Tasmania is now a United Nations Regional Centre for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development. We are honoured by the privilege to be linked in with around 150 other Centres all around the World. We look forward to sharing Tasmania's knowledge and expertise with the global RCE Network and adapting and applying programs and initiatives successfully established in other regions across the World.
Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) are not physical centres or buildings, but rather apolitical networks of individuals, organisations and experts who understand the sustainability challenges in their home regions and are committed to using education as a tool for building a sustainable future.
As of March 2016, 146 RCEs had been officially acknowledged globally by the United Nations University (UNU) worldwide. This includes the Tasmanian RCE, which is now known as Education for Sustainability Tasmania. The UNU is the RCE Service Centre or headquarters of the Global RCE Network, and they provide assistance to individual RCEs through facilitation, communication and networking.
Each RCE is regionally-based and RCE members bring in-depth knowledge of the challenges facing their regions and the opportunities that exist. RCEs aspire to achieve the goals of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals by building innovative ways for diverse organisations to work together to share information and collaborate.
RCE networks include formal learning institutions, like schools and universities, as well as informal learning establishments, such as parks, museums, private enterprises, local governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and the media. Collaborative undertakings within and across RCEs include policy work, research and development in Education for Sustainable Development (the practice of teaching for sustainability).
RCEs ensure that the many facets of sustainable development have a place in primary, secondary, and tertiary education and research, as well as in informal learning spaces. Through these efforts, RCEs help prepare local leaders of tomorrow with the tools and information they need to make smart and sustainable choices for the future. RCE efforts encourage innovation and new approaches to sustainable development. They translate existing knowledge into concrete actions and empower individuals to make sustainable choices for themselves and their communities.
They are highly influential policy advocates, able to test policies individually and work collectively to bring policy to scale and advice on future actions.
RCEs think globally but act locally on a number of sustainability challenges, including climate change, the rapid extinction of species and our consumption patterns. The Global RCE community creates an effective learning space for sustainable development, promoting research and actions to advance partnerships to improve education for sustainable development across geographic, knowledge and sectoral boundaries.