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RCE Bulletin

Issue 114: February 2021

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre!

It was delightful to see many of you at the recent Global RCE Webinar, the first of two exploring 'action through learning', on the road towards the 12th Global RCE Conference at the end of this year. Thank you to all who participated, and thank you to RCE Scotland for organising a wonderful event! For those who were unable to attend or wish to re-watch any sessions, all recordings are available here. The details of the next webinar to be held on 8 June, 2021 will be announced in the coming months - in the meantime, access the RCE Network Sharing Tool to continue conversations, stay connected, and for further sharing and collaboration!

A reminder that our open call for RCE applications is now open. Interested organisations looking to apply are requested to review the information on the open call announcement here. The deadline is 15 May, 2021.

As always, 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 

First RCE Global Webinar Focuses on Action through Learning

The first of two webinars in the lead-up to the 12th Global RCE Conference was held on 4 February, 2021, under the theme 'RCE Global Network 2021: Achieving the SDGs: Action through Learning'. Hosted by RCE Scotland and the Global RCE Service Centre, the online event brought together over 120 attendees, with representation from all regions of the network. Chaired by Dr. Rehema White, Chair of RCE Scotland, the overarching focus of the webinar was on action through learning in a time of global crises, to enable the sharing of knowledge, skills, and values to build capacities to bring about the changes needed to transition to a better world. Read more

RCE Network Sharing Tool

A pilot of an 'RCE Network Sharing Tool' is currently underway, providing a space for the Global RCE Network to further collaborate and maintain connections in between events. The tool invites RCEs to post under the following categories: Collaborative opportunities; Ideas, useful documents and good practices; Ask the network a question; Thoughts for the next RCE Global Webinar & Global RCE Conference; and Inspirational reflections, quotes, and musings. Thank you to RCE Scotland for this initiative! The tool can be accessed here.

Save the Date: 2nd RCE Global Webinar

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

Following on from the first of two RCE Global Webinars in the lead-up to the 12th Global RCE Conference in November 2021, the second webinar will be held on 8 June, 2021. Further details will be announced in due course.

Upcoming Events

Open Calls

Call for Abstracts: Special Issue of Frontiers in Sustainability

We are pleased to announce an upcoming special issue of the journal Frontiers in Sustainability, and a call for abstracts exclusively for RCEs. Papers will be part of a themed article collection hosted within Frontiers in Sustainability on the research topic 'The Role of the Human Dimension in Promoting Education for Sustainable Development at the Regional Level'.

This collection will collate global research addressing key questions and themes such as:

  • Education as a driving force for sustainability transition on a regional level;
  • Interactions between organisations, including collaboration, competition, and conflicts;
  • Learning processes related to achieving practical goals for sustainability / SDGs;
  • Actors and their roles in (social) learning processes on a regional level;
  • Actor networks, coalitions, and other relationships that support learning for sustainability;
  • Social capital as a catalyser and target of sustainable development on a regional level and the role of education in building it;
  • Educational concepts used for understanding regional issues - relevant for different educational levels, with special emphasis on lifelong learning; and
  • RCEs as a model for regionally-based cooperation of diverse actors where education provides tools to support sustainable development.

Key dates:

  • Abstract Submission: 21 June, 2021
  • Manuscript Submission: 24 January, 2022

Further details can be found on the open call on the RCE Portal here.

2021 Call for Nominations: UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Nominations are now open for the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), funded by the Government of Japan. Consisting of three annual awards of US $50,000 awarded to each recipient, the Prize and award winners recognise the role of education in connecting the social, economic, cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The deadline for nominations is 30 April, 2021. Further details including the selection criteria and nomination process can be found here.

Call for Papers: 3rd World Symposium on Sustainability Science and Research

The call for papers for the 3rd World Symposium on Sustainability Science and Research, to be held online on 8 April, 2021 is now open. Sustainability researchers from across the world are warmly invited to attend and present their work at the Symposium: their active inputs will help to reiterate the potential of Sustainability Science and Research, showing how it may contribute to the realisation of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As an output and long-term documentation of the event, selected papers will be published in the 'Handbook of Sustainability Science in the Future', which will follow on from the success of the 'Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education' which is a 'living edition' and the 'Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals'. Read more

New Research Initiative from RCE Hamburg: SDGs Academic Research and Publications Initiative (SDG-ARPI)

Colleagues interested in scientific publishing on matters related to sustainable development may consider joining a new research initiative from RCE Hamburg, 'The SDGs Academic Research and Publications Initiative' (SDG-ARPI), which aims to promote and disseminate the results of scholarly research on matters related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Read more

Applications Open for 2021 UNU-IAS Master's and Doctoral Degree Programmes

(Photo credit: Kenichi Tanaka)

