Attending the workshop were 100 young people aged 18 – 25 from 10 member countries of ASEAN and Timor-Leste. Delegates were selected from 1,300 entries based on criteria such as community contributions, volunteerism, and leadership skills. At this workshop, marine warriors had group discussions, and field trip, and jointly presented potential strategies and solutions to address environmental challenges that climate change is causing to coastal areas, the sea environments, and freshwater in Southeast Asia. This regional workshop provided a tremendous opportunity for ASEAN youngsters to deeply understand the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with the United States while strengthening leadership skills, project management, business, and digital communications.
There were 15 experts from the fields of tourism, fisheries, climate change and waste treatment from coastal communities to instruct and discuss with the participants. Experts include the Chairman of Climate Action Network Southeast Asia (CANSEA), the Co-founder of SetJetters – filmmaking and tourism app, researchers from University of Oslo (Norway) and Nha Trang University. At the workshop, there were 02 experts from Nha Trang University to guide and discuss with the YSEALI participants. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Chi Cong shared on the topic "The tourism industry and its impacts on marine life"; Dr. Dinh Van Khuong brought a presentation and discussion on the topic “Impacts of environmental pollution and climate change on marine life. The presentations by experts from Nha Trang University have helped young people gain more information and a more comprehensive perspective on the issues that marine life is facing, thereby eliciting ideas and actions to join hands to protect the sea.
Also within the framework of this activity, 100 young Southeast Asian leaders exchanged and interacted with students of the Faculty of Tourism and Institute for Biotechnology and Environment of Nha Trang University. Jointly, the marine warriors studied more about the marine ecosystem in Vietnam's waters and local issues; topics on environmental protection in the higher education curriculum, and the role of youth in environmental protection. In addition, Southeast Asian leaders also had a better understanding of Nha Trang University - the leading unit in Vietnam in training fisheries-related fields with much scientific research about the sea.
The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative is one of the US State Department's key programs to strengthen the region's strategic goals by providing youth with networking and training opportunities, and the tools needed to lead communities to address economic, environmental, educational, and social issues. The Regional Workshop on Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative 2022 "Marine Warriors" is funded by the U.S. Department of State and implemented by World Learning.