, "How can we assure quality and transformative learning for sustainable development?". Lecturers and researchers at higher education institutions, experts in professional development in higher education, managers of higher education institutions, experts in quality assurance, students and lifelong learners, and civil society actors are invited to this thought-provoking event. Contributions are now being accepted, with a deadline of 16 March, 2020. Details can be found here. Registration for the event will open on 15 May, 2020.

Call for Abstracts: International Conference on Phytochemistry, Textile and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development

Under the theme, 'Advancing Science, Technology and Innovation for Industrial Growth', the International Conference on Phytochemistry, Textile & Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development will be hosted by Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya, and is to be held from 11-15 August, 2020. This conference aims to provide a platform for academic researchers from all over the world to meet key industry professionals and actively share knowledge, while advancing the role of research in industrial development, particularly in the developing nations. The conference welcomes industrial exhibitions, research papers and presentations in the fields of Phytochemistry, Textiles, Renewable Energy, Industry, Innovations and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). The deadline for abstract submissions is 15 March, 2020. Further information and submission instructions can be found here.

Latest News

Launch of Youth SDG Challenge 2020

The RCE Youth SDG Challenge 'Youth for the Goals' 2020 series launched this month, with 19 youth-led sustainability projects focusing on SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, and SDG 15: Life on Land. Led by the RCE Asia-Pacific Regional Youth Leaders (RCE Greater Western Sydney) via the global RCE network, projects for this year's challenge include poster and design competitions, tree planting, justice forums, waste management solutions and more, all targeting youth at the grassroots level. All projects are underpinned by SDG 4/ESD. The projects nominated this year have been from:

  • RCE Belarus, Belarus
  • RCE Cebu, the Philippines
  • RCE Central Semenanjung, Malaysia (x 2 projects)
  • RCE Greater Atlanta, USA
  • RCE Greater Portland, USA
  • RCE Greater Western Sydney, Australia
  • RCE Lucknow, India
  • RCE Penang, Malaysia (x 3 projects from the Sejahtera Youth USM club)
  • RCE Yogyakarta, Indonesia (x 3 projects)

External organisations:

  • Wote Technical Training Institute, Kenya
  • Innovea Hubs, Nigeria (x 2 projects)
  • Belarusian State Pedagogical University, Belarus
  • UNESCO ESD Youth (Vietnam), Vietnam

Late applications will be accepted for any interested RCEs who have nominated a project. Further details are available here.

The Youth SDG Challenge was launched in 2018 focused on the Asia-Pacific region. The Challenge has now grown to include all regions and over the last two years, engaged directly with 13,500 youth and 5,000 community members through 39 individual youth-led sustainability projects across nine countries.

Japanese RCE Youth Discuss Development of Youth Network and Activities at Kobe Meeting

(Photo credit: RCE Hyogo-Kobe)

On 1-2 February, 2020, UNU-IAS and RCE Hyogo-Kobe held a Japanese RCE Youth Meeting in Kobe, Japan. Twenty-five youth members from seven Japanese RCEs, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan (MOEJ), and UNU-IAS attended the meeting over the two days. The meeting's aim was to discuss how to develop the Japanese RCE youth network and future direction of RCE youth activities. Read more

The UN General Assembly Resolution on ESD for 2030

The full text of the United Nations General Assembly resolution 74/223 'Education for sustainable development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development', adopted on 19 December, 2019 is now available online. The resolution 'reaffirms education for sustainable development as a vital means of implementation for sustainable development, ...and as an integral element of the Sustainable Development Goal on quality education and a key enabler of all the other Goals,' and 'encourages Governments and other stakeholders concerned to scale up education for sustainable development action through the implementation of the framework entitled "Education for Sustainable Development: towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals" (ESD for 2030)'. The full text for the framework discussed in the resolution, can be accessed here.

Water, Health and Community at Forefront of Lucknow Student Trip

A partnership between RCE Greater Western Sydney and RCE Lucknow supported 20 Western Sydney University (WSU) students to visit Lucknow and gain a deeper, first-hand knowledge of the SDGs in a global setting.

The students visited Lucknow as part of a New Colombo Plan Immersion tour to learn about water management and health issues in one of the most populated countries in the world. Twenty students largely from The Academy (the University's program for high-achieving students who are encouraged to be active global citizens) made the trip accompanied by University staff. The program supported and delivered by RCE Lucknow/CEE had a focus on water, health and the community (dominantly SDG 6), with both WSU students and Lucknow University students undertaking the international course together. Read more 

RCE Tongyeong Opens ESD Instructor Certificate Course

RCE Tongyeong has been approved as the Republic of Korea's first certification organisation to offer an ESD instructor course. The course offered focuses on strengthening ESD expertise and effective teaching methods. Linked to this course are opportunities to work as an ESD instructor in programmes attended by 8,000 people per year to the Sejahtera Forest site in Tongyeong. Not only does the course strengthen the expertise of sustainable development education for participants, but the subsequent employment opportunities present a new model for lifelong learning and employment.

