“A great story can change the world”

— Saul Kaplan

author and change catalyst

Young ASEAN Storytellers 2022 Preview



What is this programme about?

20 Young ASEAN Storytellers (YAS) were selected in 2022 and got to visit an ASEAN Heritage Park (AHP) in their own country to gain inspiration and gather materials to create and tell powerful stories of our shared natural and cultural heritage to a wide range of audiences through various platforms and mediums.

Who is this for?

2 young storytellers per ASEAN Member State were selected through an open application process. 

All ASEAN youth aged 18-35 were invited to apply.

    Selected YAS were required to possess:

    • potential for storytelling through photography, writing, videography, public speaking, or other ways of conveying ideas
    • influence: possessing a platform (e.g. blog or Youtube channel) with a following, or is part of an arts or media organisation

    Young ASEAN Storytellers can specialise in any of the following:


    Artwork (e.g. painting, digital art,  weaving, handicrafts)



    Film / Videography

    Others (subject to case-by-case evaluation): e.g. virtual reality, comic strips, data visualisation, performing arts

    Programme Benefits:

    Fully-funded trip to an AHP in your country

    Stipend and materials for production phase

    Training on biodiversity, science communication, and more


    Virtual exhibition and high-level launch of your work

    Exposure as Young ASEAN Storytellers


    Aged between 

    18 – 35 as of 1 Jan 2022

    Citizen of an ASEAN Member State

    Excellent written and oral communication skills in your local language. English language is an advantage

    Have an eye for stories

    Able to commit to all components of the programme, including online and in-person components

    Get to know your Young ASEAN Storytellers 2022!


    ASEAN Heritage Parks

    ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHPs) are protected areas of high conservation importance, preserving in total a complete spectrum of representative ecosystems of the ASEAN region. These areas are established to generate greater awareness, pride, appreciation, enjoyment and conservation of ASEAN’s rich natural heritage, through a regional network of representative protected areas, and to generate greater collaboration among the ASEAN Member States in preserving their shared natural heritage.

    The AHPs that YAS will be visiting include:

    • Brunei Darussalam: Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park
    • Cambodia: Virachey National Park
    • Indonesia: Gunung Leuser National Park
    • Lao PDR: Nam Ha National Protected Area
    • Malaysia: Taman Negara National Park (Pahang)
    • Myanmar: Inle Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
    • Philippines: Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (alternate: Mt. Timpoong-Hibok-hibok Natural Monument)
    • Singapore: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
    • Thailand: Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park or Khao Sok National Park or Ao Phang Nga-Mu Ko Surin-Mu Ko Similan National Park
    • Viet Nam: Hoang Lien National Park

    Why storytelling? 

    Why now?

    Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.

    Robert McKee

    Story mentor

    Biodiversity in crisis

    Nature is disappearing. Fast. According to the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (2019), the rate of biodiversity loss and species extinctions are accelerating, gravely impacting people around the world. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” said IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson. 





    Stories to change the world

    But this story does not need to have a sad ending. We can still reverse the trend, stop unsustainable exploitation of species, restore ecosystems, shift away from fossil fuels and change the way we produce, process, transport, consume, and dispose food and commodities.

    We need “transformative change”, a fundamental, system-wide reorganisation across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values. 

    “The best way to promote a new

    or different belief is not with facts,

    but with a story.” 

    — Dave Gray, author

    Nature is an irreplaceable source of life and inspiration. Pages after pages of statistics showing nature in decline will not be enough to persuade all of society to achieve transformative change. We need stories to inspire and catalyse action to protect our natural and cultural heritage. There is power in a good story—to build understanding, to move people to action, and to be remembered.

    “The shortest distance between two people is a story.”
    — Terrence Gargiulo, author

    Youth of today are powerful storytellers and changemakers with important stories to tell. Through a variety of platforms and mediums, young people have the power to connect, influence, and inspire.

    “It’s up to us to become powerful storytellers

    to co-create the important societal changes

    we want to see in the world.

    A good story can change the world.”

    — Saul Kaplan, author and change catalyst


    This theme featured exceptional stories behind ASEAN’s rich flora and fauna, such as:

    • How habitats are kept healthy and protected from various challenges
    • Rare species or habitats
    • Change in landscapes
    • Coexistence between human and wildlife

    This theme aimed to highlight inspiring stories of the relationship between humanity and nature. Stories may focus on:

    • Local culture
    • Food / culinary culture
    • Livelihoods based on nature
    • The rich natural heritage of ASEAN and the benefits they provide us

    Experience their stories here


    Contact the AYBP team at aybp@aseanbiodiversity.org

    Disclaimer Policy

    Neither the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity nor the Global Youth Biodiversity Network and its sub-chapters and nodes will be liable to the participants for any liabilities, claims, actions, damages (whether direct or indirect, incidental, special, consequential and/or exemplary) of for any loss of life, bodily injury, medical or hospitalisation costs which may be incurred or arising out of or in any way connected to the participant’s registration or participation in the ASEAN Youth Biodiversity Programme

    ASEAN Youth Biodiversity Programme
    ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
    Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines