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Partnerships for the SDGs – the UK and Ireland RCEs meet in Wales

Mon 5th August 2019 - RCE Network

International sharing and collaboration is one of the joys of being part of the global family of 168 UN recognised Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) in Education for Sustainable Development. Here Learning for Sustainability Scotland Development Manager, Betsy King, shares her experience of attending the recent UK RCEs meeting hosted by RCE Cymru.

In the heat of early July twenty of us from the UK and Ireland Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) in Education for Sustainable Development met at the new Swansea University Bay Campus. Our plan was to get to know each other better, share our RCE experiences and ongoing work, co-develop new ideas (and find funding for those ideas) and to discuss potential publications. No mean task for a day-long meeting.

Working on different aspects of education for sustainable development across many sectors, all UK and Ireland RCEs are focussing on the crucial role of education as the foundation of all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Recognising our different local contexts, we were looking for ways to ensure our communication and collaboration is effective, bringing real benefits to us all. .

There were plenty of ideas to share.  RCE Cymru, for example, is contributing towards the seven Wellbeing Goals enshrined in the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 . Seven ‘hubs’ (similar to our Task groups) are working on the circular economy, teaching and learning, social prescribing and more. RCE London similarly works through circles of interest, with a recent focus on migration. I shared some of Learning for Sustainability Scotland’s current activities. But how can we take our collective many and varied activities to a wider local, national and international audience?

As a start we have agreed to collaborate on a regular joint publication based on each of the themes of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  The pivotal Sustainable Development Goal 17 – Partnerships seemed a fitting place to start – watch this space!

 “We are here because we are passionate about working towards the greater good in a transparent, honest and inclusive way. We will listen, respect and value everyone’s contribution.” #RCEtogether

 UK and Ireland RCEs Collaboration Charter July 2019