Why creating a RCE in Brittany?

by Françoise Laveuve

Brittany is a vast peninsula in the west part of France ; it is about 270 km long, extending over an area of 27 208 km2 with a coastline of 2730 km, the third of the total length of the French coasts. Its population is 4,354,377 inhabitants. Land and sea are its main particular banner and they feed it. Today, fishing and agriculture are still the two pillars of Brittany's economy.

Brittany is a land of tradition, rich of its historical and cultural past, its folklore, but also the incredible diversity of its landscapes and its ancestral attachment to nature. It was interesting, for a RCE in Brittany, to establish a link between traditional knowledge and Education for Sustainable Development, as a guideline, especially because the region has always been at the forefront of educational advancement and research. Ecology is an official value since 1970.

On another side, Brittany is particularly affected by the energy choices it is forced to make; its peninsular situation makes it dependent on other regions for energy supply (more than 92% of its energy consumption is dependent on imports). It is also affected by soil and water pollution due to intensive agriculture and livestock farming. But Brittany is increasingly involved in sustainable development: a lot of associations, foundations and networks developed advanced studies, offer reliable solutions, implement effective actions. The concept of sustainable development is now integrated at all levels of education.

The first aim of RCE Brittany was first and foremost to bring together the various actors of sustainable development and coordinate their efforts, and to develop the goal of Education for Sustainable Development. RCE Brittany was officially acknowledged by the United Nations University on April 5th, 2013: It is the first RCE created in France.

Françoise Laveuve

Founder and director of RCE Brittany