Launching the UN Regional Centre of Expertise for Sustainable Education with Arizona State University
On Jan. 26, 2023, the Office of Research Experiences and Education (OREE) supported Arizona State University in becoming a United Nations (UN)-recognized Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE), part of a “network of existing formal, non-formal and informal organizations that facilitate learning towards sustainable development in local and regional communities.”
The new Greater Phoenix RCE on Education for Sustainable Development comprises a collaboration between the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU.
To fulfill their mission, the Greater Phoenix RCE is building out a graduate program and community education programs for the sustainability of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. OREE and the Greater Phoenix RCE are joining forces to develop the UL Research Institutes Teacher Fellows program. The first cohort of teacher fellows will create educational resources based on issues of sustainability experienced firsthand in the Greater Phoenix area. This emerging partnership serves as a testament to the alignment between OREE’s goals for advancing education for sustainability.
For the UN, the years between 2005 and 2014 mark a period termed the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. A series of coordinated efforts by the UN during this time emphasized the importance of education in working effectively towards sustainable development goals. As part of this effort, the United Nations University called for the development of RCEs.
“[E]ducation can – and must – play a decisive role in providing learners across the world with the knowledge, skills and values to discover solutions to today’s sustainability challenges. This carries benefit for present and future generations,” the UN stated in the executive report summarizing the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. “The Decade provides a solid base for scaling up our efforts to prepare the citizens of tomorrow to respond to the challenges of today. ESD advances quality education through more innovative ways of teaching and learning and the engagement of all stakeholders.”
OREE is proud to advance the efforts set into motion during the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and to be working with the Greater Phoenix RCE on this initiative.