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Applications for the YSEALI Marine Accelerator Program now open!

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Marine Accelerator Program (MAP) is now open for applications! YSEALI MAP aims 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.

Selected participants will join a virtual workshop in April and May, and an intensive workshop in the Philippines on June 6-10, 2021* to develop competencies to accelerate and sustain their projects. 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. Workshop participants will also create a network of emerging leaders to encourage collaboration in creating innovative solutions to marine sustainability issues in Southeast Asia.

At the end of the program, ten (10) initiatives will be selected to receive project funding of up to $2,000. The cost of the program, travel, and incidental expenses will be funded by the U.S. Government.

YSEALI MAP is a project by Save Philippine Seas, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. Applications must be submitted by January 31, 2021. For any questions or concerns, please email Bryan Madera, Project Manager of MAP at


Applicants should have an established ongoing project or campaign on inland marine and inland waterway conservation. The initiative must be at least six (6) months old and past the conceptual phase. The initiative may be an online and/or offline campaign; a digital platform (web- or mobile-based); a for-profit enterprise; or a community-based project. It should exhibit innovation and early social/scientific impact. Initiatives that have the potential to scale in the region and improve regional cooperation are preferred.

Applicants must be 18-35 years old and be citizens and residents of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, or Vietnam. Applicants can apply as individuals or teams of up to three members. Applicants may represent private entities (including startups and social enterprises), civil society organizations, or academic institutions.

Examples of initiatives:

● 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

● Low-cost technology to upcycle plastics

● Campaigns to improve transparency and traceability in seafood

● Campaigns to monitor coastal development or coastal resource management

● Monitoring or reporting platform for coral bleaching

● Online database for threatened and endangered species

● Digital platforms for citizen science projects

● Equipment to collect river or ocean waste

● Incentive programs for community-based small-scale fisherfolk

● Monitoring or reporting tool for IUU fishing

● Other relevant and creative initiatives

*Dates may be subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation.

For more information, please visit Deadline for applications is on January 31, 2021 (11:59PM GMT+8). For any questions or concerns, please review the FAQs at or email


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