UNU Information About RCE Projects

Hi Everyone,

There has been some helpful discussions taking place as RCEs globally evolve regarding the kinds of projects RCEs are undertaking. I will simply post some interesting points that I received this week that I have found helpful:

1. Do all RCE projects need an educational component? Yes, the projects undertaken should involve education for sustainable development. This means taking a SD project and then identifying the educational component.

2. Do all projects need to address all areas of SD? No, it is not necessary that the project address all three prongs of the SD equation (social, economic and environment). It would be nice if all three or even two were addressed, but some projects may not lend themselves easily to address more than one area. If that is the case, that is fine.

3. Are all projects supposed to have a research component? No, projects don't necessarily need to have a research component. The UN University will be studying how the various RCE teams work and the projects that they are doing. However, if there is some specific research that the teams wish to do that is fine. Research will be very helpful to meeting the goals of the RCE network.

4. What is one of the best ways to begin? Sometimes it is easier and perhaps more efficient to begin with a project that currently exists and then change it to meet the RCE requirements. For example, in Sweden they are considering taking the "eco-school" model and changing it into a "sustainability" model. This means then that the schools will focus on all three prongs of the SD equation and not only the environmental side.

research project contextualized within holistic framework

I don't think it's possible to separate a project from the larger socio-cultural, economic and environmental context. The success of any project is determined by its "fit" and usefulness in the big picture which is not compartmentalized. thus, the broader context ought to be the starting place for each project.

In Prince Albert we are developing a website that will bring together people from the three component area of an SE framework, and begin by documenting what people are already doing around sustainability principles and practices. By keeping the focus on strengths, capacity building and solution finding, we hope to engage and educate citizens and encourage ideas  that  search for a balance among the  three areas.