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Sumbiling Stories

Future Leaders at the YSEALI Generation GR3EN Workshop

After a successful, rigorous and uplifting four-day workshop, results from the YSEALI Generation GR3EN Workshop safely confirms that the children are indeed our future.

Held from 25 – 28 February 2017, the four-day eco-entrepreneurship workshop brought together 50 delegates coming from all 10 YSEALI member countries to tackle different segments of eco-entrepeneurship, from infrastructure development, project management, community, environment to tourism. The 50 delegates were grouped together into 10 different teams depending on what segment of eco-entrepreneurship each individual was focused on.

The first day kicked off with an opening ceremony to officiate the launch of the workshop, with opening remarks by His Excellency Craig Allen, the US Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, while guest of honour Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, spoke on the importance of youths’ roles in the socio-economic development of the country.

He mentioned that the ASEAN organization has always emphasized on the importance of youth involvement and participation in the development of the ASEAN community, which is why the ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020, which focuses on programmes on entrepreneurship, employability, competency and resilience as well as volunteerism for ASEAN youths, is of utmost importance as it grooms, nurtures and prepares youths to meet future challenges.

“I urge all participants to take full advantage of this workshop and to put into action what you have learned, and to maintain the networking you have established here in the spirit of friendship for future undertakings in your respective countries. It is our fervent hope to see youths come forward with bold moves and innovate themselves to take up challenging projects in creative and green businesses, as well as sustainable projects with high impact and export potential,” the guest of honour said in his speech.

On the first day, the 10 groups went through informational sessions covering Green Business components with leading speakers who shared their own experiences on eco-entrepreneurship. Speakers that included Rizan Latif from the Beach Bunch, Anthony Chieng from the Ulu Ulu Resort at the Ulu Temburong National Park and Leslie Chiang from Sumbiling Eco Village engaged the youths in discussions while sharing their invaluable insights and expertise in the industry.

The day ended with an entertaining cultural dinner held at the Radisson Hotel that featured cultural performances from all 10 ASEAN countries, attended by guest of honour Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, who highlighted in his welcoming speech that the promotion of eco-tourism was in line with the nation’s Vision 2035.

On the second day, all delegates and mentors of the workshop went to Temburong to visit the Sumbiling Eco Village, where they took part in a variety of activities from traditional weaving, jungle and river trekking, and the preparation of a popular local dish: Bamboo Chicken.

The day also featured special talks focusing on the themes of ‘economic empowerment’ and ‘infrastructure development’, with key-note speakers Leslie Chiang and Rambie Lim, Director of the Tao Kalahi Foundation. The trip was a great way for delegates to experience firsthand the best practices for eco-friendly tourism, as well as to learn more about the natural environment of Brunei.

The delegates got down to business on the third and last day of the workshop, with the 10 groups collaborating with one another to come up with a project proposal that would be delivered to the judges at the end of the four-day workshop, aided by mentors.

At the closing ceremony on the fourth day, Team ACES and Team were announced as winners of the workshop. Members of both teams will have the privilege to participate in a five-day immersion programme that will be held in the Philippines in April.

The fourth day might have been the end of the workshop, but it is certainly the beginning of something positive for all delegates involved, as Catherine Muller, Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Brunei, said in her speech to the delegates at the closing ceremony.

“I hope you will continue to build the networks you have begun here. Together, you and other young leaders in Southeast Asia are the future. You are also a part of the YSEALI family that continues to grow and bring positive changes to each of your communities, your countries, and the region as a whole.”

THE YSEALI GenerationGR3EN Workshop is sponsored by the US Department of State and funded through a Cooperative Agreement from the US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam to AGREA for the administration of the workshop and follow-on activities planned in 2017.

Guest of honour Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi at the opening ceremony

AGREA is a Filipino social enterprise that works on fair-trade and sustainable agriculture in agri-based economy, with focuses on sustainability of green businesses and eco-entrepreneurship. To learn more about AGREA, visit

Images courtesy of US Embassy of Brunei Darussalam

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