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Applications for the 2018 YSEALI Mindanao SEA Camp now open!

Calling all Mindanao-based seatizens! Save Philippine Seas (SPS), in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, is pleased to announce the call for applications for the 2018 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Mindanao Sea and Earth Advocates (SEA) Camp!

The 2018 YSEALI Mindanao SEA Camp seeks civic-minded, environmentally-passionate Filipino youth leaders to create and implement solutions that address environmental sustainability issues in Mindanao. The program will bring together 25 youth leaders who are living, working, or studying in Mindanao, ages 18-23, from January 23 to 30, 2018 to Cebu. All expenses (e.g., transportation, accommodations, and materials) will be covered by the project.

The YSEALI Mindanao SEA Camp is a U.S. Embassy initiative to promote ocean conservation and youth leadership. “The U.S. Embassy is proud to sponsor the SEA Camp project for the fourth year in a row,” said Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer Ryan Bradeen. “Since 2015, the SEA Camp program has empowered nearly 200 youth environmental champions through nine camps held all over the Philippines. SEA Campers have utilized the environmental knowledge and project management skills they have gained through the program to develop creative and innovative solutions to environmental challenges in their own communities.”

The overarching theme of the YSEALI Mindanao SEA Camp is sustainable development. The program also takes a deeper look at the relationship between peace, environment, and ecotourism.

“Mindanao is rich in biodiversity and natural resources. It also faces many challenges, and we’re looking for leaders who can rise to meet those challenges,” shared Anna Oposa, Founder and Project Director of the SEA Camp.

In the application form, aspiring SEA Campers will choose to join one of the four projects to be part of during the SEA Camp program in Cebu: Arts, IPs, and Atolls (AIA); Junior Seatizens; Waste Watchers; or Seayasat.

AIA: The group will be tasked to partner with a local school and teach the students about the indigenous peoples of Mindanao: their traditions, culture, and practices. The target audience will also be taught about pressing environmental issues, and use art as a medium of expression to apply their knowledge.

Junior Seatizens: Junior Seatizens aims to build the capacity and knowledge of children to engage in marine conservation efforts and increase their awareness about the environmental issues faced by their communities. The participants are engaged through a learning-through-play teaching strategy.

Waste Watchers: Waste Watchers is a campaign based on the following SEA Camp projects 2015-2017: Straw Wars, HUGOTS, Defying Gravity, and Zero Sachet PH. The campaign aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic wastes, specifically plastic straws and sachets, by communicating with business establishments, such as cafés, restaurants, resorts, and hotels.

Seayasat: In the 2016 and 2017 SEA Camps, Seayasat used a scorecard based on the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (Republic Act 9003) to conduct an environmental law compliance audit. For the 2018 SEA Camp, the team will create a scorecard based on the Amended Fisheries Code (Republic Act 10654) and the list of protected marine species, specifically shells, sharks, and rays, and assess the compliance of souvenir shops and vendors in the local public market.

Participants will work with their fellow SEA Campers on these projects prior to and during the SEA Camp.

At the conclusion of SEA Camp, participants will also pitch project ideas to promote sustainable development and protect natural resources in their home communities. The top project ideas will receive seed funding and mentorship to support project implementation over the subsequent six months.


Applicants from all academic and social backgrounds are encouraged to apply (e.g., communications, arts, social science, natural sciences, engineering, public health, law, etc.). They must exhibit a track record of leadership, volunteerism, and participation in socio-civic activities. A leadership role in environmental projects or organizations is preferred but not necessary.


All YSEALI SEA Camp applicants must:

• Be 18-23 years old during the SEA Camp

• Be able to attend the full duration of the SEA Camp independent of a parent/guardian

• Have a strong interest in conservation, environmental sustainability, volunteerism, and advocacy

• Be a member of YSEALI. Registration is immediate and free.

• Be working, living, or studying in Mindanao. The project pitched must be implemented in Mindanao.

Providing false or incorrect information (e.g., over- or underage; born in Mindanao but based in Manila for work, and therefore cannot implement a project in Mindanao) will be grounds for disqualification.


• Fill out the online SEA Camp application form. Forms cannot be edited once submitted. Applicants can read and answer the Word document before filling in the online form, which can be viewed and downloaded from here. Please click the icon of the arrow pointing downward to download the form. Do not e-mail a filled out copy of the Word document as your application form, unless there is a problem with submitting the online application form. If you are having problems accessing the online form due to unstable internet connection, please inform the SEA Camp team via

• A scanned copy or clear photo of any ID proving that you living in Mindanao (e.g., school ID, employee ID).

• Submit a clear photo of yourself for the announcement of participants. You may edit an existing photo to clear the background, or have a clear, well-lit photo taken in front of a plain background. See sample of photo below (more samples here).

• Join YSEALI by signing up in the website (see the “Connect with YSEALI!” column on the right) and submit a screenshot of your registration confirmation along with your SEA Camp application. If you have applied before, please search for the confirmation email and submit a screenshot.

The online form has the option to upload the additional requirements at the end of the form. If you are facing unstable internet connection, you may also email all requirements to Incomplete application forms will not be assessed.

• Like the following Facebook pages: Save Philippine Seas and YSEALI

• Follow @YSEALI and @SavePHSeas on Twitter if on Twitter

• Follow @savephseas and @yseali_official on Instagram if on Instagram

For any questions or concerns, please read the FAQs before sending an email or message on Facebook. Questions and issues addressed in the FAQs and eligibility will not be answered via email or social media channels.

Failure to follow instructions (e.g., sending your photo or application via Facebook) means that your application will not be considered.

Deadline for applications is at 11:59PM (GTM+8) on October 31, 2017. Late submissions will not be accepted.

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