Con­ser­va­tion camp for Asean youth in Bohol

Agriculture - - Contents -

RE­CENTLY, the U.S. Em­bassy in the Philip­pines, in part­ner­ship with Save Philippine Seas, con­vened 30 youth lead­ers from all ten As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tion (ASEAN) mem­ber na­tions for the Young South­east Asian Lead­ers Ini­tia­tive (YSEALI) Sea and Earth Ad­vo­cates (SEA) Camp in Bohol. The week-long YSEALI SEA Camp em­pow­ered par­tic­i­pants to lead sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives.

The U.S. Em­bassy se­lected par­tic­i­pants for the Bohol SEA Camp from a pool of more than 2,500 ap­pli­cants from through­out ASEAN. The SEA Camp in­cluded work­shops de­signed to im­prove par­tic­i­pants’ con­ser­va­tion knowl­edge, pro­vide them with project man­age­ment skills, and boost their con­fi­dence to lead con­ser­va­tion ef­forts in their com­mu­ni­ties. Par­tic­i­pants also ex­pe­ri­enced Bohol’s bio­di­ver­sity and ob­served the prov­ince’s suc­cess­ful con­ser­va­tion prac­tices through out­door ac­tiv­i­ties.

The camp also fo­cused on build­ing ca­ma­raderie, rais­ing aware­ness of ASEAN cul­tures, and en­cour­ag­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion. Par­tic­i­pant Jom­phol Lamoonkit from Thai­land ex­plained, “Be­fore join­ing SEA Camp, I had only learned about ASEAN in the class­room. But here, I was able to ex­pe­ri­ence the di­verse cul­tures my­self through my fel­low SEA cam­pers and re­al­ize that even though we are from dif­fer­ent cul­tures, we can unite and work to­gether.”

At the end of the pro­gram, the U.S. Em­bassy awarded 10 par­tic­i­pants grants of up to US$ 500 to im­ple­ment sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives in their home coun­tries. Se­lected ini­tia­tives in­cluded projects to re­duce by catch of mob­ula rays in In­done­sia and to pro­mote zero-waste prac­tices at a univer­sity in Ph­nom Penh, Cam­bo­dia.

At the clos­ing cer­e­mony, U.S. Am­bas­sador to the Philip­pines Sung Y. Kim told par­tic­i­pants, “We be­lieve that you are never too young to lead—that through your in­sight, your in­no­va­tions, and your ef­forts, you can cre­ate the so­lu­tions to the chal­lenges fac­ing your com­mu­ni­ties, your coun­tries, this re­gion, and our world. Today, there are more than 120,000 YSEALI mem­bers across ASEAN and, just as we have for the last 40 years, the United States stands ready to part­ner with you and your com­mu­ni­ties to work to­wards a bet­ter fu­ture to­gether.”

Since 2015, YSEALI SEA Camps have been held in Batan­gas, Ne­gros Ori­en­tal, Tawi-Tawi, Zam­boanga City, Coron, Bo­ra­cay, Su­bic, and Cebu, en­gag­ing more than 200 youth from the Philip­pines and South­east Asia.

Am­bas­sador to the Philip­pines Sung Y. Kim with the par­tic­i­pants of the 2018 Young South­east Asian Lead­ers Ini­tia­tive (YSEALI) Sea Camp in Bohol.

Par­tic­i­pants of the 2018 YSEALI SEA Camp vis­ited Pami­la­can Is­land, Bohol.

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