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The Ubuntu Committee of Peers for the Regional Centres of Expertise Khomas-Erongo to be acknowledged by the Institute of Advanced Studies of the United Nations University

The Ubuntu Committee of Peers for the Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has recommended the Institute of Advanced Studies of the United Nations University (UNU-IAS) to acknowledge RCE Khomas-Erongo (Namibia) as one of 10 new RCEs worldwide.

UNU.jpg The Ubuntu Committee of Peers for the RCEs held its 6th meeting on 20 November 2011 in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, and reviewed 26 applications from all over the world for formal acknowledgement. Among all applicants, the Committee recommended to UNU to acknowledge 10 RCEs, some with specific recommendations and some without.

RCE Khomas-Erongo (Namibia) has been recommended to UNU as one of these new RCEs to be acknowledged. The official letter and certificate of acknowledgement will be sent to the Steering Committee of the RCE Khomas-Erongo in January 2012.

An RCE is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal education organisations, mobilised to deliver education for sustainable development (ESD) to local and regional communities. A network of RCEs worldwide will constitute the Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development. 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 in which they operate.

The RCE initiative in Namibia stems from existing and ongoing activities in Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable development (ESD) performed at various institutes, organizations and schools. The established Namibia Environmental Education Network (NEEN) has been in existence for more than 15 years. Recently, the activities of NEEN have been revived with the selection of a new Executive Committee at the annual conference in August 2010. The committee and members of the network raised the need to improve coordination and collaboration of ESD activities among different stakeholders. The role of a RCE to fulfil this need was recognized.

The first Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Namibia is a partnership between stakeholders in the Khomas and Erongo regions in Namibia. The lead institution is the University of Namibia (UNAM) in Windhoek, Khomas region. The other organizations involved in the partnership constituting the RCE include: Swakopmund Municipality (Erongo region); the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) (Okahandja, bordering the Khomas region); the Habitat Research and Development Centre (HRDC) (Khomas region) and the Namibia Environmental Education Network (NEEN). Key stakeholders in the RCE, who already indicated their active participation in the RCE meetings and activities include the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN), Municipality of Walvis Bay; Municipality of Windhoek; Gobabeb Training and Research Centre (GTRC); Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN); Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) and the Namibia Animal Rehabilitation Research and Education Centre (NARREC).

The UNESCO Office Windhoek has supported the entire RCE application process. On 10 March 2011, a stakeholder consultation was held as a one-day workshop at UNAM, sponsored by UNESCO. Dr. Mandla Mlipha from the Swaziland RCE was invited to share experiences with the workshop participants in order to improve the understanding of RCEs. are. The workshop aimed at getting input from stakeholders to start with the formal application for RCE status for submission in 2011. It also sought specific commitment from institutions and individuals who will be actively involved in the application process. The structure, objectives and activities of the RCE were determined during the workshop. The UNESCO Office Windhoek also provided technical inputs to the letter of expression of interest in establishing a RCE sent to UNU-AIS, and to the subsequent RCE draft application that was produced and circulated to different stakeholders and individuals.

Author(s) UNESCO Office Windhoek
Source UNESCO Office Windhoek
Website 1 (URL) UNU
Editorial Contact: Samuel Fernandez-Diekert
- Email s.fernandez-diekert@unesco.org
Publication Date 14 Dec 2011
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