USM PENANG, 28 November 2021 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has been hosting the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE Penang) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) since 2008, when it was established as one of the first seven in the world then.
RCE Penang belonged to the 181-strong network of RCEs globally, led by United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-AIS), the research and academic arm of United Nations, based in Tokyo, Japan.
Recently, the Global RCE Network held the 12th RCE Global Conference. Among the programme was giving acknowledgements to RCEs for outstanding flagship projects carried out all over the world. All RCEs are invited to submit their projects to be considered as flagship projects and fulfilling the requirements of the UN SDGs.
RCE Penang was acknowledged for three flagship projects. Two grant projects were chosen for SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), while one networking project qualified for SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).
Other RCEs with acknowledged flagship projects include RCE Greater Gombak (hosted by IIUM), RCE Ogun (Nigeria) and RCE Scotland (hosted by University of Edinburgh).
In addition, a USM 3rd-year student from the School of Educational Studies, Elmi Imellya Yakil won the RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge, a competition meant for participants from the RCE Youth wing. She bagged the Outstanding Artwork Award.
Objectives of the challenge include:
- to bring awareness to the challenges faced due to climate change;
- to provide perspectives from youth on what a vision for the future can entail, and why it is important; and
- to bring about an understanding on how action can be taken on ESD and the SDGs, in particular in relation to addressing the climate crisis.
The challenge required participants to create works of art focusing on SDG 13 (Climate Action) to engage with 'hearts, hands, or heads', the sub-themes for this year's 12th RCE Global Conference.
As a Board Member of the RCE Sejahtera Youth (RSY), Elmi Imellya’s entry was submitted under the theme of ‘hands’.
When interviewed on her entry, she said, "It is the art of quilling paper. It is hundred percent made from used coloured paper that I shaped into circles, ovals, and a few other shapes. I also used fallen leaves and flower petals and lastly, a used frame. I strongly believe that fighting climate change is vital and not only limited to adults and seniors.”
“Climate change is everyone's responsibility, thus actions are needed now in this vast community to mitigate it. What the children and youth can practice doing to help the Earth is as simple as planting trees," she added.
The RCE Global Conference has been held since 2006, with Penang being the second RCE to host it in 2007. It was held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Text: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin