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RCE Bulletin

Issue 105: May 2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! We hope you are all remaining well and staying in good health, as we all continue to adapt to new modes and ways of working. We have been so pleased to witness the amazing spirit of the RCE community during this time.

This month, we are delighted to launch a new publication, 'RCE Contributions to a More Sustainable World: Celebrating Five Years of Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development (2015-2019)', that celebrates the collective achievements of RCEs throughout the GAP period, through a collection of case studies from 12 RCE Award-winning projects. Thank you to all the RCEs involved in this publication! Further details are below.

We also have a number of announcements regarding RCE events that have previously been announced for 2020. Due to the ongoing concerns with holding in-person events in the near future, decisions have been made to either postpone or switch to online modalities for some of these events. The signature event for 2020 - the 12th Global RCE Conference, will be postponed to mid-2021, to ensure that it can be held at a time when it is safe for everyone to attend. Please see below for further details, as well as an update on the RCE Regional Meetings planned for 2020. Thank you to all RCE hosts for being so flexible and adaptable in this current situation!

Finally, if your RCE would like to share any news, upcoming events, open calls, or publications for 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 

New Publication Celebrates Award-Winning RCE Project Contributions to ESD

The Global RCE Service Centre is delighted to announce the launch of a new publication by UNU-IAS, 'RCE Contributions to a More Sustainable World: Celebrating Five Years of Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development (2015-2019)'.

The publication highlights and celebrates some of the outstanding contributions that RCEs have made to implement the UN's SDGs through education at local and regional levels, during the first five years of the SDGs as well as the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD from 2015-2019.

Featuring 12 education projects which have all been recipients of the RCE Awards over the last five years, the collection of case studies demonstrate how RCEs have addressed local sustainable development challenges with innovative solutions, and provide diverse examples of how the SDGs can be implemented at the local level through quality education, training and public awareness.

Projects range from focusing on sustainable agricultural practices, curriculum development, how cities can respond to climate change, green infrastructure, public transportation, food security, teacher training, the development of pedagogic frameworks, and much more - all underpinned by education. As a result, the impacts of the projects featured have served to educate communities around areas such as water conservation, nutrition, climate action, protecting marine environments, sea level rise and flooding, and sustainable consumption and production. Read more

The publication can be viewed on the RCE Portal here.

Postponed: 12th Global RCE Conference

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

The Global RCE Service Centre would like to announce that the 12th Global RCE Conference, to be hosted by RCE Scotland and originally planned for November 2020, will be postponed until mid-2021. New dates will be announced in due course.

In the lead-up to the event, RCE Scotland will also be hosting a pre-conference webinar for the 12th Global RCE Conference in early 2021, allowing us all to connect and dialogue virtually in the interim, until we can all gather in Scotland for the in-person event later that year.

Please stay tuned to RCE channels for further updates, including 'Save the Date' announcements for both the interim and in-person events. We look forward to being able to meet in 2021!

Updates: Regional RCE Meetings

In response to COVID-19, the modalities for Regional RCE Meetings this year are increasingly shifting online. Therefore, the status or modality of previously announced meetings have since changed.

As of the publication date of this bulletin, the current status is as follows:

Registrations Open: 9th Americas Regional Meeting

(Photo credit: Salisbury University)

The 9th Americas RCE Regional Meeting will be held in Salisbury, USA, from 12-14 October, 2020 and hosted by RCE Salisbury under the theme 'The Future is Now - Sustainable Development'.

Registrations are now open, and will close on 1 September, 2020 (11:59 pm EST).

For more information, including the tentative programme and how to register, visit the 9th Americas RCE Regional Meeting page here.

Upcoming Events

Registrations Open: Virtual Higher Education Summit 2020

From 31 August - 2 September 2020 educators from around the world will gather online for the Virtual Higher Education Summit 2020 (#HES2020). Co-organised by the COPERNICUS Alliance, saguf, td-net, the University of Bern, and the University of Lausanne, this forward-looking event will be held under the theme 'How Can We Assure Quality and Transformative Learning for Sustainable Development?'. The event is an opportunity to connect with like-minded and like-hearted colleagues and share experiences and insights on how we can assure quality and transformative learning for sustainable development. Interact with thought-provoking speakers, join communities of practice in co-creative labs, explore next practices in solution rooms, and get to know real transformative local initiatives through online excursions. Read more

Second Edition of Webinar on 'ESD Action in COVID-19 Era: Experiences of RCEs of the Asia-Pacific Region'

Following on from the success of the first webinar 'ESD Action in COVID-19 Era: Experiences of RCEs of the Asia-Pacific Region' held earlier this month, and co-organised by RCE Srinagar and RCE Greater Western Sydney with support from UNU-IAS, both RCEs will be hosting another webinar this June to feature RCEs who were unable to present in the first webinar due to overwhelming demand. In the event that this second webinar is also fully subscribed, a third webinar will be organised (details below).

2nd webinar
Date/Time: 9 June, 2020, 14:00-16:00 (JST)
Access: Join via Zoom here (Meeting ID: 939 5203 3707)

3rd webinar (TBC - dependent on demand)
Date/Time: 11 June, 2020, 14:00-16:00 (JST)
Access: Join via Zoom here (Meeting ID: 912 4551 6866)

All RCEs globally are invited to attend this webinar (please note capacity will be limited to 350 participants). Registration is not required.

RCEs of the Asia-Pacific Region are requested to send their presentation (3-5 slides, maximum 5 minutes) by 3 June, 2020 to RCE Srinagar at rcesrinagar@gmail.com. Presentations should address how RCEs are responding to ESD with creative solutions or projects during this COVID-19 period. Read more

Open Calls

Call For Entries: 2020 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award

(Photo source: SEAMEO)

The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT) in cooperation with the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education are pleased to announce the 2020 SEAMEO-Japan Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Award, with the theme 'Addressing Plastic Problems for Transforming Communities'. The objectives of the award are:

  • To raise awareness of ESD in schools and communities across Southeast Asia; 
  • To promote ESD best practices in schools and communities across Southeast Asia;
  • To share and exchange knowledge and best practices on ESD in schools across Southeast Asia and Japan;
  • To encourage networking among schools and communities which implement ESD practices in Southeast Asian countries and Japan; and
  • To support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

All public and private kindergarten/elementary/secondary/vocational and technical schools within 11 Southeast Asian countries are eligible to apply (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam).

The school awarded 1st prize will receive USD 1,500 and a study tour to Japan, with prizes of USD 1,000 and USD 500 for 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively. In addition, there will be a special prize of USD 1,000 from the SEAMEO Secretariat for the best programme carried out in small schools of less than 250 students. The deadline for submissions is 14 August, 2020. Further information and details on how to apply can be found here.

Call for Applications: ESD Okayama Award 2020

(Photo source: Okayama City)

RCE Okayama and the ESD Okayama Award Steering Committee are pleased to announce that the 'ESD Okayama Award 2020' is now open for entries.

The Award rewards outstanding ESD practices in local communities around the world to showcase ESD and to support organisations carrying out ESD activities.

  • Eligibility: Organisations based in any country, including Japan, implementing ESD activities in local communities are eligible to apply for the Award
  • Prize: USD 3,000
  • Number of award-winning projects: Up to two (2) projects
  • Award Ceremony: Award winners will be invited to the Award Ceremony in Okayama, Japan and be requested to give a presentation on the project
  • Deadline for applications: 31 July, 2020, 5pm (Japan Standard Time)

For more details (application guidelines, application form and information about former award-winning projects of the ESD Okayama Award), please visit the official website.

Applications Open: UNU Intensive Core Courses

UNU-IAS is currently accepting applications for its four-week UNU Intensive Core (UNU-IC) Courses to be held at UNU Centre in Tokyo, Japan, from 1-29 September, 2020. The courses are designed to provide analyses of global issues from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, and draw on the research projects undertaken at UNU-IAS and at various other UNU institutes located worldwide. Although advanced in nature, they are open to postgraduate students and professionals in various occupations who are not necessarily specialists in the field. Details on the courses offered, requirements, and application procedure can be found here. The deadline for applications is 10 July, 2020.

Call for Papers: The Future of Food: Responsible Production, Acquisition, Consumption, and Disposition

A collaboration between Emerald Publishing, RCE Kuching and UCSI University, this special issue of the British Food Journal, 'The Future of Food: Responsible Production, Acquisition, Consumption, and Disposition', calls for papers to investigate how food supply can be sustained through responsible production, acquisition, consumption and disposition, how food waste can be effectively addressed/reduced, as well as food-related issues linked to the SDGs. The deadline for submissions is 31 March, 2021. Read more

Latest News

Webinar on 'ESD Action in COVID-19 Era: Experiences of RCEs of the Asia-Pacific Region'

(Photo credit: RCE Greater Western Sydney)

On 14 May, 2020, RCE Greater Western Sydney and RCE Srinagar, with support from UNU-IAS, held a webinar titled 'ESD Action in COVID-19 Era: Experiences of RCEs of the Asia Pacific Region'. The webinar was attended by over 100 people from across the Asia-Pacific, as well as other regions.

Seventeen RCEs from Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Philippines and the Republic of Korea made presentations, highlighting the impacts of the pandemic on education centres, the switch to online delivery modes, and consideration factors to take into account such as technology skills and access. However in the midst of these changes, it has opened up greater opportunities for collaboration, and the sharing of skills and knowledge, providing the time to reflect and develop new modalities. The range of communication tools and new ways of working were discussed, as were innovative solutions, such as virtual fieldwork. The pandemic has provided opportunities to implement new learning methods, to rethink the skills and learning outcomes of educational programmes, and further highlighted the importance of valuing the skills within communities.

Presentation slides from the webinar can be viewed here. A recording of the session will be made available soon. A second edition of this webinar will be held on 9 June, 2020. Further details are available here.

RCE Tongyeong ESD Course Included Within Formal School Curriculum, Moves Online During COVID-19

(Photo credit: RCE Tongyeong)

Since 2015, RCE Tongyeong has worked on the development of a middle-school ESD course. In collaboration with the Provincial Office of Education, it has now been included within the formal school curriculum from this year, with 800 students in all 12 middle schools in Tongyeong due to take the ESD course. RCE Tongyeong had trained seven ESD instructors for this project, but unfortunately all schools stopped operating in-person since mid-April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and have switched to online in the meantime. To adapt to this virtual schooling situation, RCE Tongyeong has provided 15 online ESD classes through one subject to schools, to support both schools and teachers. Furthermore, a remote training program will be launched for teachers and the general public. Read more

UNESCO World Conference on ESD Announces Rescheduled Dates

Originally planned for June 2020, the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has announced the rescheduled Conference will be held from 17-19 May, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. The Conference is organised by UNESCO in cooperation with and generously supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, and with the German Commission for UNESCO as advisory partner. Regular updates and online events in the lead-up to the Conference will be shared on the Conference website.