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RCE Bulletin

Issue 119: July 2021

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! It was delightful to see many of you this month attending the webinars that were held to present the key areas of the new Roadmap for the RCE Community 2021-2030, as well as the session on how to upload RCE projects and share information via the Global RCE Network's communication channels. Thank you for your active participation in this webinar and your ongoing commitments to the Strategic Priority Areas of the Roadmap. If you missed the session or want to take another look at what was presented, details of the presentations have been emailed to all RCE members.

As we enter the second half of this year, we look forward to many more opportunities to engage with you all, online at least, for now. Next month we will be holding an RCE Youth Webinar to commemorate International Youth Day 2021, where we will hear from inspiring young people about their actions towards transforming our world towards achieving the SDGs (details below). 

Looking towards the 12th Global RCE Conference, we are also excited to announce that the call for case presentations and workshop sessions is now open, please see below for further details. Regionally, for those of you in the Asia-Pacific or Africa regions, registrations and the call for submissions for those Regional Meetings are now open as well, with other regions to follow in coming months.

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

12th Global RCE Conference - Call for Submissions

Scottish 19th century polymath and educational visionary Sir Patrick Geddes (1854 -1932) is widely credited with developing the concept of 'sustainability', spanning environment, society and community. He spoke about the merit in engaging 'heart, hand and head', to achieve truly transformational learning. This holistic approach, encapsulating the ethos that underpins Education for Sustainable Development, has been used to shape the 12th Global RCE Conference programme. 

The Conference will be co-hosted by RCE Scotland and the Global RCE Service Centre this November under the overall theme of 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: action through learning in a time of global crises'. The conference will provide an opportunity for participants to collectively share, explore and build on the knowledge, skills and values within the network to build the capacities and actions needed to achieve the SDGs. The event will build on the momentum from the two Global Webinars in February and June 2021, and will bring in content and reflections from COP15 on biodiversity and COP26 on climate change.  

This year's Global Conference will consist of keynote presentations, panel discussions, case presentations, interactive workshops, regional RCE sessions and an online 'marketplace' exhibition as well as opportunities to network and meet informally.

RCEs have the opportunity to submit for any or all of the following: 

  1. Case Presentations
  2. Workshop Sessions
  3. Online Marketplace Exhibition Space

Submissions should be based on a sub-theme from one of the three days:

  • DAY 1 (16 November): 'Hearts' - What kind of world do we want? How do we inspire and engage hearts and minds?  
  • DAY 2 (17 November): 'Heads' - Visioning, thinking and reflecting: planning for action on ESD and the SDGs 
  • DAY 3 (18 November): 'Hands' - Make it happen: taking action on ESD and the SDGs  

Details on how to submit are listed on the open call here. The deadline for case presentations and workshops sessions is 15 September, 2021 (JST). Stay tuned next month for details on registrations for the Conference.

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)

13th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (Part 2) - Registrations Open, and Call for Abstracts

Registrations are now open for the second part of the 13th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting, to be held online on 5 October, 2021 under the theme 'SDGs and ESD for 2030 Framework: Local actions during COVID-19 Pandemic'. To register, complete the Registration form and email it to rcekgz@gmail.com and nazira1988.mm@gmail.com by 1 October, 2021.  

A call for abstracts has also been announced, with full details on the event page here. The deadline for applying for a case study presentation is 25 August, 2021, and the deadline for registrations to the event is 1 October, 2021. Read more

(Photo credit: Elena Kreuzberg)

11th African Regional Meeting - Registrations Open, and Call for Video Submissions

Registrations are now open for the 11th African RCE Regional Meeting, to be held online on 2 September, 2021 under the theme 'It's time for Africa: Sustainability Futures'. To register, complete the Registration form by 31 August, 2021.   

African RCEs are also invited to submit a 1 minute, You-Tube style video which will be played during the meeting. These can be submitted via Google Drive link, YouTube link, WeTransfer, or email to cpreven@gmail.com. If RCEs would prefer to send the video by WhatsApp, please email to wmponwana@gmail.com for further detailed instructions. The due date of the submission of the video is 15 August, 2021. For further details on the event and call for submissions, see the event page here.

