Is Conservation volunteering in Thailand for high school students right for me?
This project is perfect if you are looking to do something different during the summer holiday. It will also suit you if you’re interested in pursuing a career in conservation. This project is specifically designed for teenagers, and we have a set itinerary in place and extra staff support available.
You’ll spend your short volunteering trip with passionate conservation staff, who actively protect and help the local environment everyday! The best part? You get to tap into their knowledge and experience, using it to learn more about conservation initiatives in Southeast Asia.
You don’t need experience for this project. A willingness to help, learn and explore is all we ask of you! Within a week, you’ll receive your PADI Open Water course qualification, so you can dive and help with underwater work. Our diving instructors will be with you throughout the training and during each dive.
What will I do as a Marine Conservation volunteer?
On arrival in Thailand, your adventure as a Diving & Marine Conservation volunteer begins! After your induction, our staff will fit you for your scuba gear, explain our work in the area, and start you on your marine conservation work. Here’s what you’ll get up to:
- Learn to dive and then take part in survey dives with professional divers
- Beach clean-ups along Ao Nang’s coastline
- Plant and transplant mangroves as part of reforestation efforts
- Give awareness talks in the local community
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Learn to dive and then take part in survey dives with professional divers
You’ll start this project by learning to scuba dive! You get a PADI Open Water course qualification included in the price, and training from our qualified instructors. You’ll learn underwater sign language, correct breathing techniques, how to clear your mask and the importance of equalizing pressure. Once these skills are mastered, your conservation work begins!
Coral reefs are known to house the largest diversity of marine life. You’ll work with staff to gather data regarding general reef health.
As you gently drift past coral and shoals of fish, you will record what you see and add your findings to our database. The information you gather is shared with national parks, helping meet long-term goals.
Beach clean-ups along Ao Nang’s coastline
Thousands of cigarette butts alone litter Ao Nang’s beaches. These small discarded items kill local marine and plant life. And they’re only one example of the kind of litter that can be found on one of Thailand’s beaches.
You and your fellow volunteers will walk along beach coastlines, collecting and disposing of rubbish that is found. Data from these clean-ups is then shared with the local authorities to show them why we need regular and proper waste management in the area.
Plant and transplant mangroves as part of reforestation efforts
Dig your hands into muddy coastlines for a good cause. By helping plant and move mangroves, you’re working towards long-term conservation efforts in the region.
Mangrove forests are among the most productive and biodiverse wetlands on earth. However, these coastal forests are among the most threatened habitats. Each mangrove you plant in the mud or move to a better area, helps the mangrove forests survive.
Give awareness talks in the local community
Give talks or get creative with puppet shows to teach local children and adults about the importance of proper waste management and protecting the environment. Your group may also be asked to create posters and signs to encourage recycling.
Our partners in Thailand
We work with a number of conservation organisations in Thailand. One of our key partners is Project AWARE, an ocean loving community that seeks to protect oceans around the world.
We also have qualified diving instructors on site. They will supervise all of your work and organise your three-day PADI Open Water diving course.
Where in Thailand will I be working?
Your short-term project will be spent with a group of High School Special volunteers in Ao Nang and in the Andaman Sea when you’re diving. You’ll also visit the Phuket Marine Biological Centre for Turtle Rehabilitation, and participate in a community outreach.
Weekends are jam-packed with cultural and adventure activities. You’ll stop over at the sacred Buddhist Tiger Cave Temple. This unique temple is famous for its 1,237 stairs, which lead to a golden Buddha statue on the mountain summit. Looking for some relaxation? A day over the weekend is set aside for exploring Ao Nang and its sandy beaches.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
We started our Diving & Marine Conservation Project in Thailand in 2005 in response to threatened marine life populations. We decided to bring teens on board to contribute to this work. Using your energy and working as a team, you can make a difference to conservation efforts off the coast of Krabi.
Through survey dives, you will add vital data to our databases, which we share with local NGOs, the national park, and the local government.
As a teenage Conservation volunteer, you are also working to protect mangrove forests as part of ongoing efforts in the area. We have mangrove nurseries where you will plant and nurture mangrove seedlings, and regularly replant areas where mangroves have been cleared or killed.
Through regular community outreach activities with locals, you help us ensure that people are aware of the important conservation issues that affect both them and their environment.
In 2017 alone, High School Special volunteers in Thailand planted 3060 mangroves. This amazing achievement will help not only the local marine life, but also the people who directly and indirectly benefit from a healthy mangrove system.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have all the extra support you need as a young person travelling abroad. Our Projects Abroad staff are there for you 24 hours a day during the week and over weekends to provide constant support and guidance. Our staff also make sure you feel comfortable and safe at your placement and accommodation. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Thailand
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