UNU-IAS is now accepting applications for September 2021 admission to its postgraduate degree programmes: the Master of Science in Sustainability and the PhD in Sustainability Science. Both programmes aim to produce the policymakers and researchers of tomorrow, who will be at the forefront of global efforts towards a more sustainable future. The application deadlines are 12 March, 2021 for the master's programme, and 9 April, 2021 for the doctoral programme. Read more

RCE Dobong-gu Invites Youth to Join Project Neuru

RCE Dobong-gu invites youth to join 'Project Neuru', a project to develop glocal leadership: 'think globally and act locally'. The name 'Neuru' is a Korean word meaning 'for a long time, not all at once', which could be translated to aiming for a sustainable life for youth for a long time. 'Project Neuru' will contain various voices of youth in the RCE community to promote sustainable development by using photovoice, a qualitative research method that reveals their voices and experiences through photography as a medium, promoting community change. Due to COVID-19, all processes will be Zoom-based. Youth participating in the project will be given the benefits of participating in photovoice research classes and a final reporting session, producing research reports (portfolios), with certificates to be issued under the name of the mayor of RCE Dobong-gu in Seoul.

  • Application period: 19 February - 19 March, 2021
  • Eligibility: Youth aged 10 to 19 years
  • Application method: Email an application form to bhs0110@dobong.go.kr (Details will be notified by email after applications are checked)

For more information, view the concept note here.

Survey: Impact of COVID-19 on Experiential Learning in Higher Education

The Japan Society for Environmental Education (JSFEE) is conducting a study to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on experiential learning, related to environmental and outdoor studies in higher education across countries. The purpose is to understand and share the impacts among colleagues at higher education institutions and other stakeholders in the field. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete, and will be open until 31 March, 2021. The survey can be accessed here.

Latest News

RCE Ogun Holds 2nd Climate Change Convention

RCE Ogun held its 2nd Climate Change Convention on 11 February, 2021, under the theme, 'Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation for Sustainable Development in Ogun State'. The objective of the conference was to create awareness and proffer sustainable solutions to biodiversity disruptions that trigger climate change. The event also featured a keynote address, panel discussions, awarding of prizes (Climate Change Secondary School Ambassadors Project and EMA Smart Kids Speech Contest Season 1), and virtual goodwill messages.


SDG Youth Challenge 2020/2021 - 'Youth for the Goals'

The 3rd annual RCE SDG Youth Challenge 2020 'Youth for the Goals: Resilient Communities and Planet' was hosted by RCE Greater Western Sydney (Western Sydney University). It focused on localised action to address SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 15 (Life on Land). Commencing in February 2020, the Challenge's youth-led sustainability projects were quite broad and included virtual workshops and training, restoration activities, design competitions, e-learning activities, and policy contributions, engaging almost 6,500 youth.

The summary report 'Youth for the Goals: Resilient Communities and Planet' highlights their achievements. Congratulations to all involved!

The RCE SDG Youth Challenge 'Youth for the Goals' is an ongoing, international youth-led project-based initiative that connects youth leaders working in their own communities connected to a larger global platform. The Challenge supports and empowers young leaders to have a voice while gaining valuable experience in learning to be the drivers of change in their communities and how to effectively mobilise their peers.

Videos: Regional Online Launches of ESD for 2030 Roadmap

Throughout November and December 2020, UNESCO organised a series of regional online launch events of the ESD for 2030 Roadmap for the implementation of the new global framework 'Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs' (ESD for 2030). Videos are now available for each of the events by region: Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and North America.

RCE Dobong-gu's ESD Textbook, '17 Promises from Our Village to the Planet Earth'

(Photo source: RCE Dobong-gu)

RCE Dobong-gu has published two ESD textbooks (for 3rd-4th and 5th-6th grade elementary school students), titled '17 Promises from Our Village to the Planet Earth.'

RCE Dobong-gu aims to lead the way in promoting sustainable development by setting 'SDGs' as the core operating principle of district policies. As a first-year project, a private-government-school cooperation project was promoted to produce an ESD textbook for elementary school students, linking Dobong-gu cases with the 17 SDGs, and putting the emphasis on strengthening the glocal capability of 'think globally and act locally'. In order for teachers, students, and residents to easily understand ESD and put it into practice in their daily lives, the textbook contents have been organised mainly around activities, which has received positive responses from teachers and students involved in the monitoring.

RCE Dobong-gu Publishes 2020 Annual Report

One of the network's newer RCEs (acknowledged in 2019), RCE Dobong-gu has published an annual report for 2020, in which they share their process of being acknowledged as an RCE, as well as their ESD activities to date.

Take a look at their annual report here.