The Institute for Environmental Leaning (IEL) is a cutting-edge educational research group working towards a sustainable future for British Columbia (BC).
Our Institute Background
The Institute for Environmental Learning (IEL) was created in December 2010 and is a research and educational network working towards a sustainable future for British Columbia. In partnership with local researchers, educators, government and community stakeholders, the IEL facilitates educational reform and action-oriented research on environmental learning and methods of teaching about sustainability.
“Creating a vibrant, active research and education network working
towards a sustainable future for British Columbia.”
The IEL was created by the SFU Senate to develop and support environmental learning research in BC communities, schools and post-secondary institutions. It sponsors a few credit and non-credit programs throughout BC and abroad, along with its partners.
IEL is a BC based partnership among researchers, educators, government stakeholders, facilitating education and action-oriented research around environmental learning and sustainability. It has been chartered by the United Nations as a Regional Centre for Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development representing BC and the North Cascades (UN BCNC RCE).
- Promote multi-sectoral collaboration, community-based problem solving and a network of research into effective teaching practices
- Develop and support research and programs on environmental learning in communities, schools and post-secondary institutions
- Focus on an interdisciplinary approach to research with multi-institutional involvement and expertise
- Coordinate research and development activities
- Increase private and public involvement in Environmental Learning and related researches, fund distribution and policy developments
Our Vision – our RCE
What is an RCE?
Regional Centers of Expertise (RCEs) are designed to implement these ESD initiatives. 
An RCE is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal organizations that facilitate learning towards sustainable development in local and regional communities.
A network of RCEs worldwide constitutes the Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development with each RCE translating global objectives into the context of the local communities in which they operate. RCEs think globally but act locally and are the best keepers of knowledge about sustainability challenges in their home regions.
The success each RCE achieves on the local level is brought to scale through the global RCE Network. Local knowledge, expertise, and best practices are shared globally through the network and are able to be adapted and applied successfully in other regions.
 As of March 2015, the United Nations University officially acknowledges 136 RCEs worldwide.
The IEL consists of a steering committee and advisory council representatives from member organizations and includes the director, who serves as the steering committee chair. Steering committee members manage research and other activities in consultation with the advisory council. The IEL’s steering committee includes representatives from a variety of stakeholders.