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RCE Bulletin

Issue 111: November 2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! As we approach the end of this year, it has been very encouraging to see what you have all achieved in the face of such challenging times. We look forward to seeing the continued enthusiasm, dedication and actions from the network which are ever-so-important as we move towards 'ESD for 2030' and look ahead to 2021. 

Speaking of achievements, we saw an overwhelming number of submissions for this year's RCE Awards - thank you for submitting your ESD projects and please stay tuned as the winners will be announced later next month. 

All RCE Regional Meetings have now been held for this year, and we can't thank enough the hosts for organising these events, including the adaptation of initial plans to online modalities, and for all attendees for their active participation. All reports and presentations are, or will be, available on the regional meeting pages as they become available - please check each for the latest. Now as we look towards 2021, note that we have just announced an open call for hosts for 2021 RCE Regional Meetings for Africa and Europe (hosting duties for the next Asia-Pacific and Americas Regional Meetings will carry over from 2020 to 2021 at the request of the hosting RCEs). Further details are below. 

Finally, a reminder that 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 

Save the Date: Pre-conference Webinar - 12th Global RCE Conference

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

In the lead-up to the 12th Global RCE Conference in 2021, the hosts RCE Scotland will be hosting a pre-conference webinar on 4 February, 2021. Further details will be announced soon, however for now please save the date for what will be a great opportunity to connect and dialogue as a network before the Conference later in 2021. 

10th African Regional Meeting Highlights Community-Based Resilience During COVID-19

The 10th African RCE Regional Meeting was held virtually on 1 September and 15 September, 2020 under the theme 'Community-Based Resilience during Pandemic Disruption: The Role of African RCEs'. Hosted by RCE Minna, the two-part event saw 63 participants from 17 RCEs across 8 countries across the region attend.

Split into two streams, the presentations highlighted the effect COVID-19 has had on the world thus far, environmental and climate change perspectives of COVID-19 lessons for ESD, preparing for the next pandemic, and the value of traditional knowledge in pandemic management. Read more

RCE Salisbury Hosts 9th Americas Regional Meeting

On 14 October and 15 October, 2020, RCE Salisbury hosted the 9th Americas Regional Meeting to explore the theme 'The Future is Now - Sustainable Development' with the support of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). A total of 448 participants registered for the Zoom event, coming from 25 RCE locations, mostly from the Americas but also in Asia, Africa, and Europe and with twenty-one countries represented. There were 19 talks in total and a large amount of information exchanged by the presenters and the students.

RCEs in attendance showcased their ESD projects and initiatives worked on over the past year, whilst the Global RCE Service Centre provided updates since the last regional meeting. The comprehensive programme included discussions on the intersections between education for sustainable development (ESD) and other disciplines of academic study, as well as how working with partners from other sectors, such as business and NGOs, enhances learning. Read more 

13th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting Emphasises Collaboration to Build Capacity for Sustainability

(Photo credit: RCE Kyrgyzstan)

The 13th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting was hosted by RCE Kyrgyzstan, Arabaev Kyrgyz State University (AKSU), and the Faculty of Geography, Ecology and Tourism, with support from the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). The Regional Meeting was split into four sessions, which were held fortnightly during September and October 2020 at the Faculty of Geography, Ecology and Tourism at the CACTLE Center and online.  

The goal of the 1st session was to discuss the role of ESD during the COVID-19 pandemic and implement sustainable development principles in the Asia-Pacific region. The 2nd session was devoted to short presentations from 15 RCEs within the Asia-Pacific region, where participants shared their activities, difficulties and achievements during the pandemic, before sharing their Action Plans in the 3rd session. The 4th and final session aimed to discuss possible RCE collaborative projects. The focus was on the following questions: (1) How RCEs members through their thematic collaborative activities could enrich the Agenda 2030?; and (2) How the RCE network should function to support and advance ESD activities within RCEs and beyond the network? Read more

European RCEs Share Local Collaborative Approaches to Climate Action

The Europe Regional Meeting 2020 was held online from 24-25 November, 2020, hosted by RCE East Midlands under the theme 'Climate Emergency: Joined-up Action'. The event provided a platform for RCEs and other participants to share experiences of local collaborative approaches to sustainability across the European region to address the climate emergency and looked at the contributions that RCEs can make in enabling action through learning.

Held across two days, the first day was open to all, and included sessions focused on the theme of the conference, beginning with a panel discussion on local collaborative climate action, followed by parallel workshop sessions covering areas such as: working with diverse partners, in particular between academia and business; a Carbon Literacy Training model designed to motivate and empower climate action in communities; place-based climate change issues drawing upon approaches from Wales, France, Germany, and Belarus; and how arts-based engagement can mobilise climate action.