Upcoming Events

Registrations Open: RCE Youth Webinar
11 August, 2021, 14:00-16:00 (JST)

Organised by the Global RCE Service Centre, the RCE Youth Webinar 'Youth Voices on Climate Change, Action for Sustainability' will be held virtually (online) on 11 August, 2021 to commemorate International Youth Day 2021. The webinar will provide a platform for youth to dialogue on the actions needed to address the climate crisis and how efforts can be accelerated to address the climate emergency. RCE youth members will also share examples of actions for implementing ESD for 2030 towards achieving the SDGs. Both youth and all those interested in empowering and engaging with youth are encouraged to attend. To register, please complete the online form here.

Learning for a Sustainable Future & Live at the COP MOOCs, Starting 4th October 2021

How to live a sustainable life affects - and connects - us all. Educators and everyone with an interest in sustainability, register your interest now for the free massive open online course (MOOC) by the University of Edinburgh, RCE Scotland and the British Council, starting in October 2021 and live during the UN COP26 Climate Conference. Details here

5th UNESCO Forum on Transformative Education for Sustainable Development, Global Citizenship, Health and Well-being
29 November - 1 December, 2021, online

Co-organised by UNESCO and APCEIU, and hosted by the Ministry of Education, Republic of Korea, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, this virtual event will cover progress made in the implementation of SDG Target 4.7, along with methods and approaches to measure progress. Read more

Open Calls

Calling All Universities and Colleges: Join the Race to Zero

The Race to Zero is a global campaign to mobilise leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors and universities for a healthy, resilient and fair, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. 

UNEP, Second Nature and EAUC are working together to represent the higher education sector in this race and already have more than 700 signatories on board with the aim of reaching 1,000 by COP26 in November 2021. 

The objective of the Race to Zero campaign is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. This will send governments a resounding signal that the sectors are united in meeting the Paris goals and creating a more inclusive and resilient economy. 

Showcase your institution's leadership on a global level at COP26 in November 2021 as part of the Race to Zero.

In order to join the Race to Zero, institutions should commit to:

  1. Pledge: having a 2050 or sooner net zero target;
  2. Plan: explain what steps will be taken toward achieving net zero;
  3. Proceed: taking action towards net zero; 
  4. Publish: commit to report progress annually.

Join the Race to Zero by completing the sign-up form.

Read more and check out further resources to support universities in becoming net zero here.

Share Your Ideas: Education for a Greener, More Sustainable Europe

Are learners in Europe being equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to act on the climate emergency and biodiversity loss? Are teachers being prepared and supported to teach about these difficult issues in a way that empowers their students? Are curricula supporting the development of attitudes and values needed to promote environmental sustainability? How can we ensure that young people acquire the right skills for the green jobs of the future? 
Share your opinion in the new public consultation on education for environmental sustainability. The consultation is running in all 23 EU official languages and will be open for contributions until 24 September 2021. Read more

Share Your Photos of Education for Sustainable Development in Practice

UNESCO is looking for photos of ESD in action to promote both ESD and 'ESD for 2030', including the great work being done by many schools and organisations around the world. Any photos that either you or your organisation own and would be happy to share with UNESCO (please ensure you have secured the appropriate permission of those in the photos), can be sent to esd@unesco.org
Any published photos will retain your copyright, ensuring your or your organisation's name is embedded each time the photo is used.

Applications Closing Soon: 2021 ProSPER.Net Leadership Programme

The 2021 ProSPER.Net Leadership Programme will be held from 14th - 24th September, 2021, in a virtual format, hosted by UNU-IAS and Social Innovation Japan. The theme of this year's Leadership Programme is 'Climate Change: Global issues, local actions and transdisciplinary solutions'.
The ProSPER.Net Leadership Programme is an opportunity to bring young professionals and emerging leaders in academia, the public sector, the business community, and civil society together to explore how education and training can be used across sectors to foster more sustainable societies in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year's programme, to be held online, will offer participants the opportunity to build skills to view the climate crisis from a holistic lens of sustainable development and to explore interdisciplinary solutions within the context of their local communities. It aims to seize the momentum of the 'build back better' initiatives that have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young professionals and emerging leaders from the public, private, and non-governmental organisation sector who are actively engaged in climate action at various levels are encouraged to apply - this programme is designed for the express purpose of incorporating sustainable development planning into leadership training, and can be applied within any number of spheres, from city government and finance, to education and non-profit work.
Selected participants will attend a 5-day online training programme consisting of lectures and workshops on a variety of topics related to responding to climate change covering policies, practice and theories, while tackling other issues within sustainable development within community contexts. Participants will be given an opportunity to interact with both facilitators and each other throughout these sessions, giving them space to reflect on their current practice, the issues discussed and how they pertain to their own organisations and work programmes.
For more details and how to apply, visit the open call here. The deadline has been extended and now closes on Saturday 31 July, 2021 (11:59pm JST).

