First RCE Thematic Conference: Towards Achieving the SDGs

September 22, 2017

RCE Okayama and Okayama University, with the support of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), will be co-hosting “First RCE Thematic Conference: Towards Achieving the SDGs” to be held in Okayama, Japan from 5-7 December 2017.

The conference will discuss and launch strategies and activities in the fields of biodiversity, climate change and sustainable consumption and production to identify and make substantial contributions and tangible commitments by the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

During the conference, RCEs are encouraged to submit summaries of their best practices and challenges in these areas, to be shared with a rich mixture of participants from international organisations, governments, academia, industry, NGOs and NPOs from across the world. At the Okayama Session on the SDGs, in particular, we hope to encourage higher education institutions to make a much broader contribution to the SDGs through excellence research and education with multi-stakeholder partnerships, and other voluntary initiatives. The conference will also offer capacity building workshops, poster sessions, and field trips for RCEs to learn what UN organizations and other international partners are doing in these areas, and to discuss how RCEs can accelerate their actions by engaging and working with local communities.

Tentative Programme:Attached
The meeting will be held at the Okayama Convention Center.

Please visit the conference website and complete the registration. For those who are not able to access to the webpage via link, please submit the Registration Form to RCE Okayama ( ) and the Global RCE Service Centre ( For hotel information, please refer to the reservation site. The registration for the conference will be open until 11:59PM, Sunday, 12 November 2017 (JST).

RCE Okayama ( )
Global RCE Service Centre (

Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs)
In 2002, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution announcing the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD 2005-2014), based on the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the lead agency for the UNDESD, stressed the need to reorient existing education towards sustainability.
In 2003, in response to the UN resolution on the UNDESD, the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) launched the ESD project, with funding support from the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. The ESD project designs and implements research and development activities through two flagship initiatives: a global multi-stakeholder global network of Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD (RCEs) and a network of higher education institutions called the Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network (ProSPER.Net).
As of September 2017, 156 RCEs have officially been acknowledged by the United Nations University worldwide. The Global RCE Service Centre is headquartered at UNU-IAS, where it provides assistance to individual RCEs and facilitates their communication and networking.

RCE Okayama
RCE Okayama is a multi-stakeholder platform composed of more than 250 members of organisations, collaborating to empower people to change the way they think and work towards a sustainable future in Okayama City. Acknowledged first in the world as one of the ‘Initial Seven’ RCE’s, by the United Nations University (UNU) in 2005, RCE Okayama has been part of a coalition of 156 RCEs around the world for more than a decade.

In 2014, RCE Okayama hosted the 9th Global RCE Conference, co-organized by UNU-IAS. Input and recommendations were thereafter shared at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in Aichi, Nagoya, partnering with UNESCO and the Government of Japan on the occasion of the end of the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014). After 2015, RCE Okayama and Okayama City committed to further accelerating and mainstreaming ESD, by implementing the Global Action Programme (GAP), the follow-up programme to the UN Decade of ESD. In response to its vision and mission, RCE Okayama also launched the ESD Okayama Award in 2015, and offered a variety of programmes for youth and multi-stakeholders across the city and beyond.

In recent times, RCE Okayama and Okayama City received prestigious global awards and recognitions from UNESCO, including the UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD 2016 and the UNESCO Learning City Award 2017. These are also significant steps in RCE Okayama’s global outreach efforts to contribute to the UN-Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) towards a better, sustainable future for all.