- Who?Groups of at least 5
- When? Projects have flexible dates and run all year round
- Where? Ao Nang, Thailand.
Despite the south-west of Thailand being incredibly popular with tourists, the beautiful karst limestone islands also provide some of the best coral reef ecosystems in the world. These reef systems are abundant in a huge diversity of life and also offer fantastic diving conditions throughout most of the year. However, with such a huge influx of tourists to this region of Thailand, the human effects of over-fishing, pollution and plastic debris are threatening these vulnerable ecosystems.
The Krabi Province has some of the oldest remaining mangrove and lowland forests in the whole of Thailand. Coral reefs and mangrove forests are part of the same eco-system. Many of the creatures essential to the coral reef start their life-cycles in mangrove swamps. The continued deforestation of the mangroves and the lowland forests in this area leads to landslides, run off into the ocean, flooding, water shortages and has an effect on tourism and the economy. Soil erosion from widespread land clearing can send tons of silt downstream. Sediment clouds the water, blocking sunlight, and settles on reefs, suffocating the organisms and destroying the eco-system.
Our volunteers play a crucial role in studying and preserving these reefs, educating children about conservation, removing debris from reefs and beaches, and replanting mangroves to provide nurseries to juvenile fish and to protect the coastlines from soil erosion.
Groups will be met by one of our staff members in Krabi, just 20km from Ao Nang where our Conservation project is based. The first part of the project will be training you to scuba dive on a four-day Open Water course. In the initial stages when you are in shallow water, you will learn how to breathe, clear your mask and equalise pressure. You will also become familiar with the buddy system and underwater sign language.
Once you have qualified, your efforts are rewarded as you descend into a stunningly clear underwater world of tropical fish, turtles, sea urchins and corals that you never knew existed. By analysing reef damage and fish populations, you play a part in conserving this precious ecosystem off the coast of South West Thailand. You will also help with a beach clean-up and take part in some mangrove reforestation work.
Volunteers on this project can get involved in a wide variety of activities, such as:
- Reef Check Surveys
- Dive Against Debris Surveys
- Ocean Conservancy Data Collection
- Mangrove Reforestation Work
- Community Outreach and Education
- Beach clean-ups
You will return home with a universally recognised qualification, a wealth of diving experience and the knowledge that you have made a useful contribution to the preservation of a wonderful marine ecosystem – as well as some great memories of Thailand.
We will train you up to PADI Open Water standards, helping you to learn the fundamental theoretical and practical aspects of diving. As a PADI certified diver you can participate fully in the underwater conservation work. All volunteers staying for four weeks or more complete the PADI Projects Abroad Survey Diver Distinctive Specialty Course.
Projects Abroad Thailand is based in Ao Nang near Krabi, a 1-hour flight south of Bangkok, on the Andaman Sea coast. Thailand is a stunning country with lots to see, including pristine beaches, exotic food and golden temples and the Thai people are world renowned for their friendliness. Thailand is a great introduction to South East Asia and is a popular and exhilarating country in which to volunteer abroad.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.