Activity Reports

AJYELN Fellows Successfully Complete the Leadership and Project Management Training for Young Environmental Leaders


Bridging inspiration across ASEAN and JAPAN

The first ASEAN-Japan Young Environmental Leaders’ Network (AJYELN) Leadership & Project Management Training Workshop brought together 37 youths representing the ASEAN Member States and Japan for the first time, as the first cohort of AJYELN Fellows. The speakers leading the workshop were young environmental leaders and experts in their respective fields, inspiring their own respective communities in ASEAN and Japan.  

Capacitating the youth to be leaders of today

The workshop focused on building practical skills necessary for the successful implementation of the AJYELN Fellows’ projects. In the post-workshop reflection activity, many of the AJYELN fellows expressed that the workshop enabled them to build budget, time management, and resource management skills. Fellows shared: “I learned how to work towards the environmental issues that we face today, how to work in a team, and what my next step should be!”, “I learned how to solve problems and to never give up if I fail!”, and “I learned how to make posters more interactive to the public. Much appreciated for the feedback given!”  

Figure 1. AJYELN fellows and mentors during the plenary session of the Leadership and Project Management Training on July 22. 


On July 22 and 29, the first ASEAN-Japan Young Environmental Leaders’ Network (AJYELN) Leadership & Project Management Training Workshop was held. The Workshop was intended to build project management skills and foster teamwork and camaraderie among the participants of AJYELN in preparation for the implementation of their projects in the 10 ASEAN Member States and Japan in the latter half of the fiscal year. 

Figure 2. Speakers and lecturers for the sessions on July 22. 

The ASEAN-Japan Centre invited speakers from ASEAN countries and Japan, inspiring young leaders in their own respective fields, to share their experiences and facilitate the skill-building of the participants. The speakers include the following young leaders: 

  • Ms. Rd Sarah Rauzana Putri, Senior Social Education Lead of Gerakan Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik and Managing Director of ASEAN Youth Organization, talked about her personal journey and experiences on becoming an environmental leader in Indonesia and in ASEAN,  
  • Ms. Ayako Takao, Vice President of Climate Youth Japan discussed the challenges, opportunities, and strategies necessary to achieve successful teamwork in representing her organization in international environmental conferences, 
  • Mr. Rhyn Anthony Nique Esolana, Executive Director of TAYO Awards Foundation Philippines shared the importance of empathy and self-care in approaching problem solving during project implementation, and  
  • Mr. Elbert Or, CEO of Pushpin Philippines provided valuable insight and feedback on communication and promotional materials of the fellows to ensure that their ideas are properly communicated to the project stakeholders”. 

The training included breakout sessions where the fellows were divided into their country groups and designated AJYELN mentor. During these sessions, they were asked to revise and work on further refining their planned project proposals based on their learnings and suggestions of the lecturers and mentors during the lecture sessions. 

Figure 3. Fellows from Lao PDR and Thailand together with their AJYELN mentor discuss their respective project proposals during the break-out session. 

In its first year of implementation, AJYELN is composed of 37 15–18-year-old youths (“AJYELN Fellows”) from 11 participating countries who are passionate about solving plastic pollution-related issues in their local communities. The Fellows were competitively selected earlier this year. The program is being supported by the Ministries of Environment in Fellows’ respective countries and marks the fourth year of the ASEAN-Japan Sustainable Blue Seas and Planet Programs.  

The workshop emphasized partnership and collaboration for passing on knowledge to the youth to become agents of change. The ASEAN-Japan Centre, through the AJYELN project, acts as a facilitator and enabler for the youths of ASEAN and Japan – connecting youths with opportunities for growth, learning, and connection. Following the workshop, AJYELN fellows shared: “I liked of course the AJC team! I really love it since the day you emailed us”, “I love having time discussing projects with my mentors”, and “I love everyone here – everyone is so productive and especially my mentor who always helps my team to understand the session. She is super supportive.” 

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