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RCE Bulletin

Issue 116: April 2021

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre!

This month, we are delighted to announce the launch of a new publication, 'Tackling Climate Action at the Local Level: Education for Sustainable Development Projects from the Global RCE Network', which highlights outstanding climate education projects from across the Global RCE Network to implement the SDGs through education at the local and regional levels during the GAP from 2015-2019.

In addition, we have released a video which takes a look at trends that emerged from these climate education projects, and features a number of RCEs speaking further about the positive impacts of their projects. Thank you to all the RCEs involved in both the publication and video! Further details on both are shared below.

Thank you to everyone who provided valuable feedback on the RCE roadmap - your thoughts have been crucial in shaping and driving forward on the path towards 2030 for the RCE community. The roadmap will be launched at the upcoming 2nd RCE Global Webinar, to be held on 8 June, 2021. Details are below, including how to express interest to showcase examples of your RCE's activities.

If you 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

RCE Projects Tackle Climate Action in New Publication from UNU-IAS

The Global RCE Service Centre is delighted to announce the launch of a new publication by UNU-IAS, featuring a number of outstanding climate education projects from across the Global RCE Network.

'Tackling Climate Action at the Local Level: Education for Sustainable Development Projects from the Global RCE Network' highlights the contributions that RCEs have made - with a focus on climate action - to implement the United Nations' SDGs through education at local and regional levels, during the period of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD from 2015-2019.

During the GAP, RCEs worked on projects covering a broad range of sustainable development challenges, whereby the majority of projects included a focus on SDG 13 (Climate Action). Despite this focus, the actionable solutions presented by RCEs often also addressed other sustainable development challenges in tandem. Some key areas addressed within the publication include conservation, adaptation, disaster risk reduction, agriculture and food security, emissions and mitigation, youth empowerment, and low-carbon solutions.

The projects featured in this publication showcase examples of how global goals can be translated into local actions through education and training to respond to the climate crisis. The innovative solutions developed by RCEs demonstrate the importance of localised approaches when it comes to creating education programmes, with RCEs well-positioned to understand all aspects given their multi-stakeholder model. Read more

The publication can be viewed on the RCE Portal (as an interactive flipbook or PDF).

New Video: RCEs on Addressing Climate Action

During the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, from 2015-2019, close to 140 climate education projects were conducted by RCEs across 32 countries.

Not only did these projects have a focus on SDG 13 (Climate Action), but all were tied to SDG 4 (Quality Education) and covered a range of other sustainable development challenges.

This video provides an overview of research that analysed the SDGs, themes, institutions, audiences and environments across the projects completed. In addition, we hear from a number of RCEs on the challenges they worked to mitigate, their approaches, and the impact their activities had in their communities following the implementation of their climate education projects. Watch the video

Registrations Open: 2nd RCE Global Webinar
8 June, 2021, 8:00-10:00am GMT

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

Registrations are still open for the 2nd RCE Global Webinar, 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: action through learning in a time of global crises', hosted by RCE Scotland and the Global RCE Service Centre.

Delegates have the opportunity to submit examples of activity from their RCE that links action on climate change with one of the Five Themes in the UNESCO ESD 2030 Roadmap. All of these examples will be shared on the dedicated webinar webpage, with five of these to be presented during the webinar. The deadline for expressions of interest for presentations during the webinar is 6 May, 2021, and for the webpage, 31 May, 2021, and can be done via the registration form.

Please see the event page for further information, including the agenda, link to register, key documents and updates.

We look forward to seeing you all on-screen in June at this event!

Last Chance: 2021 RCE Applications

Is your organisation interested in facilitating learning towards sustainable development in your local or regional community? RCE applications for 2021 are currently being accepted (deadline is 15 May, 2021, 11:59pm JST).

Before applying, please take time to review the Guidelines for RCE Applications and key dates in the application process, announced in the open call here.

Instructions on how to submit an application are also available in the open call.

Upcoming Events

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development
17-19 May, 2021, online

UNESCO will gather stakeholders from all over the world from 17 to 19 May 2021 in Berlin, Germany to launch its new Framework 'Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs' (ESD for 2030).

UNU-IAS will be participating in a number of sessions at this event:

  • Panel discussion - "Putting ESD into Action" (Part B), including the role of RCEs and ProSPER.NET, 19 May, 2021, 10:45-12:00 CET
  • Presentation and roundtable discussion - "Putting ESD into Action A" (Part II) with a focus on Priority Action Area 5: Accelerating local level actions, 19 May, 2021, 09:00-10:30 CET
  • Virtual booth - "Climate Actions at the Local Level: RCE Experiences"

Find out more and catch up on the pre-conference workshops that have taken place here.

Open Calls

Professional Learning Programs for Educators in EFS/ESD

RCE Greater Burlington partners Shelburne Farms and University of Vermont are excited to be offering EFS/ESD summer professional learning opportunities for K-12 educators and non-formal and community-based educators.  Scholarships are available for program fees and graduate credits are offered at a discounted rate. Online Summer Programs in 2021 will be held on 'Education for Sustainability Immersion', 'Foundations in Education for Sustainability', and 'Local Action, Global Impact: the Sustainable Development Goals in My Neighborhood'. Read more

Register Your ESD Events for a Global Celebration of ESD in May

In celebration of the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, held virtually from 17 to 19 May 2021, UNESCO is inviting partners around the world to organise and register their own ESD events in the month of May. Select events will be promoted on the UNESCO World Conference website. The deadline for submissions is 30 April, 2021. Read more

Latest News

RCE SDG Youth Challenge: Youth for the Goals - Resilient Planet and Communities

(Photo credit: RCE Greater Western Sydney)

Following an unprecedented year, the RCE SDG Youth Challenge has now commenced its fourth year running. The global initiative aims to engage and empower local youth leaders with the opportunity to have a voice and implement their own place-based projects on issues that matter to them and the RCEs.

Led by RCE Greater Western Sydney (hosted by Western Sydney University), this year's theme is 'Youth for the Goals - Resilient Planet and Communities'. It will focus on action towards SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 15 (Life on Land), underpinned by SDGs 4 and 17. This theme is an extension of the 2020 SDG Youth Challenge, giving those impacted by the pandemic a second chance at their project and for new projects to join the collective efforts.

Participants in this year's Challenge include representatives from the global RCE network:

  • RCE Central Semenanjung, Malaysia: Sustainable Lifestyle for a Sustainable Campus: Synergizing Youth-Leadership through Campus Living Labs Initiatives
  • RCE Greater Western Sydney, Australia: Mycellium - Making plastics from mushrooms
  • RCE Salisbury, USA: Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Conflict and Peace: with an emphasis on Gender Training
  • RCE Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Evidence-based and Inclusive Conservation of Critically Endangered Siamese Crocodile in Indonesia
  • RCE Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Sedekah Sayursleman.id - Vegetable donation for COVID-affected communities
  • RCE Yogyakarta, Indonesia: TANDURIN - Fertilizer Making Training for Women Farmers
  • RCE Yogyakarta, Indonesia: The Crayons Project

A number of external educational institutions and organisations are also participating. These include:

  • Conservator Ecoclean Enterprises, Kenya: Mangroves in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation for Environmental Sustainability
  • Teach For Green, India: Green School, Green Community
  • University of Malaya (Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine), Malaysia: The Green Vision of 5R

Each project is shaped by its youth leader and/or youth team to address the needs of their communities in line with the Challenge theme. To date, the Challenge has addressed 8 of the 17 SDGs through 49 youth-led sustainability projects led by 138 youth leaders. These projects have engaged more than 20,000 youth directly using a peer-to-peer model, and almost five times this amount virtually through various social media and digital platforms. Read the 2020 report here.

RCE Greater Western Sydney is always happy to accept late project submissions for those who still wish to join! Find out more about the Challenge guidelines and how to participate here.

RCEs in Asia-Pacific Celebrate World Water Day 2021

A thematic collaboration among RCEs in the Asia-Pacific region focusing on 'Rivers, Water and Livelihoods' (formed during the 13th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting in 2020) culminated in a virtual forum to celebrate World Water Day 2021 on 22 March, 2021.

Organised by RCE Kuching under the theme of 'Valuing Water' (with a focus on SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation and SDG 4 - Quality Education), the forum focused on the importance of water as an essential resource for humans and the importance of water sources in natural ecosystems. A total of 267 participants attended the virtual forum, the majority of which were youth. Distinguished speakers shared their experiences in research, community programmes and environmental projects, whilst during the Forum discussion, three panelists from RCEs shared initiatives they have been conducting regarding water use efficiency and water quality in their regions. Read the full report from RCE Kuching.

RCE Saskatchewan Shares Strategies with RCE Greater Atlanta

RCE Saskatchewan shared stories and inspiration with RCE Greater Atlanta, and the school of City Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology on 23 March, 2021. The presentation by Dr. Roger Petry, 'Strategic Interventions for Social, Ecological, and Economic Justice in Saskatchewan: The Role of Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development' covered several RCE Saskatchewan activities since 2009. Also presenting were two local community sustainability activists as well as Jennifer Hirsch, Coordinator/Co-Founder of RCE Greater Atlanta, and Director of Serve-Learn-Sustain, Georgia Institute of Technology.

"It's an amazing collaboration, and what's nice is... it seems like there are academics and practitioners; there is a community there." Professor Protip Biswas, Georgia Institute of Technology noted.

Take a look at the video of the presentation here.

World's Largest Lesson Launches Climate Changemakers Campaign

World's Largest Lesson is inviting young people to write a 100-word message explaining the value of climate education and why it matters to them as part of the Climate Changemakers campaign! Throughout 2021, the campaign aims to collect messages from children everywhere, which will be used as part of the wider effort to see increased commitments to climate education at COP26. Read more


Proceedings of the National Seminar on Food Security and Ecosystem Management in COVID-19

Organised by the IUBAT Institute of SDG Studies (IISS) and RCE Greater Dhaka, a national seminar on 'Food Security and Ecosystem Management in COVID-19' was held virtually on 19 November, 2020. In attendance were 131 academicians, professionals, researchers and high officials from the Bangladesh Government, representatives from FAO and the RCE, as well as foreign delegates. Four papers were presented, and 16 dignitaries participated in the discussion, which highlighted the importance of healthy and functional ecosystems in ensuring food and nutrient security. Concern was expressed about the highly deleterious ecosystems with recommendations made to improve the situation at the earliest. Comments, suggestions and policy recommendations are detailed in the proceedings here.

Teacher's Guide Book: Climate in Our Hands - Ocean and Cryosphere

The UNESCO Centre, 'Office for Climate Education' (OCE) has just launched 'Climate in Our Hands', a free educational kit for primary and secondary schools addressing the theme 'Ocean and Cryosphere'. Read more

One Planet Network Launch Sustainable Lifestyles Education Hub

The Sustainable Lifestyles Education Hub collects tools and resources, providing information for educators, learners, policy professionals and researchers on sustainable lifestyles. Read more