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RCE Bulletin

Issue 130: June 2022

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre! It is nearly time for the year's first RCE Regional Meeting to commence - the 14th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting. There is still time to register for online participation, but take note registrations close at the end of this month! See below for further details.

This month we held a session at the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2022, which featured three RCEs (RCE Zaria, RCE South Rift, and RCE Cebu) who offered insights on their biodiversity conservation education projects and how these have spurred action in their communities. See below for a report of the session.

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

Closing Soon: Registrations for 14th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting

Under the theme 'Empowering Local Wisdom for Education for Sustainable Development', the 14th Asia-Pacific RCE Regional Meeting will be hosted by RCE Greater Gombak, to be held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in hybrid mode, from 19-21 July, 2022. Registrations are still open for online participation, closing 30 June, 2022 (please note registrations for in-person participation have closed). See the event page for further details.

(Photo credit: Abe Nubhan)

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Education for Post-carbon Green Economies
28 June, 2022, 12:30-13:30 (CET), online

How do we respond to intensifying forest fires and melting glaciers? How do we transition toward a post-carbon green economy and a 1.5-degree lifestyle?

Tune into UNESCO-UNFCCC's webinar series leading up to COP27. The third webinar, 'Education for Post-Carbon Green Economies' will take place on Tuesday 28 June, from 12:30-13:30 (CET). Register here.

Online YEA! Global Summit
5 July, 2022, online

Registrations are currently open for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Youth and Education Alliance - YEA! Global Summit, to be held on 5 July, 2022. This virtual Global Summit will bring together YEA! partners and the wider higher education community to provide an opportunity for universities and colleges around the world to learn more about YEA!, to get involved in a variety of initiatives to support climate action on campus, and to hear from higher education practitioners, youth and government representatives.

Find out more about the Summit here, and register for free here (deadline: 28 June, 2022).

Open Calls

Closing Soon: ESD Okayama Award 2022

Conducted by RCE Okayama (Japan) and the ESD Okayama Award Steering Committee, the ESD Okayama Award 2022 is currently open for entries.
The Award rewards outstanding ESD practices in local communities around the world to support organisations carrying out ESD activities and to promote ESD to local communities globally through showcasing their initiatives.

Eligibility: Organisations based in any country implementing ESD activities in local communities are eligible.
Number of Award-Winning Projects: Up to two projects
Prize: US $3,000 per project
Deadline for Application: 15 July 2022, 17:00 (Japanese Standard Time)
Award Ceremony: The scheduled date is 19 November, 2022. One representative of the winning project(s) will be invited to the Ceremony in Okayama, Japan to give a presentation. It has not been decided whether this will be held in-person or online.

View the Application Guide and Application Form, and for more details, please visit the official website.

Past information about the ESD Okayama Award can be viewed here.

Call for Papers: Special Issue 'Policies for Fostering Food Security'

Submissions are open to a special issue of 'Policies for Fostering Food Security' in Heliyon Business and Economics, which aims to explore how policies such as social protection interventions, among others, can mitigate shocks in an economy as well as contribute to the attainment of food security as a vital aspect of the SDGs. Led by Prof Evans Osabuohien (RCE Ogun), submissions are being accepted until 1 October, 2022. Further details on the sub-themes are how to submit are available here.

Collaborate with COMMEET to Improve Your Sustainability Performance

The COMMEET Fellowship is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to support sustainable regional development. Its mission is to promote the UN SDGs by stimulating Community Empowerment. COMMEET believes that communities all over the world are perfectly capable of determining what their future should look like. Communities are, in the first place, geographical entities, but can also be groups of stakeholders, regional or worldwide, who strive to achieve one or more SDGs. To help communities achieve their goals, COMMEET is supporting them by providing toolkits (manuals) that are dedicated to solving specific livelihood problems. Read more

COMMEET Toolkits for Communities - Webinar Series
Finally, with the invaluable support of London South Bank University, COMMEET is presenting a series of webinars with respect to upcoming relevant issues. Two of them (on Education for sustainable livelihoods, and on Empowering vulnerable women and children) took place in May 2022 (recordings are available on YouTube).
The RCE community is warmly invited to attend the remaining two webinars; the dates and times (all BST) are:

  • 26 July, 2022, 4pm - 5pm: Climate action
  • 20 September, 2022, 4pm - 5pm: Addressing racism

Registration for these webinars can be completed here.

