Wildlife conservation and community volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Volunteer for Rainforest Conservation

"There is nowhere with more life than a primary rainforest and nowhere to feel more alive than standing within its mighty realm. Our rainforests are the lifeblood of our existence. They are beautiful and epic."

David Johnston, Conservationist (WorkingAbroad)

WorkingAbroad supports volunteer placements that protect and restore rainforests around the globe. Our team has brought together a selection of high-impact projects that enable you to help save rainforests while also equipping you with the skills and education to become a leading conservationist, activist and scientist.

Covering just 3.6% of the planet’s surface, rainforests hold around half of all species on Earth. Protecting rainforests is crucial to preserving the planet’s biological diversity (biodiversity). Rainforests also sequester globally significant carbon stocks. However, in 2019, the world lost 3.8 million hectares of primary mature rainforest. That is equivalent to losing a football pitch of primary forest every 6 seconds. 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are from deforestation.

Rainforests are destroyed for many reasons, including clearing for livestock farming of cattle for beef and crops such as palm oil and soy, logging for timber and fuel, and mining for gold, oil or other valuable elements. The negative impacts of deforestation are felt by the millions of people who rely on forests for their livelihoods, but also the global community who are experiencing the effects of climate change occurring as a result of deforestation.

Rainforest conservation activities are taking place worldwide to counteract the harmful effects of deforestation and build more sustainable relationships between humans and our forests for the future. Our volunteer projects focus on a range of rainforest conservation activities, including replanting and reseeding, mapping of forest areas, protection and rehabilitation of wildlife, monitoring habitat change and contributing to educational programmes. These opportunities take place from the Amazon in Peru and the cloud forests in Ecuador to the tropical rainforests of Indonesia, Laos and Costa Rica.

Our Projects with Rainforest Conservation

  • Playa Tortuga Conservation Volunteer Project, Costa Rica

    • Duration 1 week to 6 months
    • Prices from £445

    Volunteer in Costa Rica and live and work in a biological research station and take part in sea turtle, butterfly, caiman, crocodile, tree boa, monkey and mammal research and environmental education.

  • Cloud Forest Conservation & Sustainability Volunteer Project, Ecuador

    • Duration 1-12 Weeks
    • Prices from £400

    Become an environmental volunteer in Ecuador to conserve a part of the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest and get involved in reforestation, organic agriculture, sustainable living and building projects, and Capuchin Monkey research.

  • Amazon Research and Conservation Volunteer & Internship Project, Peru

    • Duration 2+ Weeks
    • Prices from £1127

    Volunteer or intern in Peru and have the rare opportunity to work alongside and learn from expert biologists and conservationists about the forest, tropical wildlife and conservation efforts in the deep Amazon rainforest.

  • Statia Conservation Volunteer Project, St. Eustatius, Caribbean

    • Duration 8-12 Weeks
    • Prices from £680

    Volunteer in the Caribbean on the stunning island of St. Eustatius, in the Dutch Antilles, overlooking St. Kitts in the Caribbean Sea

  • Orangutan Conservation Volunteer Project, Indonesia

    • Duration 3 Weeks
    • Prices from £1575

    Join the Borneo Orangutan Conservation project in Indonesia as a volunteer, and assist a project in the forefront of rainforest and wildlife conservation efforts in this region. Work in a vast rainforest that is home to diverse wildlife, including the largest lowland orangutan population in the world, and contribute to their future protection.

     

  • Looking for a Volunteer Project Abroad?
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    WorkingAbroad is the Go-To Website for Ethical & Responsible Volunteer & Internship Opportunities Abroad

    We run volunteer programmes in over 30 countries across the world focusing on wildlife conservation and community development projects and every project we offer adheres to our ethical standards.

David Johnston, Conservationist (WorkingAbroad)

"There is nowhere with more life than a primary rainforest and nowhere to feel more alive than standing within its mighty realm. Our rainforests are the lifeblood of our existence. They are beautiful and epic."

David Johnston, Conservationist (WorkingAbroad)
Tropical Rainforest Facts

Tropical Rainforest Facts

  • There are many types of tropical rainforest, including evergreen rainforest, seasonal deciduous forest, tropical cloud forest, and mangrove forest.
  • Tropical forests presently cover about 1.84 billion hectares or about 12% of Earth’s land surface (3.6% of Earth’s surface)
  • South America’s tropical rainforests receive between 2-3 meters (80-120 inches, or 6.5-10 feet!) of rain in a typical year.
  • Central and South America possess half of the world’s tropical forests 
  • More than half of the terrestrial species on Earth occur in tropical forests.
Rainforest Conservation Strategies

Rainforest Conservation Strategies

  • Community-based conservation is an effort to protect biodiversity in which the local community participates as much as possible, supporting livelihoods, preserving cultures and protecting ecosystems such as rainforests.  
  • Protected areas, state or private, can be used as a barrier to control the exploitation of the forest and prevent deforestation. These areas may be protected by legal agreements, government policy and monitored by park guards or rangers who monitor and control access to the area.
  • Agroforestry refers to the inclusion of trees and shrubs into agriculture. Agroforestry maintains forest cover and this can make agriculture more sustainable and reduce the need to clear additional forest.
  • Ecotourism and volunteers can bring sustainable revenue to forests and can provide an alternative income for local people which rely on intact and biodiverse forests.
Take action for rainforests

Take action for rainforests

  • Tourism and volunteer work generates value for intact forests and can deter deforestation. 
  • Use your purchasing power to support products that are zero-deforestation and look for labels, platforms and certifications that guide decision-making, such as RSPO, Rainforest Alliance, SPOTT, Carbon Neutral Beef.
  • Switch your energy provider to solar or wind power and support the alternatives to oil and gas, which have a negative impact on rainforests. 
  • Know where your food comes from, buy local and be aware of the so-called “hamburger connection” between your beef consumption and rainforest destruction.
  • You can use a carbon calculator to work out your carbon emissions and support a project which promotes reforestation or the protection of rainforests.
  • Use a bank which has a zero deforestation commitment for business investments.

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