Endangered Turtle Conservation and Research in Thailand
Travel to Thailand to support endangered green turtle conservation and research along with a team of international volunteers. Contribute to a range of other conservation initiatives during your time on the project, advancing United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, UN SDGs, #14 and #15, Life Below Water and Life on Land, and get taste of what a career in conservation is really like. In your free time, island hop around the South coast of Thailand, go snorkeling among the many reefs, or visit sacred Buddhist sites.
About the organisation
At GVI, we have been connecting thousands of change-makers, like you, with impactful environmental projects in some of the most vulnerable habitats all over the world, for over two decades. We offer an extensive range of nature conservation programs through which people from all walks of life can volunteer, intern and study. Our programs are led by our partners who are local to the communities we’re based in, and focused on making a data-driven, sustainable impact. With GVI, you get access to real-life practical experience to kick-off or advance your career. We also offer immersive social development programs in communities and cultures all over the world.
We know that creating lifelong connections with like-minded global change-makers is important to you. That’s why we go to great lengths to set the scene for you – so you can enjoy the most memorable experiences together. Just ask our alumni. You’ll see that we’re serious about ethics and sustainability – we partner with expert locally-led organisations and align ourselves to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
Over the years, we have been moved, educated and impelled by our many conservation partners. Our work with them has won numerous awards and has been featured across global media. Whilst you’re immersed in the abundant ecosystems of our locations, we don’t want you to worry about a thing. That’s why our team offers support every step of the way, taking care of the admin, logistics and health and safety on your behalf. You’re in good hands.
With the climate crisis intensifying, GVI is more determined than ever to follow our mission. By joining a GVI program, you’re not only contributing to positive change on the planet, but also within yourself. This we can guarantee: you will never be the same again.
About the programme
Six of the seven species of sea turtles are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN Red List as threatened or endangered. The green sea turtle, specifically, is classified as endangered.
This volunteer program in Thailand gives you a chance to contribute to conserving green sea turtles, as well as contributing to other ongoing conservation initiatives while living and working with GVI staff and other participants from around the world.
In partnership with the Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre, The Royal Thai Navy, Sea Turtle Conservation Centre, we work to increase numbers of the endangered green sea turtle. As beaches used by mother sea turtles for nesting are still in recovery, hatchlings are raised in sea turtle conservation and research centres. At the head-start centre, turtles are reared from hatchlings to a size where they will face less risk of predation upon release.
Here volunteers, assist by cleaning turtle tanks and turtles with scrubbing brushes, treating any wounds that turtles may have with antibacterial and antifungal medical ointments, assisting with collecting morphological data and conducting studies of which resources keep turtles engaged and learning, encouraging cognitive and social development, and, if they are lucky enough to be on the program during a release date, assist with releasing hundreds of young turtles back into the ocean.
- Work toward conserving the endangered green sea turtle.
- Visit the ever-popular beaches of Phuket in your free time.
- Experience the truly awe-inspiring islands, beaches, and underwater worlds of Southern Thailand.
- Stand the chance of contributing to several seasonal conservation efforts, including d tropical island biodiversity surveys and coral surveys while snorkeling.
- Live and work with GVI staff and other participants from around the world.
- Contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goal #14 and #15, Life Below Water and Land and Life.
Our GVI base is located in the heart of a small fishing village named Ban Nam Khem, which is about one and half hours from Phuket airport, and about half an hour from the popular resort town of Khao Lak. Situated within the Phang Nga province, this region was the worst affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It’s estimated that almost half of Ban Nam Khem’s residents lost their lives in the tsunami, and today there is a famous memorial dedicated to them. Though steeped in tragedy, the people of the village refuse to be defined by their loss. The community has rebuilt itself and grown substantially since then.
Participating in this GVI program in Phang Nga offers you the chance to slow down and experience living and working in a traditional Thai community, tucked away from the usual busy tourist hotspots. The base is a short ten-minute walk from the beach and a fifteen-minute walk from the centre of the village – where you’ll find little markets, shops and street food vendors that are open daily. When you’re out and about, you’ll often be joined by Tiger, the friendly village dog who lives across the road. He loves to tag along on adventures and visit the base. You will share a house that includes communal spaces – here you can learn and relax with our GVI staff and other participants from all around the world. On the weekends, you can explore the numerous stunning beaches, islands, caves, and national forests that the Phang Nga region is renowned for.
1 – 12 weeks.
Costs and pre-requisites
Starting from 1 week – £1,795.
No prior knowledge or experience is required – our trained field team will provide you with all the training you need when you join your project. Some of our diving programs require participants to be PADI Open Water certified prior to joining, please contact your enrolment manager for more information. There is no age limit to join our projects and in fact, our oldest participant to date was 80! Our projects do have a minimum age of 18, with the exception of our under 18 projects that are specifically designed for 15-17 year olds and our family programs for 14+ when accompanied by a guardian.
- 24-hour emergency desk
- 24-hour in-country support
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- All project equipment
- Food (except on long-term internship placements
- Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)
How to apply
To find out more and apply, please visit the GVI website: Endangered Turtle Conservation and Research in Thailand | GVI Planet