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Make an impact with this unique project designed to protect, conserve, and rehabilitate the beautiful coral reefs of the Perhentian Islands! The goal of this project is to conduct research and participate in the conservation of coral reefs and seagrass populations, restoring life to the crystal waters of this popular destination.

Data collected from the survey dives is used to provide decision-makers in Malaysia with the knowledge necessary to implement changes that protect the coral reef and seabeds. This project allows the fun of diving while also providing the opportunity for volunteers to make a real impact on the ecosystems of the waters of these islands!
Location of the Project:  Kecil Island, Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
Project length:  Min 3 weeks (for certified divers) - Max 8 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Khota Baru Airport (KBR)
Volunteer Work:  Coral reef mapping, seagrass mapping, seagrass surveying, health assessments of reefs and seabeds
Age:  Minimum age of 18 (This project accepts volunteers of the ages 16 & 17 with parental consent)
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 4 international volunteers
Important Note:  Volunteers who are not PADI certified have a minimum stay of 4 weeks.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared, traditional Malay village home
Food:  Three meals per day are provided
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is not included. Boat transfer from jetty is included.
Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, airport transfers (taxi and boat transfers), personal expenses
The word “Perhentian” in Malay means “stopping point” and it is easy to understand why one would need to stop by once you have seen the islands for yourself. The islands are surrounded by bright, teal waters and white sandy beaches that are complemented by an electric green, tropical jungle. The Perhentian Islands of Malaysia are made up of the smaller island of Kecil and the larger Besar.

While Kecil is most popular with younger tourists, Besar has a more relaxed vibe. This marine conservation project takes place mostly on the Kecil island, where volunteers can usually find a beach party at Long Beach to attend in their free time. For the more relaxed volunteer, Coral Bay is a beautifully serene destination. 
During Week 1, which is dedicated to research training, volunteers will either be working towards their PADI certificate or are in research training. During research training volunteers will attend classes and lectures. Following the research training week, volunteers will be able to use their newly-learned skills to collect data within the water on a series of survey dives.

Some of your tasks may include:
  •  Coral reef mapping
  •  Seagrass mapping
  •  Seagrass surveying
  •  Conducting health assessments of coral reefs and seabeds
  •  General research

A typical day: The volunteering activities run from morning until evening with a lunch break in between. Volunteers will participate on average in 2 survey dives per day. From the second week, Sundays are usually free days.

Please note: Daily activities are weather-dependent. 

For dive course participants:  For an additional fee, volunteers who are not yet certified to dive will begin the project ONE WEEK BEFORE the regular start dates to obtain PADI certification, for a minimum stay of 4 weeks. Volunteers who are already certified but would like to take an advanced or rescue course must also begin one week before, for a minimum stay of 4 weeks. 
Internet:  Free WiFi is available at the accommodations.
Laundry:  There are laundry facilities at the accommodations.
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in a shared, traditional Malay home with cold-water showers and a squat toilet.
Food:  3 meals per day are provided. Breakfast normally includes breads, cereals, coffee and tea. Lunches and dinners are cooked by volunteers; volunteers are expected to take turns preparing meals.
Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 18 (16 &17 with parental consent)
  • Completed PADI medical form
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Positive attitude and willingness to participate in all activities
  • Respect for local culture and traditions
Around the Kecil island, canoes and kayaks are readily available for rent. Another option during free time on Sundays is to explore the tropical jungle of the island!
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