ProSPER.Net E-bulletin Issue 35 (Sep 2015)

RCE Logo Issue 35: September 2015

Message from the ProSPER.Net Secretariat:

Dear colleagues and friends, UNU-IAS has been implementing the ProSPER.Net Leadership Programme since 2013. The programme aims at creating an inclusive platform for dialogue involving different stakeholders, informed policy-thinking and decision-making, new ways of managing knowledge and implementing research solutions. The idea was also to complement ProSPER.Net Young Researchers’ School (YRS) and the ProSPER.Net-Scopus Young Scientist Award (YSA) in Sustainable Development, whose primary objectives are to build research capacity and to recognize relevant research for sustainable development. The programme would also contribute to promoting a growing network of YRS graduates and YSA winners and strengthening collaborations among the ProSPER.Net alumni. The programme provides an opportunity for participants to be equipped with knowledge and practical skills to become agents of change through transformational and experiential learning process. The 2015 ProSPER.Net Leadership Programme was organized from 23 to 29 August in Sabah, Malaysia under the theme of “Transformational Leadership in Implementing and Assessing Sustainability Projects”. Thanks to the Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT) Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS), the programme was a great success and 21 participants from the Asia-pacific region learned the principles of sustainability and leadership through interactive discussions and field visits. For more details, please visit ProSPER.Net. Presentations held and short summaries by UNU-IAS members can also be found here. The ProSPER.Net Secretariat is pleased to announce the call for proposals for the 2016 ProSPER.Net Leadership Programme. For those who are interested in hosting the next Leadership Programme, please send expression of interest along with a draft proposal to the ProSPER.Net Secretariat (prospernet@edu.unu) by 30 October 2015. UNFCCC – Climate conference in Paris We are currently preparing our activities in the upcoming climate conference COP21 in Paris on 30 November – 11 December 2015. The UN Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness has offered us a slot to share a video from the network and participate through teleconference. We would showcase the work at the individual as well as the global network level. A second opportunity may be on the Youth Day itself. Since we are hoping to consolidate activities at this preparatory stage and would like to know from all of you: (1) Do you already have plans with secured funding to participate in COP? (2) Would you be interested in sharing your experiences at COP via ProSPER.Net, facebook and other UNU communication channels? (3) Would you be interested in contributing a short video for "Our World Our Responsibility" Initiative organised by the RCE Youth Network? If you are taking part in COP, please contact Zinaida Fadeeva, Philip Vaughter, and Hanna Stahlberg. If you wish to be part of the Our World Our Responsibility Initiative and submit a short video please follow this link. We thank you all in advance for your contributions. This may be the first example of a coordinated effort to communicate as a global network on a current and politically highly relevant event, which may change the way the world perceives climate change forever. Sincerely, ProSPER.Net Secretariat

Upcoming Events

8th ASEAN+3 Leadership Programme on SPC and Workshop on ASEAN and SCP Governance in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

20-23 October, 2015
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
UNU-AS, UNEP, UNIDO, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the ASEAN Environment Ministries, together with partner organisations, have over the years, collaborated in the offering of the ASEAN+3 Leadership Programmes on Sustainable Production and Consumption under the framework of the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan (AEEAP 2008-2012 & 2014-2018) endorsed by the Governments of ASEAN Member States. The 8th ASEAN+3 Leadership Programme will be held in conjunction with the SWITCH-Asia Programme Workshop on ‘ASEAN and SCP Governance in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. The aim of the 8th ASEAN+3 LP is at capacity building for policy makers focusing on policy development and implementation, and to up scaling and mainstreaming sustainable consumption and production practices. It intends to expose policy makers to practical learning cases that demonstrate a change process from a business-as-usual scenario to one which effectuates, or can potentially influence, change in behaviour, practice and systems, as well as in policy making. The target participants for the Leadership Programme are mainly government policy makers from the ASEAN Member States and three ASEAN dialogue partner countries - China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. This year’s ASEAN+3 LP is also inviting the participation of mixed inter-ministerial delegations of two-three delegates from countries, to highlight the crosscutting nature of SCP in national governance. Registrations for the event are now closed. A detailed programme can be found here. For more information please visit ProSPER.Net.

3rd RCE Youth Virtual Conference 2015: Energy systems and sustainability

Organised by Grand Rapids, USA
Date TBA
The Grand Rapids Regional Centre of Expertise on ESD (RCE) introduced an initiative to host an annual Youth Virtual Conference on sustainability related issues. For the past two years they have successfully connected schools from eight countries on three continents in real time to present and discuss issues pertaining to sustainability such as water and food systems. The 3rd Annual Youth Virtual Conference will again be organised by RCE Grand Rapids and this year’s topic is Energy Systems and Sustainability. In February or March, 2016 (to be determined to avoid conflict with school calendars), multiple secondary schools (ages 14-19) from RCE cities across the world will be linked in a four hour, peer-education symposium. Each student group will present their research on a sustainability related energy issues of interest to them and their region. The following RCE cities have participated in the past and/or have expressed interest in participating again: Grand Rapids, Michigan, US, Portland, Oregon, US, Curitiba, Brazil, Kerkrade (Rhine-Meuse), Netherlands, Lima-Callao, Peru, Bogotá, Columbia (Colegio Montessori in Medellin, Columbia), Nairobi, Kenya, and finally Saskatchewan, Canada. The benefits of this conference are many and include the following objectives: (1) Create a global learning community in order to understand the complex issues of sustainability, (2) Develop a skills set of collaboration, communication and problem solving among bright young people and (3) Understand how local actions have a global impact. For more information on this event and to register please visit the RCE Portal. Deadline for submission is October 14th, 2015.

