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Volunteer doing Marine Conservation Diving on Islands across Cambodia
Country Cambodia
Accomodation Included
Weekly Donation $200 - $250

Project description

Our Marine Conservation and research project is located on a tropical Cambodian island where we go diving each day to survey various Marine species and habitats. We consider ourselves Cambodia's leading Marine Conservation and Research Organisation, making a difference across all of Cambodia's coastal provinces and conducting field research in over 20 of its Islands. We also run a Captive breeding program and aquarium which paired with our research is essential to the conservation of Cambodia's Marine Habitats!

Volunteering with us

Weekly Donation $200 - $250
Minimum stay 1 Month

Volunteer activities

Our work days are split into two parts: water and land-based activities. Volunteers who are able to dive will be trained in survey methodology and participate in Seahorse or reef surveys twice daily. Aside from daily diving, volunteers will also participate in land-based activities such as; English classes with the local community, beach clean ups, building, community education etc.

Volunteer requirements

About 50% of the work done here is carried out whilst scuba diving, so its preferable for our volunteers to be able to dive so they can fully participate in our project (we can arrange for a diving certification course at an additional fee if needed). For those not stemming from an academic background we also provide basic training in the areas of Marine and terrestrial research.

Extra Information

Fun for volunteers

Volunteers have nights and weekends off, so their is ample free time to fill! Many volunteers enjoy relaxing in hammocks on the beach or socialising with one another. Others go snorkelling on the reef, arrange jungle treks, fishing trips, play beach volleyball or football and help locals to learn English.

Living conditions

Our volunteers live in traditional-styled bungalows that are divided by gender. Each beach bungalow sleeps four volunteers and includes two twin-sized bunk beds and a bathroom. The bathroom has a western-styled toilet and a bucket shower. Our local Khmer staff cooks three hot meals daily for our volunteers and the food is entirely Cambodian. But there are stores and restaurants nearby.

Transport

Please contact us for details of how to get to our island.

Our Mission

Our main aim is to conserve and protect Marine Habitats and species all over Cambodia. We also work to educate others in the importance of our cause.

Internships opportunities

Cost Negotiable
Duration Negotiable

Description

We run university internship programs which gives our interns a chance to put into practice what they have already learnt whilst getting valuable research experience in the field. Currently our interns have been integrating into Khmer culture and really putting their knowledge into practice.

Research opportunities

Description

Our volunteer/internship program is based around the research that we carry out for Cambodian Marine Conservation. If you would like to conduct your own research project here and have an idea before your arrival, feel free to contact us for pre approval so we can assess whether it would be feasible or not.

    Why we need donations and support

The research we carry out is vital for the conservation of Cambodia's Marine species and habitats. Without support from our volunteers and donations we would not be able to continue with our work, so we are forever thankful to those who have contributed and continue to contribute towards our project and our conservation goals.

    What previous volunteers had to say

    Vicky C , United Kingdom

" I stayed at this project for 5 weeks. It was so inspiring and interesting. Minimum donation is $200 and this includes shared bungalow accommodation , food , water , dive equipment , PADI open water and advanced certification and an insight to what a traditional unspoiled Cambodian village is like. There are two diving related projects on and many land based activities that happen as well. There is always something to do. We monitor the reefs and survey the fish as well as try and protect the seahorses and their minimal habitats which were wiped out by fishing trawlers. Landbased activities can consist of data entry , beach cleans , teaching local kids english and also various other things around the island. It is based on a non tourist island so it is very peaceful but there is a small restaurant which serves western and Cambodian food.I strongly suggest to people who are interested in doing a different type of tourism then this project is worth visiting. "

    Richard Carr , United States

" I spent three months in Cambodia at the start of 2012 and spent six weeks volunteering here, It was no doubt these six weeks were by far the highlight of my time in Cambodia and an experience that will live with me forever. I was lucky enough to be assigned to the new project on an Island. For me it is 'The Island', think of it as an unspoilt tropical / magical paradise much like the one they were searching for in the book/film 'The Beach' (without the drug barons). Being a new project based at a village where they had not been used to westerners, every effort was made for the volunteers to socialize and mix with the locals and to show then visible evidence of the benefits that a project such as this can provide. That is what made it extra special for me as we felt part of the community. There was a good mix and ratio of dive work verse community work, we tended to plan our week in advance and most days I managed to get in two dives (a mixture of mainly reef surveys, clean ups and discovery dives) as well as clean up work in the community and teaching English late afternoon. We were working from 8 to 5 Monday to Friday (with the odd half day off if we wanted to do a Jungle trek or have a long weekend). We would normally finish just in time to grab a mat and sit at the end of the pier with a cold beer and watch the incredible sunsets. The staff running the project are all very good, the dive training is excellent and the food was plentiful and delicious. For what you pay per week it was exceptionally good value, as it included all your food (3 meals per day + snacks), soft drinks, accommodation, 3 hour boat trip two and from the island, all your diving and equipment and refilling of tanks etc.. Finally, like most things in life, it's all about what you make it. It opened our eyes and encouraged us to try new things and stretch ourselves without ever making us fell pressured to do anything you didn't want to. It's been just over two months since I left the Island and to quote Jack Shephard from the TV show LOST..., 'we have to go back!' "

