UNITAR/UN CC:Learn Contributes to Strengthening the Link between the Global and the Local Level
In order to advance Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) around the world, the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability has been supporting since 2003, a global network of Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) on ESD. This includes formal, non-formal and informal organizations that facilitate learning towards sustainability at the local and regional level. RCEs are also key members of the UNESCO-led Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, participating in the Partner Network focusing on “Accelerating Sustainable Solutions” at the community level.
The First RCE Thematic Conference: Towards Achieving the SDGs, held on 5-7 December 2017 in Okayama (Japan), provided an opportunity for RCEs representatives to meet and share best practices, focusing on three specific areas: 1) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 2) Climate Change, and 3) Sustainable Consumption and Production.
Following presentations of multiple and diverse RCE initiatives and experiences on day 1 – ranging from youth engagement to curriculum review, to community-based adaptation, the second day was dedicated to introducing UN/international platforms, with the aim to strengthen the link between local stakeholders and global frameworks. Invited to contribute to this segment, UNITAR/UN CC:Learn showcased its work for the promotion of climate change learning, emphasizing synergies with RCEs’ activities. In particular, a UNITAR representatives, Ms. Cristina Rekakavas, introduced UNITAR’s capacity building approach and wide portfolio in the area of climate change and green economy. She also delivered an in-depth presentation of the UN CC:Learn programme – highlighting both the global and the national components. UN CC:Learn learning resources, covering many topics and available for free in multiple languages, received special interest from the audience. Additionally, Ms. Rekakavas co-facilitated a workshop designed to discuss and identify blockages to the integration of climate change in school curricula.
Further input from a country perspective was provided by Dr. Emmanuel Tachie-Obeng, Principal Programme Officer of Ghana Environmental Protection Agency and UN CC:Learn Ambassador for Climate Change Learning. Dr. Tachie-Obeng shared his experience in promoting climate change education and training in Ghana as an ACE Focal Point. His intervention was very wall received and attracted numerous questions from RCEs interested in linking-up with their national ACE for points, or in promoting appointment of such representatives, if not yet the case.
All interventions highlighted good practices and success stories, but also challenges and lessons learned, as well as existing tools and possible opportunities for RCEs’ consideration in their future activities.
The last day of the conferences was dedicated to field visits to see implementation of ESD in action in Okayama, as well as further exchanges and networking.