The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) kicked off today a programme for youth storytellers, aiming to engage the younger generation in conserving the region’s rich biodiversity.

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) is tapping into the power of the youth to tell stories from the field about biodiversity, its values, and the many ways to safeguard it, said the ACB in a press release.

Through its newest programme, the Young ASEAN Storytellers (YAS), the ACB is calling all ASEAN youth to showcase their skills and talents in storytelling as an essential part of the bid to highlight what life in harmony with nature would look like, it pointed out.

Twenty budding content creators and storytellers from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam will get first-hand experience in impactful storytelling for biodiversity conservation, it added.

“We at the ACB believe that this generation is the torchbearer of our region’s future. We see that the youth of today are more driven to contribute to saving our planet, most especially in conserving the region’s rich natural and cultural heritage, and we are proud to be amplifying their voices through this programme,” said ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim.

Lim also underscored the importance of the youth’s role in connecting with others, given their knack for using innovative online platforms and their wide reach. These platforms and tools can cross boundaries and connect communities across the region to find solutions to the multiple environmental challenges we collectively face.

According to the press release, ASEAN youth aged 18 to 35 who are eager to explore, passionate about nature, and are good storytellers are encouraged to be part of YAS. Stories created through photography, writing, art, filmmaking, or other forms of creative storytelling and conveying ideas are welcome in this new programme.

Exciting opportunities await the young aspirants. Aside from the grant that they will be receiving to produce their stories, they will undergo a series of learning sessions with biodiversity and storytelling experts, as they embark on an immersive trip to the region’s ‘creme of the crop’ protected areas–the ASEAN Heritage Parks. The YAS will then create compelling biodiversity stories that will be shared across media platforms.

Applications are open until Mar. 31, 2022, and results will be released in May.

The YAS programme is supported by the European Union (EU), through the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP) Project; and the ASEAN-Germany Cooperation in Biodiversity through the Second Phase of the Institutional Strengthening of the Biodiversity Sector in the ASEAN (ISB II) Project and the Small Grants Programme (SGP).

Interested youth can find out more about the YAS programme and the AYBP by visiting the website: Young ASEAN Storytellers (YAS) | AYBP (aseanbiodiversity.org).

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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