(Photo credit: Asian Development Bank / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Have Your Say: Survey on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) in the Classroom

This survey developed by UNESCO in collaboration with APCEIU aims to collect good practices/activities of GCED in classrooms, with the practices/activities collected to be analysed and incorporated into an 'Advocacy and Awareness Handbook for Teachers'. By sharing these good GCED practices in the classrooms, it is hoped further awareness can be raised especially among teachers, as well as be a useful tool to guide teachers on how to integrate GCED into classrooms. Take the survey here by 16 August, 2021.

Latest News

HLPF Special Event Highlights Role of Further Education in a Sustainable Recovery from COVID-19

On 7 July 2021, a Special Event of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development highlighted the critical role of further education in achieving sustainable development and ensuring a sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Organised by UNU-IAS and other members of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), the online event brought together key actors from the higher education sector to discuss how education could be redefined to deliver on these critical agendas.
Through presentations and discussion participants underlined the systemic change needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda, and the importance of SDG 4 (quality education) as a key enabler. It was recognised that universities must play a significant role, as institutions that not only develop the next generation of leaders, but also drive research and policy agendas. Read more

Global, National and Community Actions for ESD for 2030 Discussed at UNU-IAS & MOEJ Event

On 1 July, 2021, UNU-IAS and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ) co-organised a Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC) outreach event on the theme 'Synergising ESD for 2030 Stakeholders Dialogue - Learn for our Planet, Act for Sustainability' as part of a series of UNU-IAS events organised around the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2021. The event was attended by more than 100 participants.
At the event, experts reported the key points addressed at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD (held in May 2021), and discussed ways to accelerate actions on ESD for 2030, through global all the way to the community with various stakeholders including youth, academia, policymakers and citizens. The role of academia and the importance of RCEs were highlighted in contributing to evidence-based policymaking and bridging the local community and academia together. Read more

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

The RCE SDG Youth Challenge is a global youth-led initiative run annually that connects youth leaders working in their own communities to a larger global platform. The 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, supporting ESD.
This year, we have seven global youth-led sustainability projects participating in this year's Challenge, representing RCEs and educational entities in Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the USA. There is a range of differing projects focused on action towards SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 15 (Life on Land), as well as supporting SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). These include species conservation and research, to waste and resource management.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, projects have continued to shift their activities to online delivery, with some projects making a direct effort to support their local COVID-19 recovery. Projects this year have also focused on marginalised target groups, including gender, low socio-economic communities and people living with disabilities. So far, approximately 1,500 people (mostly youth) have engaged in the youth-led projects collectively over the last three months (reporting period February - May). The Challenge is schedule to conclude in early October. Read more, including a list of the RCEs participating and their projects here.

RCE Ogun Wins 2021 International Green Gown Award

RCE Ogun, Covenant University emerged as the 2021 winner of the International Green Gown Award for Small Institutions. The International Green Gown Virtual Awards took place on the 7 July, 2021 as part of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) event at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum. 

The Awards are aligned with the SDGs and recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by the world's universities and colleges. In 2021, there were 51 finalists from 23 countries around the world under the following categories: Benefiting Society, Creating Impact, Next Generation Learning and Skills, Student Engagement, and Sustainability Institution of the Year. 

RCE Ogun won the award under the 'Next Generation Learning and Skills' category for their project 'Indigenous Capacity for Climate Action (IC4CA): Developing green skills for tackling climate change'. The project used an innovative method for creating climate change learning spaces during the extra curriculum period, in the pursuit of developing green skills for students to tackle climate change. Watch their winning video, or read more in the Winners Brochure.

Please join us in congratulating RCE Ogun!

