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We're looking for emerging conservation leaders from Southeast Asia who are at the forefront of ocean-focused initiatives!

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Marine Accelerator Program (MAP) is a program to advance the capacity of emerging conservation leaders and influencers from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, or Vietnam to scale up or expand initiatives that improve regional cooperation and address maritime and inland waterway issues, such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; river or marine ecosystem degradation; or marine debris.

Successful applicants to the YSEALI MAP will attend one virtual workshop in April and one in May, and an intensive in-person workshop in the Philippines in June. Participants will also get a chance to receive up to $2,000 in project grants to scale up and sustain their initiatives.


The YSEALI MAP is a project of Save Philippine Seas and the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.

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Applicants must be:

  • between 18-35 years old;

  • citizens and residents of Brunei,  Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, or Vietnam.; and

  • a YSEALI member. If you are not yet a member, register for free at Complete the form at the upper right side of the website that says "Connect with YSEALI."  

Applicants may:

  • apply as individuals or a team of up to three members; and

  • represent private entities (including startups and social enterprises), civil society organizations, or academic institutions.


Initiatives may be an online and/or offline campaign, a digital platform (web- or mobile-based), a for-profit enterprise, or a community-based project.

Initiatives must:

  • address marine and inland waterway issues in the region;

  • be at least six months old and a maximum of five years old by January 31, 2021; and

  • exhibit innovation, early social/scientific impact, and the potential to scale.

Initiatives that have the potential to scale in the region and improve regional cooperation are preferred.


Examples of initiatives that could be submitted are, but not limited to:


  • prototypes of alternatives to unnecessary single-use plastics.

  • prototypes of alternatives to storage containers for small-scale fisherfolk to maintain freshness of catch.

  • community-based waste collection or recycling programs.

  • low-cost wastewater treatment tools.

  • campaigns to improve transparency and traceability in seafood.

  • monitoring or reporting platform for coral bleaching.

  • incentive programs for community-based small-scale fisherfolk.

  • monitoring or reporting tool for IUU fishing.

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Grow your ecosystem

Connect with like-minded seatizens, innovators, and experts from Southeast Asia and the United States.

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Project funding

Ten initiatives will receive up to $2,000 to scale up and support upcoming activities.

Continue learning

Attend virtual workshops and an intensive in-person workshop* to advance leadership skills


Create ripples of impact

Improve your initiatives to serve your communities better

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Application Period

December 19, 2020-January 31, 2021

Participants will be notified about the status of their application by mid-March 2021.


Virtual Workshops

April 22 (Earth Day) ✦ May 22 (International Day for Biodiversity)

Participants will be required to attend the kick-off workshop on April 22 and another interactive workshop on May 22.


MAP Summit​*

June 6-10, 2021

The MAP Summit is an intensive workshop to build competencies. Workshop topics include problem analysis, solution analysis, monitoring and evaluation, branding/marketing, sustainability planning, fund raising/resource mobilization, strategic partnerships, and cross-border collaboration. Speakers will include experts from Southeast Asia and the United States. At the end of the program, ten (10) initiatives will be selected to receive project grants of up to $2,000.  The cost of the program, travel, and incidental expenses will be funded by the U.S. Government.


Scale up

July 2021-January 2022

Initiatives that receive funding will implement activities to scale up. SPS will conduct check-ins every other month to track progress.

*In-person events will be organized if restrictions on travel and mass gatherings change.

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Save Philippine Seas 2020-2021. All Rights Reserved.

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