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A Brief Overview on the 8th African RCE Conference

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A Brief Overview on the 8th African RCE Conference
Dr. Marlene Chikuni, RCE Zomba
9th African Regional RCE Meeting
5-7 August, 2019, Luyengo, Eswatini

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A Brief Overview on the 8th African RCE Conference

  1. 1. 2019/08/12 1 A brief overview on the 8th African RCE conference Marlene Chikuni, PhD Chancellor College, University of Malawi RCE Zomba coordinator Presentation made at the 9th African RCE meeting, Kwaluseni Eswatini. 5 – 7 August, 2019 by outline • Introduction • Challenges • Recommendations • Way forward RCE Zomba membership • multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary • chaired by Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Environmental Affairs Department (EAD) • government departments e.g. fisheries, forestry, agriculture, water, lands committee members • community members • parastatal organisations • environmental NGOs • media • two student based ESD groups that spearhead campus sustainability activities and community engagement • Green Campus Initiative • Environmental Justice & Sustainability Clinic • academia Accelerating progress towards achievement of SDGs in Africa Thematic areas • Poverty • Biodiversity conservation • Traditional knowledge systems • Higher education • Community engagement • Collaboration & partnership • Skills acquisition • Youth • Sustainable production and consumption Accelerating progress towards achievement of SDGs in Africa Some members of the local organising committee objectives • Critical reflection on challenges, impact, sustainability and opportunities for implementing and upscaling SDGs and ESD-Global Action Program through RCE activities. • Showcase the work of the African RCE network in implementing sustainable development goals and ESD-GAP • Share ESD opportunities and challenges associated with implementation of the sustainable development goals. • Discuss the roles that adults and youths can play in upscaling SDGs/ESD activities through RCE activities • Review the action plan for African RCEs. • Discuss current and emerging issues on SDGs, ESD, SD, climate change and environment as they affect African communities. • Develop a youth roadmap for implementing SD, SDGs, ESD-GAP and integrate youth into the national SDGs’ implementation plan, policy and programs.
  2. 2. 2019/08/12 2 secretariat Mrs Fiskani Chirwa Mrs Ntande subthemes • Creation of space for multi-stakeholder engagement including local and faith communities • Challenges and opportunities in upscaling ESD activities • The role of gender and youth in RCEs • Role of academia, politicians and the private sector in upscaling RCE activities • Role of media in promoting education for sustainable development • Curriculum gaps on ESD • Innovative technologies to support ESD • Appropriate bye-laws on ESD and strategies for enforcement Official opening by Mr Bright Kumwembe, Chief Director for Environment and Climate Change Management delegates • RCE Eswatini: ESWATINI • RCE Buea: CAMEROON • RCE Greater Nairobi & RCE South Rift: KENYA • RCE Zomba: MALAWI • RCE Minna, RCE Zaria and RCE Yenagoa: NIGERIA • RCE Greater Eastern Uganda: UGANDA • RCE Lusaka: ZAMBIA • African RCE advisers • UNU-IAS rep Participants to the 8th African RCE conference, Chancellor College, Zomba. Malawi presentations • plenary • keynote Address by Prof S. Chiotha: A reflection on the architecture of RCE to enhance impact delivery • RCEs should be relevant and be in the forefront to spearhead efforts in addressing local environmental challenges • key Note address by Prof Akpezi Ogbuigwe: Empowering RCEs to implement the SDGs • RCE network should know where it is going otherwise will fail to advance
  3. 3. 2019/08/12 3 Panel discussion • Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) workshop by Dr Mariteuw Chimère Diaw • ALL Youth representatives Youth facilitating a Panel discussion on ESD Opportunities and Challenges associated with implementation of the SDGs
  4. 4. 2019/08/12 4 Excursion related to community engagement • Conservation agriculture practicing farmer • Automated Weather Station at Malosa EPA • managing data on weather and using it for example in climate change mitigation and adaptation • A river bank afforestation project • Demonstration of energy saving cook stoves Reflections / challenges • There is no follow up on recommendations from past conferences • Lack of resources for attending local and international meetings • Limited information sharing and communication amongst RCEs • There is no MOU for secretariat • There is little national cognition of RCEs opportunities • Exploit existing linkages with UN organizations e.g. through UNESCO • Exploit recognition & sponsorship from AU • Lobby policy makers both the opposition and ruling party when it comes to development issues. • RCEs need to find programmes where projects can fit in and not vice versa • There is also need to have tentacles to many donors and identify different types of funding. • Remember, opportunity lasts for the lifetime of that opportunity. • Know where we want to go as a network otherwise we will not go anywhere. For example, if private sector can’t come to us, then we visit them • Willingness to assist in editing the RCE journal. Key recommendations • The youth should take a leading role and learn to make sustainable decisions • Youths should be agents of change • Youth in academia to reach out to the youth in rural areas and assist them to utilize the indigenous knowledge • Establish collaboration among stakeholders within an RCE so that everyone should be on board. • Struggling RCEs should be willing to learn from those that are thriving • We should use our brains to bring solutions to the challenges we face
  5. 5. 2019/08/12 5 Action points • Submit papers from the 8th conference for consideration for publication in the RCE journal. Authors that presented during the conference were requested to submit full papers within 6 weeks after conference. Deadline is 14 September 2018. MEMBERS AGREED TO HAVE THE RCE JOURNAL UP AND RUNNING BY THE NEXT AFRICAN RCE CONFERENCE NOT YET OFF THE GROUND TWO YEARS DOWN THE LINE • Emphasize on tree growing and not necessarily tree planting as a way of mitigating against deforestation. • We should find sustainable ways of hosting conferences. There should be collaboration among sectors and not insist on territorialism. CAST THE NET WIDER • Explore ways of coming up with an RCE fund for supporting delegates to attend international meetings NOT YET DONE • Create an RCE WhatsApp group for coordinators and Advisors. DONE • Intensify online reporting INDIVIDUAL RCEs • Intensify efforts of community engagement DONE Success / results • Report published and distributed to stakeholders • Presentations, Programme and Photos from the conference uploaded on the UNU-IAS website, www.rcenetwork.org. • The 8th conference increased visibility of RCE Zomba and the global RCE network in general • There is increased awareness among Malawians due to publicity through print and electronic media • Consequently, it resulted in an interest to join RCE Zomba as well as formation of new RCEs in Malawi. • MOMENTUM NOT SUSTAINED challenges • Funding • Pre • During • Post • Publicity • Difficult to sell concept of RCE • enthusiasm Lessons • Passion • Perseverance • Adaptability • Partnerships • Funding • Volunteerism • Language Relaxation up on Zomba Plateau after field excursion
  6. 6. 2019/08/12 6 acknowledgement • UNU-IAS for financial and logistic support • Malawi Government, Environmental Affairs Department (EAD) for financial and logistical support • Malawi Environmental Endowment Trust for financial support • Faculty of Science for financial and logistical support • Faculty of Law for financial support • Centre for Environmental Policy & Advocacy (CEPA) for logistical support • Chancellor College management (office of Principal, Registrar, Dean of Research) for logistical support • Dr D. Kachilonda for financial support • Zomba City Assembly for logistical support

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