Wildlife conservation and community volunteer projects and internships worldwide

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Community, Environment & Wildlife, World Trends

Top 5 volunteer projects for a more sustainable world

May 3rd 2022

Achieving a sustainable future will require a monumental effort on the parts of individuals, communities, businesses, NGOs and governments. As global volunteers, we have the potential to unlock exceptional learning opportunities for off-grid living through participation in sustainability-focused projects.

We’ve highlighted our TOP 5 sustainability volunteer projects, providing our community with an edge in their journey to a more sustainable and equitable world.

1. Cloud Forest Conservation & Sustainability Volunteer Project, Ecuador

Volunteer collecting bananas in cloud forest EcuadorCloud Forest Ecuador | Conservation Volunteering | Working AbroadCloud forests are critical ecosystems for maintaining high levels of biodiversity and global freshwater security. Living and working within these important ecosystems requires careful consideration for sustainability. This project conserves and restores Ecuadorian cloud forests. It also employs eco-construction techniques for its infrastructures and produces bio-food and sustainable timber, reducing pressure on the surrounding ecosystem. We believe that learning to live sustainably within a rugged environment, like a cloud forest, provides vital skills and perspectives for the future world, particularly for those of us with a calling to live in the wild.

2. Amazon Restoration Volunteer & Internship Programme, Peru

reforestation work peruVolunteer in Peru | WorkingAbroad

Is it possible to sustainably harvest the plants of an ecosystem as critically important as the Amazon rainforest? Yes, it is. This project runs an active reforestation centre and productive farm in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. At the centre, agroforestry specialists are experimenting with the sustainable harvest of oils, fruits, branches and other non-timber forest products, producing over 100 unique tree species within the rainforest ecosystem and providing alternative livelihood models for local people. As businesses develop models incorporating the sustainable use of ecosystems, we expect a reduction of pressure on some of the world’s most threatened flora and fauna. Become an environmental entrepreneur.

3. Deep Ecology and Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, Costa Rica

Volunteers working at FincaVolunteer in Costa Rica | WorkingAbroadLiving off-grid is easier said than done and more achievable with a base understanding and knowledge gained through hands-on experiences. This project is creating a sustainable living space fit for the 21st Century in a remote location in Costa Rica. At the heart of an eco-community, volunteers work alongside regenerative agriculture, permaculture, and ecological construction specialists. The goal is for the community to live off-grid and self-sufficient with auto-consumption. This project is an excellent choice for those keen to learn the skills required to become truly self-sufficient.

4. Maldives Island Volunteer Project

Volunteers walking on beach cleanup MaldivesVolunteer Maldives | Marine Conservation | Working AbroadThe beautiful islands of the Maldives have serious waste management issues which stem from a lack of capacity, awareness and knowledge about waste management and environmental protection. Until a circular economy becomes the status quo, we will need to continue to deal with mounting waste. This project focuses on the planning, development, and implementation of comprehensive waste management plans to help Naifaru Island in their quest to control waste and pollution. Volunteers engage in every step of the process and learn skills that they then also help share with the community. This project is great for gaining problem-solving skills.

5. Galapagos Conservation Volunteers

Sustainable gardening volunteers in GalapagosGalapagos Volunteering | Sustainable Agriculture | WorkingAbroadRemoteness can be a significant barrier to food security for island nations such as the Galapagos. They often require food to be shipped in, which is costly and inefficient. This project makes the most of the Galapagos’ rich volcanic soils and local techniques to grow food in greenhouses. These controls and local wisdom help optimise year-round food production for local communities, lowering food costs and carbon footprint while improving local livelihood opportunities. As the human population grows and food shortages become more common, the Galapagos offers a microcosm of the world’s food insecurity crises. It also provides a perfect learning opportunity for those keen to solve this major global challenge.


Do you have any questions about a particular project, how to join or anything in between? If so please don’t hesitate to write to us at info@workingabroad.com

About the Author

David J Johnston

David J Johnston is a devoted conservationist and sustainable business entrepreneur with extensive experience in tropical forest conservation, particularly in the Peruvian Amazon. Through his Peruvian non-profit, co-founded in 2013, David played a key role in establishing the Las Piedras Conservation Corridor and the Las Piedras Amazon Center. Since January 2021, he has been a important member of the WorkingAbroad family, managing marketing and communications to connect dedicated volunteers with non-profit and community-based projects in over 30 countries. In this capacity, David helps to heighten awareness of conservation issues and champion ethical volunteering. Alongside his work at WorkingAbroad, David oversees communications for the Sustainable Business and Finance team at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and serves as an executive board member at Junglekeepers Peru, where he focuses on Conservation Enterprise and helps foster sustainable community development.