Latest News

RCEs Discuss Innovative Solutions Towards Enacting Biodiversity Education within Communities

On 21 June, 2022, UNU-IAS held an online session at the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2022, titled 'Enacting Biodiversity Education and Transformative Learning within Communities: Lessons and Actions from the Global RCE Network'. The session delved into innovative solutions developed by RCEs that have served to educate, engage, and spur action in communities to protect biodiversity. RCEs from Cebu, Zaria, and South Rift presented insights on their biodiversity conservation projects and reflections from the field, the challenges they faced, how they kept stakeholders engaged, as well as ways their projects could be modified or improved upon. Read more

Side Event Presents Research Findings on Learning Continuity for Climate Displaced Persons

On 5 June 2022, UNU-IAS co-organised a side event at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministers' Conference (APREMC II) in Bangkok, Thailand, presenting the findings of joint research with UNESCO on climate change displacement and the right to education. The session highlighted trends in climate displacement and the educational needs of climate-displaced persons, and discussed policy measures to ensure learning continuity. Read more

Session at DNC 2022 Explores Different Sector Approaches to Biodiversity Conservation

On 25 May, 2022, UNU-IAS participated in a session at the Dresden Nexus Conference 2022 (DNC 2022), organised by UNU-FLORES, TU Dresden, and the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER). The session, 'Fostering Collective Action: Mainstreaming Biodiversity Across Sectors', featured presentations on different sectors' approaches to biodiversity conservation and restoration in their respective fields.

Philip Vaughter (UNU-IAS) underlined ESD's role in conceptualising biodiversity conservation and human development initiatives - complimenting rather than competing with one another - whereby education is used as a mechanism to translate global objectives for sustainable development into the context of the local communities in which they operate. Experiences from RCE projects featured in a recent RCE Biodiversity publication were presented, highlighting lessons learned, such as the importance of engaging with a wide cross-section of the community (including groups who are often overlooked) in outreach and capacity building activities, recognising local knowledge, and synthesising best practices at the household level and upscaling them. Read more

Biodiversity Day Symposium Promotes Building a Shared Future for All Life

On 20 May, 2022, UNU-IAS co-organised a symposium to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity under the theme 'Building a Shared Future for All Life'. It focused on linking local initiatives with the international policy agenda to accelerate global conservation efforts. A panel discussion featured Brittany Vermeulen (RCE Greater Western Sydney) who discussed a project in Australia that trained volunteer citizen scientists and students to collect samples from a river to study urban platypus presence (an umbrella species for waterway health). The project was featured in the most recent RCE Biodiversity publication.

Panellists at the event shared their experiences and views on engaging local communities in ecosystem and biodiversity conservation and restoration. They highlighted the importance of multi-stakeholder dialogue, using visualisation to communicate scientific data, and the interconnections between biodiversity, women's empowerment, and youth engagement. Read more

Hawkesbury-Nepean Waterkeeper Alliance Launched River Report Card

Hawkesbury Waterkeeper Alliance - a partnership under RCE Greater Western Sydney between Western Sydney University, Greater Sydney Local Landcare Services, Streamwatch, Cattai Hills Environment Network, Hawkesbury Environment Network, Hawkesbury Nepean Landcare Network and Greater Sydney Landcare - has released its inaugural 'River Report Card'.
Launched at the second regional Waterkeeper Forum in May, the report utilised scientific, social, and cultural data collected by citizen scientists from June 2021 to March 2022 to provide a snapshot of the overall health and wellbeing of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River. Read more

(Photo credit: Jessica Lumbroso)

RCE Greater Dhaka Observes World Environment Day 2022 with National Seminar on Environmental Sustainability in Higher Education

RCE Greater Dhaka partners and its host institute IUBAT - International University of Business Agriculture and Technology observed World Environment Day 2022 on 5 June. Under the global slogan 'Only One Earth' that focused on the theme of 'Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature', the day focused on the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature, as well as the possibilities for shifting to a greener lifestyle through both policies and individual choices.

A seminar 'Environmental Sustainability in Higher Education' was organised by the Department of Environmental Science at IUBAT with RCE Greater Dhaka. The aim of this national seminar was to engage multi-stakeholders with the emerging knowledge of sustainability at higher educational institutes to build One Liveable and Sustainable World. The speakers stressed the overwhelming growth of the human population and mounting pressure on natural resources, which is worsening the current situation. RCE Greater Dhaka, along with the Department of Environmental Science and IUBAT Institute of SDG Studies (IISS) are trying to uplift the sustainability approach in Bangladesh. Speakers at the seminar were from the Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO (BNCU) and UNESCO office Dhaka, whilst environmental experts from Jahangirnagar University and IUBAT also presented their paper during the seminar. 

RCE Minna Commemorates World Environment Day with 'On the Spot' Painting Challenge

RCE Minna commemorated this year's WED with an 'on the spot' painting challenge on 14 June, 2022, with seven secondary schools within Minna in attendance. Paintings were centered on the theme of the 2022 WED, 'Only One Earth', with students depicting their understanding of the Environmental Challenges within their communities, especially as it related to the theme of the event. Read their full report here.


COVID-19 in the African Continent: Sustainable Development and Socioeconomic Shocks

Published by Emerald Publishing Limited in May 2022, the publication 'COVID-19 in the African Continent: Sustainable Development and Socioeconomic Shocks' looks at the challenges occasioned by COVID-19 and the associated socioeconomic situations, as well as how they can be tackled in the African continent. Read more