RCE Hangzhou - 2021

Earth Successor: A Sustainable Development Global Citizen Program
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Earth Successor: A Sustainable Development Global Citizen Program
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Hangzhou
Contributing organization(s) : 
UNDP, Alibaba Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Vantone Foundation, etc.
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Xin Hao
Organizational Affiliation: 
Green Zhejiang
Prof. Dr. Wu Weidong
Organizational Affiliation: 
Dean of School of Education, Zhejiang International Studies University
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Monday, September 27, 2021
Opinions on Promoting Study Tours for Primary and Secondary School Students
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Double Reduction Policy
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Zhejiang province, Hangzhou city
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Zhejiang International Studies University, No. 299, Liuhe Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China 310012
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The Province of Zhejiang and its capital Hangzhou form a cradle of Chinese civilization. Moreover, with its high-tech industry (Alibaba & Geely) the region is a powerhouse of economic development in China. The natural environment of Zhejiang includes rivers, streams, lakes and mountains – West Lake scenery area in Hangzhou is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. As the population structure transforms from rural to urban and the development of urban culture(s) diversifies, environmental awareness is currently increasing. This leads to a situation where public authorities as well as education providers are looking to develop new methods and policies that support sustainable development.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The development of traditional industry in the late 20th century has led to serious environmental pollution (air, water and soil). The economical shift from heavy industries towards a service centered economy is changing the population structure, which brings along a conflict of cultures and the stratification of the society. As environmental awareness spreads, the topic of sustainable development are being more concerned by many countries. However, in China, the people’s awareness towards sustainable development is still very lacking. Therefore, we should cultivate and strengthen the concept of the senior public officials, teachers, students and the general public in this topic in order to realize more and more the value of a sustainable living environment.
January, 2015 to December, 2022
In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In order to achieve the 17 SDGs, China’s government has implemented many policies and regulations in improving all aspects and increasing the awareness of people regarding sustainable development. However, with the efforts of the government, it is hard to promote this concept to the public. From a public perspective, SDG is an unfamiliar concept which is far away from their daily life. Therefore, RCE Hangzhou and Green Zhejiang proposed the sustainable education for the students in order to cultivate the future global citizens who can take on the responsibility of global sustainable development, especially in the environmental field in the future. Through the activity and program we adopted, we provided a platform for students to get in touch with the sustainable issues and increase their awarness regarding SDGs. We trained the students in solving the environmental issues, and cultivated their implementing ability and leadership skill. By cultivating the global citizens in addressing sustainable development, we believe that China will be able to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
This program aims to establish a multidisciplinary and sustainable curriculum system, engage various stakeholders in the social governance process, and promote a reproducible model of youth education for sustainable development.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
In this project, we have developed the curriculum program for the students of upper grades, junior middle schools, high schools and elementary schools. This program include the pop-up book making, which students have to make a book by integrating the sustainable development knowledge they learnt in class, coastal and river monitoring, and nature field trip to allow students in developing their interest in sustainable development topic. Besides, we organize the domestic and global tour for students to understand about the efforts done by others and broaden their minds in this topic. Last but not least, besides education, we also launch some practical activities to provide more platforms for students to contribute themselves. These activities include River Angles project, Qiantang River SDG-theme painting day, Water Successor program, Swimming across Qiantang River, Read for the earth, SDGs football game, etc.
Size of academic audience: 
More than 70000 students
Through this program, we have cultivated more than 27000 earth successors and river angles. Moreover, we have published five curriculum handbooks, established five ESD centers, and impacted over a million people in positive ways. One of Earth Successor’s curriculum handbooks, “Educating Global Citizens” SDG Curriculum Collection, was published online at RCE Network Platform. The River Angels program received the 2019 Outstanding Flagship Project Award from Global RCE Network, the “We are Qiantang River Waterkeepers” action received golden medal of 2020 China’s Voluntary Service Project Competition, and the Earth Successor Team won the gold award in the China College Students’ Entrepreneurship Competition 2018. WIth the establishment of ESD centers, the rural and township areas are able to form their own mode of sustainability educational development.
Lessons learned: 
Through this program, we have learned about the hardships in establishing the program, especially to find the professional people to explore more curriculum programs and content of teaching materials. However, through this experience, we found the potential of students in becoming the future leader in environmental protection. The factors that influence our project are the participation of students and stakeholders, and the activities we launched. Without good content for the program, the participation of students and the support from the public, we wouldn’t get a good result in this program.
Key messages: 
How can we save the earth? To answer these questions, we aim to establish the Earth Successor platform in order to implement the overall goal of cultivating global citizens who can take on the responsibility of global sustainable development in the future. We develop sustainability education, which breaks the rules of the traditional educational model in which theoretical learning is followed by practice.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
We have cooperated with the RCE in Korea, Hawaii, Banama, Australia to organize the study tours in sustainable education. We also cooperate with these RCEs in organizing the seminar which can promote the interaction of students between different countries in discussing the sustainable development issues.
We have obtained the support from the Zhejiang province government and UNDP, and the funding from Alibaba Foundation, Waterkeeper Alliance, China Charity Fair, and some enterprises such as Nongfu Spring Co., Ltd. Coca-cola, etc.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Picture1.png (181.05 KB) Field trip - Learning about the importance of ecological diversity in tidal flats. Green Zhejiang
Image icon Picture3.png (450.06 KB) Field trip - Planting in Huanghu Natural Experience Park Green Zhejiang
Image icon Picture4.png (369.27 KB) Playing the football game based on the theme of sustainable development goals Green Zhejiang
Image icon Picture5.png (244.05 KB) Participating an event at RCE Ruhr, Germany Green Zhejiang
Image icon Picture6.png (244.17 KB) Painting the Qiantang River wall Green Zhejiang
Image icon Picture7.png (234.92 KB) Presenting the program at SDG curriculum road-show. Green Zhejiang
References and reference materials: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level