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International Forum on ESD Dialogue 2008
Dec 2008
The International Forum on ESD Dialogue 2008, organized by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO, and the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), was held at the UNU Headquarters in Tokyo from 2-5 December.

The four-day forum explored concrete approaches to ESD and discussed strategic projects focusing on partnerships with the private sector and NGOs. Recommendations from the forum will feed into the mid-Decade ESD conference to be held in Bonn, Germany in March 2009.


Ubuntu Committee recommends six RCEs for acknowledgement

Oct 2008
The Ubuntu Committee of Peers for RCEs held its third meeting on 17 October 2008 at UNESCO, Paris. At the meeting, the committee reviewed twenty-one proposals to establish RCEs and recommended six of these for acknowledgement.

The six RCEs are Cairo, Egypt; Bangalore, India; Delhi, India; East Kalimantan, Indonesia; Northern Mindanao, Philippines; and Yorkshire and Humberside, UK.

For more information
The Global RCE Service Centre

ProSPER.Net-Scopus Young Scientist Award in Sustainable Development 

24 July 2008
Applications are invited for the ProSPER.Net-Scopus Young Scientist Award given annually to recognise outstanding young scientists who have made significant contributions to the area of sustainable development.

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Third International RCE Conference in Barcelona
21 July 2008
The Third International RCE Conference was convened in Barcelona, Spain from 2-4 July 2008, and was hosted by RCE Barcelona at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). More than 130 participants discussed issues related to RCE development, such as evaluation and communication, and six thematic areas — sustainable production and consumption, biodiversity, e-learning, health, youth and teacher training, over the three days. 

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Press release: Network to promote sustainability in post-graduate education launched
June 2008
ProSPER.Net, an alliance of renowned higher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region, was officially launched on 21 June 2008, in Sapporo, Japan, in conjunction with Hokkaido University’s Sustainability Weeks 2008 – G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Round celebratory activities leading to the G8 Summit in July this year.


Side event on RCEs in Africa during TICAD IV
May 2008
UNU-IAS organised a side event entitled 'Education for Sustainable Development: Focus on Regional Centres of Expertise in Africa' on 28 May 2008 in Yokohama, Japan, as one of the official TICAD IV (The Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, 28-30 May 2008) side events. Yoshihiro Natori, Senior Fellow from UNU-IAS, introduced the concept of RCEs and their activities in Africa. The role and importance of RCEs for sustainable development in the continent was highlighted at the event. 

Training session at COP 9 

May 2008
A training session on Business, Biodiversity and Challenges was held as part of the Business and Biodiversity Forum co-organised by UNU-IAS and UNEP (DELC) at the COP 9 in Bonn on 24 May. The purpose of the training was to provide an understanding of how businesses approach biodiversity and ethical issues, using a real case study of an iron-ore mining project in Guinea. The event began with a presentation on corporate sustainability strategies, their business rationale with an emphasis on business opportunities to contribute to conservation, and sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity. The event was one of the first capacity development exercises on private sector and biodiversity within COP. 

The training was led by Dr. Zinaida Fadeeva and Dr. Rene van Berkel representing UNU-IAS. Other resource persons included Dr. Joshua Bishop (IUCN), Dr. Mikkail Kallisoe (World Business Council on Sustainable Development) and Dr. Suneetha Subramanian (UNU-IAS).

Side event on RCEs in Africa during CSD-16
May 2008
UNU-IAS in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Japan, UNDESA, UNESCO, UNEP and UNCSD Education Caucus, organised a side event on RCEs for Sustainable Development in Africa on 8 May 2008 at the UN headquarters in New York during CSD-16 (16th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development).


Jim Taylor from RCE KwaZulu Natal, Dr. Timothy Mmella from the Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Santosh Khatri from UNESCO, P. J. Puntenney from the UN CSD Education Caucus and Yoshihiro Natori from UNU-IAS discussed how RCEs can contribute to sustainable development in Africa.

Eight new RCEs acknowledged
April 2008
Eight new RCEs were officially acknowledged in March, bringing the global total of RCEs to fifty five. The recently acknowledged RCEs are Greater Mbarara in Uganda, Zomba in Malawi, Maputo in Mozambique, Swaziland, Hamburg and Nuremberg in Germany, West Midlands in the UK and Cha-am in Thailand.

For more information 
Zinaida Fadeeva

Asian University reps develop joint activities to promote sustainability in education
March 2008
Representatives from several universities of the Asia-Pacific region met for the second time to discuss and formulate joint activities to promote sustainability in postgraduate education. The first meeting of these universities in November 2007 saw the creation of the academic alliance ProSPER.Net (Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network).

Broad areas of joint activities identified by the university representatives were the development of a generic model for teaching postgraduate educators and researchers in the field of sustainable development and SD curriculum development targeting primarily business and government leaders. Specific activities under each category were identified and prioritized during the meeting, and proposals for implementation were discussed. It was agreed that ProSPER.Net would be officially launched in June 2008.

The creation of the network and co-ordination of activities is currently supported by the Japanese Ministry of Environment.

For more information
Mario T. Tabucanon