In today’s date, environmental issues are becoming a matter of concern and it’s our responsibility to contribute towards Mother Nature’s well-being, in whichever way we can. The effect of global warming is evident from the frequent disasters the world is experiencing at regular intervals. This, thus, calls for an act of altruism towards our environment.
If you are a nature lover and wish to step ahead and volunteer for a meaningful conservation program, then Volunteering Solutions is here to offer you some incredible opportunities. Not only will you get to work closely with the community folks, but you’ll also get to live amidst nature, experiencing the local life away from the urban chaos and cacophony.
Be it a populated metropolitan or a suburban location outside the main city area, Australia is known to have a great eco-system throughout the country. The amazing flora and fauna that it contains have always added to its beauty, and constant volunteer work in Australia ensures that it remains in its very best form. Volunteers can choose to be a part of the team of such groups and help to maintain the brilliant ecology of Australia. A basic day – to – day activity that a volunteer will be involved in, includes;
– Help in the conservation and preservation work as guided by the project coordinator.
– Help in the maintenance work and upkeep of the forests or allocated project area.
– Know about Australia’s wildlife -flora and fauna in detail.
– Perks for Biology and science students include gathering knowledge about the genus and nomenclature of the plant and animal cycle.
One of the most gorgeous island nations of the world, NZ would surely take your breath away with its enchanting beauty and mesmerizing landscapes. Being a volunteer for the Conservation Program, you’ll get the opportunity to see the real wild nature of New Zealand’s environment, and by helping out with track cutting, pest control, and animal monitoring, you’ll make a lasting contribution to conserving these places and the creatures that live there for years to come. Some of the most popular sites include Long Gully Bush Reserve and Pigeon Bush Reserve. It’ll be an incredible opportunity to explore nature’s trails around Auckland & Wellington while gaining first-hand work experience. You’ll get to meet amazing & like-minded people from different parts of the world and most importantly, you’ll get to learn a lot about conservation, from professional conservationists! No matter whether you are a gap year traveler or a high school/ college student – this is gonna be absolutely great for you!
As a volunteer, your main tasks would be:
– Planting trees in locations like Tawharanui Regional Park as part of the ongoing restoration of this incredible landscape which has resulted in many endangered birds being able to be reintroduced including the rare bird and New Zealand icon, the flightless Kiwi.
– Help boost native biodiversity and provide additional habitat for native birds by removing exotic weeds that threaten to swamp native plantings.
Thailand is known for its attachment to the elephants, and it most convincingly can be witnessed in the region of Surin; also known as the ‘Elephant Province of Thailand’. And what makes the volunteering experience best is the fact that the project is located in an elephant village, at the outskirts of the main province area of Surin. Maintaining an elephant can be really expensive, and that is the reason why most of the mahouts have to either sell their elephants or take them to the city area to beg on the streets. Through volunteers’ support, this situation can be avoided. This small village, called Tha-Thum, mostly consists of families of mahouts, along with regular farmers, carpenters, etc. However, it is utmost exciting for the volunteers who choose to join this project as it provides a unique opportunity to stay in the village, amongst these families which helps a lot to learn about ancient Thailand and their traditions.
In the context of the roles and responsibilities that a volunteer needs to execute during their stay at the project include;
– Taking the gentle giants for regular walks.
– Feeding them and taking them to the nearby river for a bath.
– Learning the basic skills of handling elephants and how to train them.
– Volunteers can also choose to fish and cook in a typical Thai manner, work in the farms, kayak on the local river, etc. during their free time.
This project runs at an elephant camp which is located at 45 minutes distance from the mainland Chiang Mai. The time period you wish to spend at the camp depends entirely on your availability and choice. Generally, a volunteer can choose to spend time from 2 to 8 weeks at the project or maybe more if wish to. There are a number of elephants at the camp who are taken care of by their individual owners, also known as ‘mahouts’. Those who wish to join the elephant camp volunteer project in Chiang Mai must remember that there are certain sets of roles and responsibilities they need to execute as a part of the project. This includes, but is not limited to;
– Taking the elephants for a morning bathe.
– Feed them breakfast.
– Help in navigating the tourists who arrive during the day to watch the elephants and tour the camp.
– Assist the mahouts in cleaning the elephant shed area and learn the tricks of handling the elephants.
Located at a distance of about 100kms south of the city of Valencia is a small traditional fishing town by the name of Denia. It is known for its calm and tranquil ambiance, and a series of pristine beaches stretched long for kilometers. Denia is also the home to Marine Reserve in the Cape of San Antonio. Over the years, tourist footfall has increased cumulatively at these beaches, which has slightly taken off the actual beauty of these beaches. Volunteers can choose to work in Denia in order to preserve and maintain the coastal environment and the marine species. Through this program, volunteers can learn new skills and contribute to minimizing the environmental impact of their traveling while learning to be a ‘Responsible Traveler’. The main tasks would include:
– Underwater cleaning.
– Learn to accurately identify the targeted species.
– Survey and data collection of underwater habitats in danger.
– Helping with the logistical operations.
– Help to protect the Mediterranean marine biodiversity.
Another very interesting conservation project is available in the mainland city of Valencia, Spain. The region boasts of excellent natural habitats and ecosystem, with a series of hills, riversides, islands, wetlands, and deep forests. The city, at its outskirts, sustains some of the best flora and fauna of Spanish land. Working under this program can provide you an opportunity to understand the ecosystem of the land, and provide a helping hand in conserving it. Things you may need to do as a volunteer under this project include;
– Working at the Albufera Natural Park and other wetlands to improve the quality of the water and the ecosystems.
– Participating in activities of restoring bird habitats, etc.
– Flora and fauna surveys and data collection.
– Tree planting, forest fire prevention.
– Eradicating invasive vegetation and general park maintenance.
If you are a Nature Lover and have been contemplating joining a conservation volunteering program, then choose one from the above and embark on a life-changing journey! We also offer customized trips for group volunteers. In case you are looking for more information about the programs, you can simply write to us at [email protected] and our Program Advisors will soon get back to you!
Riyanka is a traveler who is keen on exploring different parts of the world. She’s a travel blogger who’s equally passionate about photography. Her quest is to turn all her journeys into beautiful stories. Being a die-hard ‘mountain-aholic‘, her favorite destinations are all around the Himalayas! She can spend days gazing at the snow-capped mountains, binge on Maggi and lemon-honey-ginger tea, and reading Ruskin Bond books.
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