On 2nd to 7th May 2017, the 5th Asian Youth Forum (AYF5) in conjunction with 50th Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB) was held in Yokohama, Japan. The event took place in a prestigious hall, the Pacifico Yokohama, gathering around 150 youth from different countries in Asia and the Pacific with the theme of “Youth for Prosperity of Asia and the Pacific”. The forum provides youth with the unique opportunity to learn, voice out their opinions, demonstrate the capacity they possess and engage stakeholders to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the region. One of the important agenda during the forum is about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 16 goals of SDGs are interconnected to each other to achieve the 2030 agenda. Under the Coral Triangle Initiative – Coral Reef, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), I have been nominated (representing Malaysia) to be part of the CTI’s team to participate the AYF5 and the 50th Annual Meeting of ADB.

One of the AYF5’s objectives is to improve the capacity of young people to understand ADB operations. The forum mainly serve as a platform for youth participant to strengthen their projects, gain more knowledge from their peers and resource persons, and sharpen their skills to be community leaders. Besides that, the forum also highlight on future and ongoing projects run by the ADB. Motivational and teambuilding activities were also conducted during the three days forum. During the activities, the delegates have the opportunity to learn on how ADB develops a project. ADB used the ‘Design and Monitoring Framework’ (DMF) as a core tool in results-based project management. As a result of my participation, a concrete action plan entitled ‘Coral Reef Management Project of Tun Mustapha Park Sabah, CRMPTMP’ were prepared as a post-event activities of the AYF5. The CRMP-TMP will be a potential project for the Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle: Southeast Asia (ADB RETA 7813) in implementing the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Malaysia National Plans of Action (NPOAs).

Throughout the event, I have the opportunity to meet new friends from different countries and share the problems within our country or community. Apart from that, we have a chance to participate in relevant sessions during the annual meeting and join the debate among the development practitioners through an open dialogue discussion. Finally, observing and learning the Japanese culture and modernization is one of the memorable experience during a week in the country.