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Conservation in Cambodia

We are not running this project in 2018, but we are still running great Diving & Marine Conservation projects in Thailand, Fiji and Belize. Have a Look!

  • Placement location: Koh Sdach
  • Role: To conduct marine wildlife surveys and beach clean-ups
  • Main Research Focus: Protection of endangered seahorses
  • Local Environment: Marine
  • Accommodation: Shared volunteer bungalows
  • What’s included? Food, accommodation, airport transfers, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support, dive equipment, PADI diving course
  • What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
  • Length of placement: From 1 week
  • Start dates: Flexible

You can volunteer on a Diving & Marine Conservation project in Cambodia on the tropical Gulf of Thailand. The project is based on the beautiful and peaceful island of Koh Sdach .The project involves researching local marine wildlife, including the endangered seahorses. You can get involved in research dives and beach clean-ups. This will all take place under the guidance and supervision of our experienced local staff.

Volunteer on Marine Conservation projects in Cambodia

This project is ideal for anyone interested in marine conservation and diving. You will get the chance to work in an incredible environment and perform important work. You do not need previous experience to take part in this project, although of course anyone with a marine biology background will be very welcome.

Volunteers can join us at any time throughout the year on a gap year, a career break, for university research, or as part of a summer holiday.

Here you will find answers to the following questions:

What is my role on this Conservation & Environment project?

What are the aims of this Conservation & Environment project?

Where will I live on this project?


What is my role on this Conservation & Environment project?

Volunteers on this project may take part in activities such as:

  • Marine diving surveys, including seahorse identification and behaviour, coral & fish biodiversity and habitat & mapping surveys.
  • Salvage diving in order to collect debris from the ocean.
  • Beach clean-ups.
  • Monitoring catches of local fishermen and helping to run training programmes on sustainable fishing.

A work schedule is established each week so you know what is happening and when. The schedule varies, depending on the time of year, the weather and the number of volunteers on the project. Volunteers normally work five days a week and some diving usually takes place each work day. You will have two days off to relax, travel back to the mainland or get involved in some of the many other activities the area offers. The most rain usually falls in July and August, and during these months and any other rainy or windy periods the diving work can be disrupted.

Dive Courses

Gap Year Marine Conservation projects in Cambodia

One of the first things that you'll be doing is learning how to scuba dive. 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.

Volunteers with an existing dive certification equivalent to the PADI Open Water qualification receive the PADI Advanced course. Volunteers joining us for at least 4 weeks from July 1st 2015 will also receive the Projects Abroad Survey Diver certification card. This is a PADI authorised specialty course which includes full training in underwater survey and research techniques.


Volunteers who are unable to scuba dive or who are not interested in the dive-related work can still get involved. You can take part in snorkelling or focus on the land based conservation work. There is plenty to be done and all efforts go towards the protection of this beautiful and developing country.


What are the aims of this Conservation & Environment project?

The beach in Cambodia

The main reason why this project began in the first place was to help with the protection of seahorses in Cambodia. This is still a key aim of the project as we campaign and educate against illegal fishing. We hope to see a rise in the seahorse population in the future as we continue research into their habitats and behaviour.

Volunteers taking part in our Conservation programme in Cambodia will also be contributing to our exciting new Global Shark Campaign, which is taking place in 18 countries in 4 continents. We collect data on all shark sightings that take place during our research dives. This data is then sent over to our campaign headquarters in Fiji to contribute to their research efforts.


What are the living conditions on this project?

Environmental Marine Conservation work in Cambodia

The project’s accommodation is built on stilts over the water in the fishing village of Koh Sdach. You will sleep in same-sex dorm rooms. The accommodation has constant electricity. At the back of the accommodation are bathrooms, with western style toilet with a bucket and a scoop to flush it and a shower. Apart from the fishing village, the island has a few guest houses, and lots of forest.

All volunteers eat together in the large multi-functional communal area or on the deck overlooking the water. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to mingle with the local villagers, and to get immersed in Khmer culture.

Conservation in Cambodia

You can join the Conservation & Environment project in Cambodia two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. During a two week placement volunteers receive just one dive course, either the Open Water or Advanced course. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. However, although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work on a variety of conservation activities please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period. The amount of diving may also be limited by the weather, especially during the rainy season between June and September.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Cambodia Conservation Management Plan.

All volunteers taking part in the Conservation Project in Cambodia for at least 12 weeks have the opportunity to train as a Divemaster during their time on the project. Read more about our here.

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