From Rio to Paris: Higher Education for Climate Change Action (HESI)

14 October 2015
UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
HESI was created by a consortium of UN entities (UNESCO, UN-DESA, UNEP, Global Compact and UNU) in the run up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20). In advance of the XXI Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21), HESI will organize an event to take stock of progress made since Rio+20, by sharing best practices and lessons learned, and discuss the roles and responsibilities of higher education institutions in business and technological innovations around climate change adaptation and mitigation. Other objectives are to encourage new or enhanced commitments by HESI members, particularly around the facilitation of academic and scientific inputs into the formulation of climate policies and compose a message and a set of policy recommendations to be presented to the UNFCC Secretariat at COP21. In preparing for the event, UN-DESA is developing a progress report on the impact of Higher Education institutions in advancing sustainable development and climate change. Contributions from higher education institutions are sought, in responding to specific questions. To register for the event, for more information and if you wish to contribute please click here.

Open Calls

UNESCO MGIEP collaborative curriculum development on Climate Change – M4C@LIBRE

The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (UNESCO MGIEP) has recently launched the M4C@LIBRE initiative. M4C stands for MGIEP Collaborative Climate Change Curriculum Project. Part of UNESCO MGIEP’s larger ‘Learning through Issue-based Reverse Embedding (LIBRE)’ initiative. M4C would target teachers, educators and curriculum developers to come together and co-create lesson plans and curricula on climate change on an online platform. The platform is to be modeled on the lines of ‘wiki’ where the users would co-create the content by adding and sharing resources for teaching and learning climate change primarily through mainstream subjects like Maths, Science, Social Sciences and Languages. The resources will be tagged so that anybody looking for a math module on Climate Change would be able to find one. However, while activities will be aligned with subject areas to enable ease of integration into traditional classrooms, the modules will themselves be problem-based and interdisciplinary in nature, spanning subject areas and easily adapted to multiple grade and ability levels. Conceptualized as a complex web or mind map, the model would grow as more teachers and students share resources and add to the database. Following this Climate Change module, MGIEP is going to launch a module on migration and Sustainable Consumption and Production. For more information on this programme, please contact Yoko Mochizuki or visit the website.

Call for papers for special issue of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

The special issue on ‘Professional Development in Higher Education for Sustainable Development’ focuses on capacity building of university educators and their role in promoting ESD. The following objectives will be addressed: (a) identifying national, regional or institutional policy frameworks that support ESD professional development, (b) concepts of professional development, (c) competence frameworks and ESD approaches, and (d) principles for scaling up successful capacity building initiatives. Please find the detailed call here. The abstracts should be a maximum of 500 words and deadline for submission is 15 October 2015 (please send them to For more information, please contact Marlene Mader, Leuphana University of Lüneburg and RCE Graz-Styria. Full papers are due by the end of February 2016.

UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the use of ICTs in education

Since 2005, the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize has rewarded innovations in teaching and learning that leverage technology to improve educational outcomes. The theme for the 2015 edition of the Prize is Pedagogical Innovation in the Use of ICT in Teaching and Learning. NGOs are invited to submit nominations for this year. The circular letter, the submission form, the application guidelines, the statutes and the financial regulations can be found on the website. For any enquiries, please contact

e-learning series on SDGs

Free online e-learning mini-series by Professor Jeffrey Sachs explaining the 17 newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. This mini-series “Transforming Our World: Achieving the SDGs” is a call to action that extends beyond policy makers to civil society, business, and universities, and is led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). There are no quizzes or assessments, and no certificates will be offered upon completion. Rather the objective is to encourage dialogue about the path forward in light of the recent adoption of the SDGs. SDSN encourages participants to use the discussion forum to share thoughts and ideas with other students from around the world.  

Latest News

UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD winners

Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, announced the names of the first winners of the newly established UNESCO-Japan Prize for outstanding projects related to ESD here. The three laureates are Asociación SERES from Guatemala/El Salvador; the Centre for Development of Early Childhood, non-formal and informal education from Indonesia; and rootAbility from Germany. The three organizations will each receive an award of USD 50,000. The UNESCO-Japan Prize was established in 2014 to honour outstanding efforts of individuals, institutions and organizations engaged in ESD activities. The Award Ceremony for the 2015 Prize will take place in the evening of 5 November at UNESCO Headquarters. The next call for nominations is planned to be launched in January for the 2016 edition of the Prize. For more details on the winners: rootability also as a video and SERES ESD Youth Ambassadors initiative on video.  

Media and Other Articles

UNU’s “17 Goals 17 Days” series, a Blog series on SDGs, featuring research and commentary in support of the UN Sustainable Development Summit, 25-27 September 2015 in New York. World Economic Forum and the Stockholm Resilience Centre:SDG#15 on Ecosystems and Biodiversity is key to the development agenda. UN Global Compact: Global CEOs Sign on to New UN Goals at United Nations Private Sector Forum. UNU-WIDER Videos: Mapping the Future of Development Economics: Nobel laureates in economics Joseph Stiglitz (video) and Amartya Sen (video) discuss the SDGs and key elements of inclusive, equitable development. UN News Centre: When we stand together, there is no limit to what we can achieve Ban tells UN Assembly. These and many more articles can be found on ProSPER.Net. For instantaneous news like us on facebook!  
This is a publication of UNU-IAS ProSPER.Net Secretariat. Please send your comments, suggestions and materials to Visit ProSPER.Net regularly for up-to-date news and event information
United Nations University
5–53–70 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925 Japan
To opt out of all United Nations University contact system messages: Opt out