RCE Srinagar Participates in 2020 TeLL-Net Forum

(Photo credit: RCE Srinagar)

The 2020 TeLL-Net Forum (Telling Live Lessons from Disasters) was held in Kobe, Japan from 24-26 January, 2020. TeLL-Net was created in 2006 to preserve and pass on lived experiences and lessons from disasters to other areas and generations to contribute to the creation of disaster-resilient societies. Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar from RCE Srinagar, one of 33 participants in the poster session, described the event as a unique experience that provided another dimension to disaster risk reduction, where participants learned about how disaster museums, oral story-telling, photographs, audio-visual materials, remaining items, music, arts, paintings and monuments play an important role in passing on disaster experiences and helping societies to learn from disasters, to become disaster-resilient. Abstracts of the poster sessions can be viewed here.

Formal Education Committee in RCE Tongyeong Visits RCE Penang as Part of Training Programme

The Formal Education Committee of RCE Tongyeong visited RCE Penang as part of its 'Teacher Cooperation Training' programme mid last month, from 15-19 January, 2020. The ten members, consisting of elementary school principals and teachers visited a school in Penang, where they learnt about the 'GO GREEN' project in conjunction with RCE Penang, as well as school gardening cases using water-saving systems.

In addition, they visited Universiti Sains Malaysia, the Secretariat of RCE Penang, which included a visit to its Eco Campus, a collaborative workshop, and an expedition where participants could witness the Merbok Mangrove reforestation, in which they planted mangrove trees and learned about the ecological and regional importance of mangroves.


Educational Content up Close: Examining the Learning Dimensions of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education

This publication from UNESCO summarises the findings of a study commissioned by UNESCO to examine if and how the three dimensions of learning and teaching of ESD and GCED are reflected in pre-primary, primary and secondary educational content in Costa Rica, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Rwanda and Sweden. The outcome of this work shows a major pattern of commitment to the three learning dimensions in the selected countries and across the four education levels, with noteworthy nuances between ESD and GCED. Download the report here.

RCE Hangzhou Publishes SDGs Curriculum Book 'Educating Global Citizens'

In January 2020, RCE Hangzhou co-published an ESD curriculum collection book, 'Educating Global Citizens', with the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Green Zhejiang. The book is based on a side event at the 12th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting - the 'Earth Successor' SDG Curriculum & Field Trip Roadshow organised by RCE Hangzhou. It contains 26 primary, secondary, and high school curriculums and field trip itineraries, designed for each of the SDGs.

As a curriculum book to guide ESD, the book focuses on the 17 SDGs and uses a variety of detailed cases to describe how to design and implement ESD courses. In the SDG 2 curriculum, students can understand Zero Hunger by learning the historical origins of major foods and how plants were gradually domesticated through the study of oracles; in the SDG 6 curriculum, students can understand Clean Water and Sanitation through the exploration of the importance of local freshwater sources; in the SDG 14 curriculum, students can understand Life below Water through rich natural exploration methods, such as comparing and analysing the characteristics of marine resources protection between China and the United States. Through the various experiential learning activities outlined in the book, students can learn from the application of the 17 SDGs to real-life scenarios and closely integrate theory and hands-on experience. Download the publication (available in Chinese) here.

AASHE Webinar Recording - 'ESD for 2030: The Future Depends on Us!'

The new framework 'ESD for 2030' calls for educators to help advance new skills, empower youth, increase public awareness, and build community partnerships to achieve the SDGs.

Kim Smith, Portland Community College Sociology Instructor and co-founder of RCE Greater Portland offered a webinar last month on the framework and upcoming launch of the decade, for the Association of the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) on 22 January. The recording is now available, and includes highlights of sustainability projects around the world, UNESCO's ESD vision, and how we can all help create a sustainable future. Take a look at the recording here.

RCE London Blog Post - Making Finance Sustainable: Practical Solutions for Ecological Problems

The global financial system has a key role to play in efforts to tackle the climate emergency and build a more sustainable world. There have been some promising initiatives with regard to this, but there is still so much that needs to be done. What is required, is a cultural change away from short-term financial gain, what the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney has called the 'tragedy of the horizon'. What is needed is a more holistic and systems-based approach to the relationship between finance and the world we live in. We need an end to investment that damages both people and planet. Read more