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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! 

Program Highlights:
  • Experience the sparkling, tropical waters of the Perhentian Islands
  • Become PADI Open Water, PADI Advanced Open Water or PADI Rescue Diver certified (included in program fee!)
  • Engage in two coral nursery dives, two turtle photo ID dives, two blacktip reef shark photo ID dives, and two additional dives
  • Average eight dives per week
  • Enjoy free time on Sundays to visit other islands or relax on the beach with fellow volunteers
Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum one-week commitment):*

Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive into Kota Bharu Airport and take a one-hour taxi to Kuala Besut Jetty. Volunteers will take a boat from the jetty to the island of Pulau Perhentian Besar. Volunteers will receive an orientation and project overview as well as a tour of the local village, followed by dinner and a presentation on marine life.

Days 1-5, Tuesday-Saturday: Volunteers will spend their first five days becoming PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water or Rescue Diver certified.( For Rescue Course divers: If you do not have a current First Aid certification, you must take an Emergency First Response (EFR) training couse for an additional fee.

Day 6, Sunday: Sundays are free days.

Days 7-12, Monday-Saturday: Volunteers will partake in marine conservation dives in the mornings and afternoons, with a lunch break in between. Volunteers will participate in an average of two dives per day, and in total partake in two coral nursery dives, two turtle photo ID dives, two shark photo ID dives, and two additional dives. Volunteers will also participate in two beach clean-ups. Please note: Daily activities are weather-dependent. 

Day 13, Sunday: Volunteers staying for only two weeks depart on this day. Boats leave for the mainland at 8:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

*Please note: Volunteers who are already certified may join for just one week, at a discounted rate, or can choose to take an advanced or rescue course for a minimum stay of two weeks. All essential dive equipment is included.

Since its creation, volunteers on this program have:
  • Briefed 4,276 people on eco-snorkeling practices
  • Surveyed 5,000 km of coral reef
  • Cleaned 57 kg of rubbish during reef cleans
  • Cleared 371 bags of rubbish from our beaches (over 1500 kg!) (3306 lbs)
  • Started the first coral nursery
  • Reported 10 illegal activities to make the sea a safer place for the marine life
  • Trained 80 village snorkel boatsmen in the Green Fins Eco Snorkel Course
Check out what our past volunteers had to say!
Location of the Project:  Kecil Island, Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
Project length:  Min 1 week (for certified divers) - Max 8 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Khota Baru Airport (KBR)
Volunteer Work:  Photo identification dives, coral nursery dives, beach cleanups
Age:  Minimum age of 18
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 8 international volunteers
Important Note:  Volunteers who are PADI certified can join the program for just one week, at a discounted rate. For those taking the Rescue Course diver course - If you do not have a current First Aid certification, you must take an Emergency First Response (EFR) training course for RM 1250 (approx. GBP 241).

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared, volunteer house
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. 
The goal of this project is to conduct research and participate in the conservation of coral reefs and other marine life populations, restoring life to the crystal waters of this popular destination.

Volunteers on this program will be mostly partaking in photo identification dives, in order to help build up the current photo database. This program currently has an existing turtle photo database and is looking to create shark and seahorse photo databases. Data collected from the photo identification dives is used to provide decision-makers in Malaysia with the knowledge necessary to implement changes that protect the coral reef and seabeds. Volunteers will always improve their buoyancy while conducting survey dives and learning how to atatch coral to a PVC frame; allowing the coral fragment to grow, making a new reef! 

Some of your weekly tasks will include:
  • Two coral nursery dives
  • Two turtle photo identification dives
  • Two shark photo identification dives
  • Two additional dives (possiblities include seahorse photo identification, reef cleanups, buouy maintenance, deploying coral nurseries, cleaning fish traps, etc)
  • Two beach cleanups
Internet:  Free WiFi is available at the accommodations.
Laundry:  There are laundry facilities at the accommodations.
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in a shared, traditional volunteer 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 
  • 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 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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