BC/North Cascades Regional Centre for Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development

In January 2010, the BC Working Group was officially chartered by the United Nations University as the BC/North Cascades Regional Centre for Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (BC UN-RCE).

An RCE is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal education organizations mobilized to deliver Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programs to local and regional communities. A network of RCEs worldwide has been created by the UN to constitute the Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development. The BC UN-RCE joins over 80 RCEs on Education for Sustainable Development, including already established Canadian RCEs in Montreal, Greater Sudbury, and Saskatchewan.

RCEs aspire to achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD, 2005-2014) by translating its global objectives into the context of the local communities where they operate. The UN's objective for the Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) is:

"To empower people of all ages to assume responsibility for creating a sustainable future."

Regional Centres for Expertise are created to bring together institutions at the regional/local level to jointly promote Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). RCE's build innovative platforms to share information and experiences and to promote dialogue among regional/local stakeholders. Through partnerships, they create a local/regional knowledge base to support ESD actors, and together they promote the four main goals of ESD in a resource-effective manner.

The four main goals of RCEs on ESD are to: 

(1) re-orient educationtowards SD, covering existing programs and subjects from the point of ESD and designing an integrated SD curricula. ESD programs are tailored to address issues and local context of the community RCE's operate in;

(2) lead advocacy and public awareness raising efforts about the importance of educators and the essential role of ESD in achieving a sustainable future. RCEs promote the long-term goals of ESD, such as environmental stewardship, social justice, and improvement of the quality of life. 

(3) increase access to quality education that is most needed in the regional context; and

(4) deliver trainers' training programs and develop methodologies and learning materials for them.

The BC UN-RCE was launched in May 2010 with a public dialogue held at the Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver. The launch/dialogue review and report can be viewed here.

See the BC UN-RCE's SUNN Project website.

See more information on the UN RCEs for Education on Sustainable Development.