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Supporting international strategy on Education for Sustainable Development

Thu 19th January 2023 - Blog Posts, LfS Scotland Updates, News, RCE Network

Betsy King, Development Manager with Learning for Sustainability Scotland, is Regional Advisor for the European network of Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) in Education for Sustainable Development. In December 2022, she travelled to Japan to participate in the 17th meeting of the strategic Ubuntu Committee of Peers.

In December 2022, almost exactly nine years after Learning for Sustainability Scotland was acknowledged as a UN University (UNU) recognised Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) in Education for Sustainable Development, I had the huge privilege of visiting UNU in Tokyo to participate in the 17th meeting of the Ubuntu Committee of Peers.

During the years of the pandemic, as Regional Advisor for Europe, I have been part of this Group of strategic organisations* and Regional Advisors to the RCE Community. Our role is to support the Global RCE Service Centre to review new RCE candidates for acknowledgement and to provide strategic advice on the development of the Network.

Towards creating a just, tolerant and sustainable world, RCEs aspire to use Education for Sustainable Development as a mechanism for implementing/ enabling sustainable development, translating global sustainable development goals and issues into local actions in the regions in which they operate.

Roadmap for the RCE Community 2021-2030

 Following two years of online meetings, this was a wonderful opportunity to meet in person, celebrate progress and deepen conversations about how to respond to opportunities and challenges for the global RCE network. I also had the privilege of experiencing the welcoming Japanese culture, sustainable Japanese food and meeting the Ministry of Education, Japan to discuss their long-standing support for Education for Sustainable Development.

Learning for Sustainability Scotland benefits greatly from being part of this global RCE community, with all RCEs working towards mainstreaming learning for sustainability and contributing to the UN SDGs through partnership working. Our discussions in Tokyo were based around the Global RCE Roadmap, put together to respond to the United Nations Towards Achieving the SDGs (ESD for2030) framework. The RCE Global Network continues to develop and engage internationally; for example in 2022’s COP27 and the UN Transforming Education Summit.  Two new European RCEs, Basque Country-Navarre and South Poland, were welcomed as new RCE community members, and there are already opportunities for us to collaborate and share experiences.

Education – in all its forms – and collaborative activity between individuals, communities and nations, are vital if we are to achieve the vision outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of an equitable, flourishing world. We’re proud to be part of the global movement of RCEs, working in partnership to harness the transformative potential of Learning for Sustainability in Scotland. 

More information about the meeting can be found here:

*The Ubuntu Alliance is an association of 14 of the world’s foremost educational and scientific institutions that together signed the Ubuntu Declaration at the Johannesburg Summit in 2002.