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ASEAN youths gather in Cambodia to address environmental issues

PHNOM PENH, April 21 — Seventy-two Southeast Asian youth leaders between the ages of 18 and 25, representing all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will gather in northwest Cambodia's Siem Reap City from April 22 to 25 to address environmental issues facing the region, according to a news statement from the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday.

The U.S.-sponsored regional workshop, part of U.S. President Barack Obama's Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), is aimed to foster a deeper understanding of challenges to the environment facing the ASEAN region and beyond, the statement said.

"The four-day event will build leadership skills, network opportunities and provide the mentorship and means for young Southeast Asian leaders to effectively collaborate to address these environmental challenges," it said.

U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia William E. Todd and Cambodian Minister of Environment Say Samal are scheduled to address the workshop's opening ceremony on Wednesday.

The Southeast Asian youth leaders participating in the workshop will be divided into 12 multi-national teams guided by two "Leader Mentors", one representing ASEAN and one from the United States, the statement said.

The group will focus on enhancing skills by applying them to real-world situations. They will develop action plans to address environmental issues and jointly carry out the solution across the region.

Following the workshop, all multi-national teams will be eligible to receive a USD 1,250 seed grant to implement their action plans, with the team voted as having the top plan earning the opportunity to travel to the United States for the YSEALI Environmental Leadership U.S. Study Tour later this fall, the statement said.

Launched in 2013, YSEALI is Obama's signature program to strengthen leadership development across ASEAN, deepen engagement with young leaders on key regional and global challenges and strengthen people-to-people ties between the U.S. and Southeast Asia. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/SSC

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