The second day provided an opportunity for collaboration and discussion amongst RCEs across Europe. Discussions were a chance to share practices, as well as the challenges which the pandemic has brought about, such as remote learning, lack of resources or funding, and access inequalities, however it also provided a chance to reflect on opportunities such as new ways to connect, how to live more sustainably, and to rethink our approaches. Read more

Open Call: 2021 RCE Regional Meeting Hosts (Africa and Europe)

The Global RCE Service Centre gladly announces an open call to host RCE Regional Meeting events in 2021. Applications are being accepted to host the following events:  

  • 11th African Regional Meeting
  • Europe Regional Meeting 2021  

Please note, hosting duties for the next Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting and the Americas Regional Meeting will carry over from 2020 to 2021 at the request of the hosting RCEs.  

RCEs interested in hosting a regional meeting are encouraged to apply. RCEs may host as individual RCEs or work with other RCEs as joint hosts. Because RCEs are multi-stakeholder networks, participation from different actors (organisations and individuals) within the RCE is critical in hosting duties.  

Full details on how to apply can be found here. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 31 January, 2021 (11:59pm JST). 

Upcoming Events

Europe and China: Global Trendsetters in Sustainable Development?

This seminar series is aimed at experts, academia and those in the general public interested in sustainable development. The series is structured into four online sessions that focus on the (1) internationally agreed global goals and their implementation in the COVID-19 era, (2) the European Union and China as global trendsetters in sustainable development, as well as transforming (3) China's and (4) Germany's economies and societies towards sustainability. The topics cover economic, social and environmental aspects. Each seminar can be attended as a single event. Participants who follow four sessions and pass an online test will be able to earn a certificate of achievement. Read more 

Webinar to Mark 'International Mountain Day' (IMD) 2020

Co-hosted by RCE Kuching and RCE Srinagar, supported by RCE East Kalimantan, RCE East Java (candidate) and RCE Kyrgyzstan, a webinar to mark 'International Mountain Day' 2020 will be held on 11 December, 2020. Besides creating awareness on mountains, the webinar will strengthen the capacity of the RCE community on 'Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Management'. The webinar will address issues of climate, hunger, gender and poverty as well as SDG 15 (Life on Land), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 1 (No Poverty), and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger). Participants will also learn the importance of mountains, threats they are faced with and how to secure mountains to secure the future of humanity. There is no prior registration required to join the webinar. Read more  

Open Calls

Call for Nominations: 2020 UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICT in Education

Individuals, institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or other entities are invited to apply for the 2020 UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the use of ICT in education. This year's theme is "the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance the continuity and quality of learning". The Prize will award US $25,000 each to two innovative projects leveraging new technologies to expand educational opportunities. Special attention will be given to projects that provide access to education in remote areas or aim to improve the availability and affordability of connectivity for education and learning. The deadline for submissions is 18 December, 2020 (midnight, Paris time), and the Prize will be awarded in April 2021. All projects should be nominated by a National Commission for UNESCO or an NGO in official partnership with UNESCO. Note that self-nominations will not be accepted. Further details, including selection criteria and eligibility are available here

Latest News

RCE Central Semenanjung Hosts Sustainability Webinar Series

As the world adapts to the new normal, which affects all three pillars of sustainable development, RCE Central Semenanjung through one of its core centres - Universiti Malaya Sustainability & Living Labs Secretariat (UMSLLS) have created a platform, the 'UMSLLS Sustainability Webinar Series' for discussions on related issues.

This webinar series aims to promote sustainability education and awareness while providing free access for the audience (internal and external) to engage with UM Living Lab researchers directly in sharing their sustainability success stories based on eight Core Areas of the UM Eco-Campus Blueprint (UMECB) and SDGs. RCE Central Semenanjung welcomes all RCE members to view the recordings of the webinar series here

RCE Kano Digital Youth Forum for Sustainability and Youth Leadership Conference: Recordings and Presentation Slides Now Available

Organised by RCE Kano, the Sustainability and Youth Leadership Conference was held from 1-2 November, 2020 with more than 170 registrants for the two-day event. The second Digital Youth Forum focused on leadership, and was designed to complement the first Conference held in October 2020, empowering youth to take leadership roles in promoting and driving the SDGs. Watch the videos for Day One and Day Two, or view the presentation here.  


ESD for 2030 Roadmap Published by UNESCO

Following on from the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP) from 2015-2019, the 'Education for Sustainable Development: Towards Achieving the SDGs (ESD for 2030)' framework was adopted, which will step up actions on five priority action areas.

The 'Education for Sustainable Development' roadmap, recently launched by UNESCO, provides guidance for Member States and other stakeholders for the implementation of the new global framework, focusing on ESD's role in the achievement of the SDGs as we move towards 2030. Download the roadmap here