Val Amiel VESTIL
Executive Director, Association of Young Environmental Journalists
Val Amiel Vestil devotes much of his personal and professional life advocating for environmental journalism and working in the fields of youth empowerment and communications 4 development (C4D).
He has previously served as the Advocacy and Communications Officer of the UNICEF-funded SUGPAT Program for out-of-school youth and as the Media Content Producer of Equal Access International-Philippines, an INGO working for peacebuilding in Mindanao.
Val is the Co-Founder and currently the Executive Director of the Association of Young Environmental Journalists (www.ayej.org), a duly-registered non-profit and environmental media hub working to engage and educate civil society on environmental sustainability through journalism and youth development. The organization is now a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a National Winner of the Philippines’ Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Award, and the Negros Young Heroes: Gawad Parangal sa Kabataan.
Because of his work with AYEJ, he was chosen by the European Commission’s International Cooperation and Development to be one of the 15 Young Leaders for Development from all over the world to speak at the European Development Days 2019 in Brussels, Belgium on “Climate Change and Inequalities.” He also recently became the first Filipino to receive the ASEAN Youth Eco-Champion Award (AYECA) in the Junior Category by the ASEAN Environment Ministers.
Val is also the co-founder of Kapit-Mindanao, a nationwide digital fundraising campaign organized in April 2020 that aimed to assist youth-led organizations in giving aid to Mindanaoan communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their local initiatives and donation drives target low-wage earners, non-settler communities, and the hardest-to-reach and most vulnerable in this period of the global health crisis.
A magna cum laude graduate from Silliman University, Val has represented the Philippines in numerous international engagements most notably as a YSEALI Academic Fellow for Civic Engagement in the United States of America; an academic exchange student for Global Communication and Culture in Hannam University, South Korea; and as a Philippine Goodwill Ambassador to the 44th Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) traveling through Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Aside from this, Val is also a professional events host, public speaking coach, content creator, and educator.