Young artists feature ASEAN biodiversity and heritage in 3D exhibition
Twenty young and talented writers, artists, and photographers representing the ASEAN Member States feature the ASEAN Heritage Parks in a three-dimensional online exhibition supported by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), Germany, and the European Union.
The 20 featured artists were selected by the ACB to be part of the Young ASEAN Storytellers (YAS) subprogramme of the ACB-EU ASEAN Youth Biodiversity Programme (AYBP) to tell stories about the ASEAN Heritage Parks using various media and tools such as photography, film, painting, weaving, audio tracks, podcasts, long-form narratives, poetry, and visual performance.
Ten of the twenty storytellers participated in the recently concluded ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes (ABH) Forum in Manila, where they presented their works among the ABH and communication students from the Philippines.
“To the Young ASEAN Storytellers who are here – I have equal respect for your presence. Conservation stories woven in a skillful way through photography, writing, public speaking, videography, or social media reels are powerful tools to promote the natural and cultural heritage of our region. You have powerful platforms that can raise awareness and change the course of action of various audiences to safeguard nature”, said Mr. Marcial Amaro, Jr., DENR Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects and Director of the Bureau of Biodiversity Management Bureau, in his welcome remarks.
“ASEAN youth – those aged 15 to 35 – account for more than 33% of the region’s population. These empowered young people are drivers of positive change–they use their voices and platforms to advocate gender equality, human rights, and environmental protection,” said Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, Executive Director of the ACB, during her message at the opening ceremony of the Forum.
She also highlighted the ACB’s recognition of the youth’s vital role in creating a resilient and sustainable future for all, in which one of the ways is by using their talents and skills in communication and technology for biodiversity conservation.
“We aim to encourage the young communicators, storytellers, content creators, journalists, and creative writers to help send the message that everyone can become biodiversity champions,” Dr. Lim said.
Celine Murillo, the YAS from the Philippines, said that the ABH forum was an enriching experience to share their unique stories and interact and learn from the ABH and the communication student participants.
“From the oceans to the mountains, from fungi to megafauna, our lives depend on biodiversity. We are not separate from nature, and it is important to advocate for it because that means advocating for our own survival. This is why I encourage future communicators to promote and mainstream biodiversity,” Murillo said.
“The YAS are here to amplify the biodiversity agenda of the region, from helping promote ASEAN Heritage Parks in our countries to imparting our knowledge and experiences to future storytellers, so I really hope the ACB will further utilise this group of amazing creatives!” Murillo also said.
To see more of the YAS’ stories online and on a virtual 3D exhibit, visit the YAS Virtual Exhibition page: https://stories.aseanbiodiversity.org/. To know more about the YAS Programme, visit https://aybp.aseanbiodiversity.org/yas/.