Residency Programme Developed by RCE Stettiner Haff Addresses Ecosystem Restoration

The pilot project 'ResidenZukunft' was developed by RCE Stettiner Haff to coincide with the launch of the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration. The goal of the fellowship programme is to address the urgently needed transformation to a climate-friendly and sustainable economy. The pilot project finds local solutions for this task under the following concept: The actor, whether company, community or initiative gets a 'ResidenZ' to continue necessary steps towards transformation. The potential 'ResidenZler' applies to address an issue related to that place. Whether it is a community's conversion to renewable energy, more sustainable agriculture, solving water challenges, or more education for sustainable development depends on the local actor.
Having just completed the first programme, the three ResidenZlers, Fredericke Engelbrecht-Bock, Pablo Melotta and Malte von Viehbein, spent six months in a small village in Rothenklempenow, in north-east Germany. They each received a scholarship, access to education modules, and mentors. Questions posed included: 'What opportunities do old grain varieties offer for the future?'; 'How can rural areas be used as places of education?'; and 'How can consistently ecological construction methods be realised cost-effectively?'. The ResidenZlers dealt with these questions and researched possible solutions during their scholarship in Rothenklempenow. Read more
RCE Call for Participation:
The next steps for the programme are to develop it further, in co-operation possibly with other RCEs globally. If your RCE is interested in getting involved, please contact project manager Tobias Till Keye at tobias.keye@projekt-n.org.

(Photo credit: RCE Stettiner Haff)

Community Workshop Sheds Light on Microplastics in Hawkesbury-Nepean River for World Environment Day

Western Sydney University (host to RCE Greater Western Sydney) researchers, staff and students, in collaboration with Streamwatch and Greater Sydney Landcare, have joined community volunteers as part of a hands-on workshop to assess the number of microplastics present in the Hawkesbury-Nepean River. 
The first 'Hawkesbury-Nepean Riverkeeper Community Day' saw the group come together on World Environment Day, 5 June, 2021 at Windsor Beach - a popular recreational area in the Hawkesbury region in New South Wales, Australia that was recently impacted by significant flooding. 
Dr. Michelle Ryan from the Western Sydney University's School of Science led the workshop and explained as much as current research into microplastics is focused on the oceans, there is a need to explore the impacts of this emerging pollutant on freshwater systems, including the Hawkesbury-Nepean. "We were delighted to see a number of community members from a variety of backgrounds attend the workshop. Some volunteer regularly and others were just interested community members who care about improving the health of the waterway," said Dr. Ryan. 

The data collected will be formally analysed by Dr. Ryan and her team at lab facilities at the University's Hawkesbury campus. The findings will inform the first 'report card' on the waterway to be released later this year. Read more

(Photo credit: Josh Newman)


Watch: UNESCO's Trash Hack Campaign

UNESCO's Trash Hack campaign encourages young people to take action to promote sustainability, reflect on their actions, and share their learnings. Take a look at some of the thousands of young people who shared their Trash Hacks with UNESCO ASPnet and the Foundation for Environmental Education in this video here.

New Guide from FAO on E-learning Methodologies and Good Practices

This guide from the FAO elearning Academy has been developed to provide guidance on designing and developing e-learning-based solutions for trainers and instructional designers who are new to e-learning design.

Included are examples and good practices based on the work undertaken by the FAO elearning Academy over a 15-year period.

Access the guide here.

Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Sustainability/Survivability of Micro/Small Sized Businesses in Nigeria

This article authored by Sir Anthony Wakwe Lawrence (RCE Greater Yenagoa) appearing in the International Journal of Business and Management, looked at the impact of COVID-19 on the sustainability and survivability of micro and small-scale businesses in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Micro and small-scale businesses abound and they account for most economic activities in Nigeria. They are also the largest employers of labour in the nation. Their growth and stability therefore imply better national economic wellbeing and are in support of a number of SDGs including SDG 1, SDG 2 and SDG 8. The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic provided an opportunity to understand how some factors including the pandemic affected the sustainability and survivability of these businesses. Also gathered were perceptions from micro and small-scale business owners and managers on how Government can support them to better manage such crises. Interventions to improve their sustainability and survivability will have profound effects on reduction in unemployment and improved economy for more people. Read the article here.