Cordova, Cebu, January 26, 2018 — From January 23 to 31, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Sea and Earth Advocates (SEA) Camp in Cebu will bring together 25 young marine conservationists from Mindanao to learn how to lead sustainable development initiatives in their home communities. This week-long workshop on environmental conservation and youth leadership will also explore sustainable ecotourism and conflict resolution.
“The U.S. Embassy is proud to continue to sponsor the YSEALI SEA Camp initiative. Over the last four years, these ten YSEALI SEA Camps have been tremendously successful at motivating young leaders to transform their environmental passion into conservation action,” said Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer Ryan Bradeen. “Through this special Mindanao SEA Camp, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines hopes to help these young leaders develop innovative ways to bring their communities together to address sustainable development challenges.”
The YSEALI SEA Camp program, launched in 2014, offers young conservation leaders the environmental knowledge, the project management skills, and the confidence to take action on environmental issues in their home communities across the Philippines. As SEA Camper Marian Llanes of Cagayan de Oro said, “There is so much the youth can do to protect the environment. I want to raise awareness to help in the preservation and protection of the rich Mindanao land and waters.”
During the workshop, SEA Campers will implement conservation projects in Cebu to help tackle local environmental concerns. In Seayasat (a play on the Filipino word siyasat, meaning “to review”), participants will assess business establishments’ compliance with environmental regulations. In the Junior Seatizens project, participants will teach conservation principles to children through educational games. Through Waste Watchers, SEA Campers will lead an awareness campaign advocating for local businesses to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics.
YSEALI SEA Camps are organized by Save Philippine Seas (http://www.savephilippineseas.org/), in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. “I am especially thrilled to have the SEA Camp in Cebu, where I was born and where I learned to love the sea,” said Anna Oposa, founder of Save Philippine Seas.
Since 2014, ten YSEALI SEA Camps have been held in Cebu, Batangas, Negros Oriental, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga City, Coron, Boracay, Manila, and Subic, engaging nearly 200 youth from the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The next SEA Camp will take place in Bohol in March 2018 for young leaders from Southeast Asia.