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Southeast Asian RCEs meet at the 11th UNESCO-APEID conference  
December 2007
Several Asian RCEs participated in the 11th UNESCO-APEID Conference on Reinventing Higher Education: Toward Participatory and Sustainable Development held in Bangkok, Thailand from 12 to 14 December 2007. 
 
Three RCEs presented papers reflecting their current activities under the UNU-IAS-organized concurrent session on Role of Higher Education in Developing Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. The panel presentations of RCEs Yogyakarta, Penang and Cebu, as well as the poster exhibits of RCE Trang provided prominent displays of some of the valuable contributions of RCEs in the region where they deliver ESD. 
 
During the conference, representatives of these four southeast Asian RCEs met with UNU-IAS representatives to exchange relevant information and share experiences. These RCEs would consider initiating a new thematic RCE network in the area of Participatory and Community Development.
 
For more information
Mario T. Tabucanon
mttabucanon@ait.ac.th

RCE workshop on evaluation at the Conference of Environmental Education  
 
27 November 2007
A workshop for RCEs was held on 25th November during the 4th International Conference on Environmental Education in Ahmedabad. At the workshop, it was noted that “the RCE process may be the grandest experiment in social learning around the world today.”

Participants at the workshop discussed a process of evaluation for the RCE initiative. While RCEs are encouraged to provide regular reports on their progress and future plans, clarity on the structure and time-scale of reports is still being sought. It was agreed that an evaluation process could help develop guidelines and time-frames for reporting.

The evaluation is expected to be an open and consultative process involving all RCEs and their partners who wish to participate, would seek to mobilize descriptions of practice and encourage reflection and would be responsive to the immediate needs of the RCEs. It is hoped that the evaluation will open up learning spaces for participants.

A pilot questionnaire has already been tested with 12 RCEs, and is soon to be revised based on feedback. As a next step, the development of an evaluation tool-kit will be explored to help provide a mechanism for RCEs to articulate their strategy. Facilitation of the evaluation process and sharing of preliminary findings is expected to happen at regional RCE meetings.

For more information
Zinaida Fadeeva
Research Associate
EfSD Programme
fadeeva@ias.unu.edu
 

Asian university representatives adopt charter to promote sustainable development 
21 November 2007 
At a two-day meeting held on the 19 and 20 November at United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) in Yokohama, representatives of several leading Asian universities adopted a charter committing to work together to integrate sustainable development into postgraduate courses and curricula.

The adoption of the charter formalizes the creation of ProSPER.Net: the Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network. This new network comprises academic institutions in the Asia-Pacific region with strong education and research programmes as well as aspiring innovators in sustainable development and related fields, and who offer postgraduate courses in these fields.

Read more....
 

Second International RCE Conference 
Aug 2007 
The second International RCE Conference was held in Penang, Malaysia on the 7th and 8th of August, 2007. About 130 people from 30 acknowledged RCEs, more than 10 RCE candidates and relevant agencies participated in this conference organized by UNU-IAS in its role of the Global RCE Service Centre and hosted by the University of Science Malaysia as RCE Penang to exchange ideas and experiences of RCEs.

Sessions on experiences of selected RCEs, on RCE networks including the RCE server currently under development, major challenges and ESD research and capacity building were some of those held. Breakout sessions on teacher training and retraining, on sustainable production and consumption and on sustainable energy use were also held during the conference. The African, Asian and European RCEs had separate meetings during the event to exchange common experiences.

Download the full report (pdf file, 156 KB)

Second meeting of the Ubuntu Committee of Peers 
Aug 2007 
The Ubuntu Committee of Peers for RCEs held its second meeting on 6 August 2007 in Penang, Malaysia. During the meeting, the committee reviewed 16 new RCE applications and recommended 13 of these for acknowledgement, some on the condition that specified RCEs would respond to the committee’s comments.

The 13 RCEs are Kano and Lagos, Nigeria; Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Chubu, Japan; Hyogo-Kobe, Japan; Graz-Styria, Austria; Ireland; Samara, Russia; Creias-Oeste, Portugal; North East, UK; Montreal, Canada; Western Mexico and Greater North Central Texas, USA.

At the meeting, the Ubuntu Committee recommended all RCEs to take action on the following points.
- To develop a portfolio of RCE projects with flagship projects indicated.
- To provide detailed information on the governance structure of each RCE with names, affiliation and institutions of the members of the governing bodies.
- To pay specific attention to school-based ESD activities especially at primary and secondary schools.
- To consider the most appropriate geographical scope of their RCEs for now and in the future, so that they may initially focus on a relatively focused area such as a large city, but will gradually expand their activities to broader areas such as the wider urban region.
- To conduct and strengthen broad consultation processes among all different actual and potential (new) ESD stakeholders.


23 new RCEs 
Jan 2007 
At the first meeting of the Ubuntu Committee of Peers for RCEs, held on 5 December 2006 in Paris, 23 new RCEs were recommended for acknowledgement, raising the global total to 35 RCEs. Criteria for acknowledging new RCEs were also adopted.

The Ubuntu Committee, while expressing its satisfaction in the progress of RCEs and their networking activities, encouraged the Secretariat of the Ubuntu Alliance to work on the following:

- To encourage acknowledged RCEs to identify and develop flagship projects
- To develop a format for the portfolio of RCE activities and a reporting format
- To encourage the development of new RCEs, with special attention to Latin America and the Middle East
- To further facilitate communications between RCEs
- To propose an award scheme for RCE performance

The Ubuntu Committee of Peers was established in April 2006 to review RCE applications and to provide guidance for RCE activities.

Other events
Leadership Programme, Bangkok, 22-27 July

Fourth Session of the World Environmental Education Congress (4th WEEC), Durban, South Africa, 2-6 July

15th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD15), New York, 30 April - 11 May