No-treehugging here – 5 eco-volunteer projects

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There’s an abundance of projects in countries all over the world where ordinary people can invest their time and effort and make a real difference. Here are five of them

These days there’s more to being an eco-warrior than simply throwing your arms around a tree trunk, or singing Kumbaya around a campfire.

There’s an abundance of projects in countries all over the world where ordinary people can invest their time and effort and make a real difference. Here are five of these eco-volunteer projects available right now. Our stunning featured image, above, is by Philippe Guillaume

Black Sea Turtle nesting, Costa Rica
Black Sea Turtle nesting, Costa Rica. Photo by Steven Gerner

Protect endangered sea turtles – Costa Rica

Project: During nesting season, endangered leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Volunteers are needed to patrol the beaches and protect the turtles and their eggs from poachers.

Location: Parismina, Costa Rica

Cost: Registration fee US$30

Organisation: Asociacion Salvemos Las Tortugas De Parismina (ASTOP)

Accommodation: Home stay with local family ($27 a day)

Time of year: Nesting season is March through September

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Arctic Circle, Canada
Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Monitor climate change – The Arctic Circle in Canada

Project: Teams experience the Arctic’s edge in its most dramatic season. Travelling by gamutik (sled) towed by snowmobiles, volunteers classify ice crystals, and measure snowpack thickness, density, and temperature. They also learn how to build an igloo and sleep in it comfortably, even when the temperature outside is -30 or -40 degrees Celsius.

Location: Churchill, Manitoba, Canada


Organisation: EarthWatch Institute

Accommodation: Eight-bed dormitory in the Churchill Northern Studies Center []

Time of year: February (11 days)

Cheetah conservation, Namibia
Tracking Cheetah in Namibia. Photo by hobgadlng

Cheetah conservation – Namibia

Project: Assist Cheetah Conservation Fund staff in their research, conservation, and education programmes. Primary duties include wildlife surveys, guarding livestock, managing herds of goats and sheep, cheetah husbandry, data collection and entry, archival of research documents, and 12-hour long waterhole counts. Teams also have the opportunity to aid CCF staff with radio tracking.

Location: Eland’s Joy – 15,000-hectare working farm and headquarters of the Cheetah Conservation Fund

Cost: £2,500

Organisation: EarthWatch Institute

Accommodation: Two-person rondavel

Time of year: Most months of the year

Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
Photo credit: Jim Maragos/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Scuba dive and check coral reefs – tropical locations around the world

Project: PADI open water certified divers assist one- to two-week long submarine research programmes that record coral and wildlife growth and regression.

Location: Various locations include Honduras, Maldives, Philippines, Oman and Malaysia

Cost: Location dependent – between £1,200-£1,900

Organisation: Reef Check Worldwide

Accommodation: Typically shared wooden bungalows or cabins

Time of year: Expeditions take place throughout the year

Bottlenose dolphins, Belize
Bottlenose dolphins, Belize. Photo by chuck.taylor

Study bottlenose dolphin behaviour – Belize

Project: Ride in a boat and snorkel dolphin hotspots within the atoll. Assist professional researchers in recording dolphin behaviour on standard data sheets, plotting locations and identifying dolphins individually through natural markings.

Location: Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll

Cost: $2,000

Organisation: Oceanic Society

Accommodation: Double occupancy rooms in beachfront cabanas (private baths) at the Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station

Time of year: Expeditions are scheduled throughout the year

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No-treehugging here – 5 eco-volunteer projects was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to