    Bonny Krell , Germany

" I was supposed to be volunteering at this project for only 3 months, I ended up being there for 9 Month. It was one of the greatest times in my Life. When I arrived, the first 2 weeks I did learn to dive and therefore I couldn´t start helping with the reef surveys and had a lot of free time. But I used this time to learn all that theory that comes with the surveys, Vertebrate, Fish and Substrate ID. I was so dedicated to it that I was asked after 2 weeks only if I wanted to join them for a research trip, only two volunteers were asked to join and i had been there for less time than others. So I was really happy. You also can join to teach the local villagers the english language. I had day´s where I did dove 4 times a day, but there were times when we were a lot of volunteers that it was only possible to dive twice a day. The free time we did also spend in the local village and got to know the Cambodian Culture. The amount of work will also depend on what you want. There is always something to do. When you are not diving there are Beach clean ups that unfortunately have to be done often as there is always coming in garbage from the sea. When i started volunteering the beach cleanups were not obligatory and it was always difficult to get the volunteers to join in., but afterwards it turned more obligatory and if you see that it is time for the next beach clean up you always can put everyone to join you. The amount of work will be in some points depend on you too. Others that spend a lot time in the village started to help some villagers building houses or fixing their boats and go out fishing with them. One of the Volunteers that had worked with seahorse projects in other places set up a seahorse monitoring Project at the island. I started to write a manual with different Survey methodologies that could be used for a more detailed monitoring program. I just have left Cambodia because I wanted to do my PhD so that I would afterwards be able to use the data we have collected and get them published in scientific journals. I hope I will be back in Cambodia soon. "

    William H , France

" I have volunteered at this project for 3 months! they are an amazing project and i can only recommend them to you. usually you are able to dive at least once a day. and there is always house reef where you can improve your snorkelling skills. i did 38 dives in 3 months due to problems with my ears. how much and how long you work for during the day is pretty much up to you. There is plenty of work to do. the diving includes seahorse research/surveys, reef clean ups, fish identification and so on. other projects are the production of anti trawling devices, beach clean ups, jungle surveys which have the purpose of exploring species of orchids on the island, projects with the village include a lot of building, teaching, you can help in the little medical center or you can help on patrols with the villagers to prevent illegal fishing. how much you put into the project is completely up to you. There is always something that you can do and ideas and self initiative is very much welcome. im sure you would not regret working with them! "

    Tyler Cork , Australia

" My wife and I volunteered here for 5 weeks earlier this year. We both wished we could have stayed longer. They now have projects on the adjacent islands of as well! Volunteering with this project is like being in a startup company. Opinions and suggestions regarding the project and improvements that can be made are encouraged, valued and often implemented. You can choose to lay in a hammock for the entire time you are there if you want, but you'll find the most fulfillment in getting involved in as many things as you can. You can help participate in english classes or develop learning materials for the kids, or spend time on land based projects like village and beach cleanups. Other projects that were in the beginning stages while present were teaching villagers about composting and jungle treks for insect and mammal species identification. And of course, there's the diving. 2 dives a day was the norm, and we even went on one night dive! A typical weekday might consist of breakfast at 7am, dive at 8am, Study Fish IDing at 10:30am, lunch at 12pm, dive at 1pm, beach cleanup at 3:30pm, dinner at 7pm. The weekends you have off to relax in the village, snorkel, or go back to the mainland to explore, party or get a food fix/stock up on snacks to bring back (the food rotation on the island is pretty basic). We were trained pretty well in the local marine ecology, including fish, substrate and seahorse identification. All of these skills and more were utilized during REEF checks, reef cleanups, fish surveys and seahorse surveys. Outside of the volunteer work, the locals in the village are nothing short of amazing and inspiring. The staff were extremely helpful and knowledgeable and really fun to be around. "

    Nik D , Spain

" I volunteered here for 3 months in 2009, did my Divemaster there in 2010 and came back in 2011 just for a quick visit. And the 6 months on the island were nothing short of amazing. At the project we did all kind of things: Beach clean-ups, reef clean-up, reef surveys, seahorse surveys, building of buoys and anti-trawling- devices, teaching etc. We did up to 4 Dives a day on 5 days a week. It was basically up to us how much we did. On weekends we could either go to the mainland or stay on the island and do some fun diving on Saturdays, but not on Sundays. Diving Of course you can't compare it to Egypt or the Maldives. Visibility was basically 5-10 meters. Sometimes even worse, sometimes better. The macro life is stunning. but also the bigger fish; Travelly, Barracuda, Cobia, Sharks. And of course the seahorses. The people and the village are the most amazing part of the project. The villagers are just amazing. "