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Environmental Conservation Project in Sri Lanka

Practical information

Strengths

  • Contribute to the fight against global warming
  • To help preserve the natural environment in Sri Lanka
  • To help raise awareness among local communities for the protection of ecosystems in Sri Lanka

Program description

We live in a time where the Earth is at its most vulnerable. Natural ecosystems have declined substantially resulting in loss of biodiversity, man-made pollution has reached unimaginable levels and climate change has become humanity’s greatest challenge. It is clear we need to change the way we interact with nature and change fast. In order to preserve the earth for future generations, we not only need to reduce the amount of harm that human activities have on the environment but also support the natural world as much as we can.

Just like the rest of the planet, here in Sri Lanka, our beautiful natural environment needs to be protected and preserved for future generations, as well as for the vast natural flora and fauna that have been native to us for centuries. Environmental conservation is a vast topic that covers multiple areas in different parts of the world. For this project, we have chosen to conduct a range of initiatives that, we believe, will have a lasting impact in addressing the key environmental issues that affect the natural ecosystems of our beloved island.

What our Participants do on the Project: Volunteers participate in a range of activities spread across 5 important initiatives as per below:

 REFORESTATION

 Mangrove Restoration – Mangrove ecosystems are vitally important in sustaining marine environments. They protect coastlines, maintain water quality, control floods, offer breeding grounds for fish and other marine species, help in increasing the region’s biodiversity, support rural livelihoods and fight climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide at a rate 3-5x than most forests. Protecting, preserving and growing their numbers is the need of the hour. This part of the project takes places in Koggala Lagoon, an important coastal waterbody in Galle District embellished with eight ecologically rich small islands. Volunteers will play a key role in assisting with the mangrove habitat restoration process in the area by helping plant new seeds in our nursery, nurture and monitor the growth of baby mangrove plants and assist in planting them in and around the islands on the lagoon when they are ready. Volunteers will also work closely with the local conservation team in doing a range of other tasks that are required to preserve and maintain the lagoon’s ecosystem.

RECYCLING

 Recycling Education – Recycling is still in a nascent stage in Sri Lanka, although the concept is catching on as locals gain a better understanding of its environmental benefits. Plastic pollution, in particular, is becoming a major problem that needs to be addressed. This part of the project involves volunteers conducting educational presentation sessions to local communities, schools and businesses highlighting the environmental issues plaguing the region, particularly plastic pollution, and theimportance of recycling as a way of life to combat these challenges. These sessions will be aided by our local staff who will help with preparation of presentation materials and language translations with the local community.

Building EcoBricks – EcoBricks are a simple, low-tech solution to plastic pollution without the need for any machines, special skills or capital. They are single-use plastic bottles that have been cleaned out and packed tightly with other bits of singleuse plastic to be reused as building blocks. This helps to extend the life of single-use plastic and avoid sending them straight to landfill, which helps in reducing plastic pollution. EcoBricks are very durable and don’t break down, making it an ideal building material. In a developing country like Sri Lanka, they are used to construct walls, furniture and even rural buildings. Volunteers will spend part of their project time building EcoBricks which will be used to build the boundary walls in our organic garden and also outdoor furniture. We also intend to donate large amounts of EcoBricks that we make to our neighbouring communities so they can derive similar benefits as well.

 ORGANIC FARMING

Organic Farming – Organic farming practices reduce pollution, conserve water, increase biodiversity, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Using organic fertilizers (e.g., compost, green manure, etc.) instead of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is much better for the natural ecosystem and provides sustainability over the long term. This creates fresh and healthy foods – straight from farm/garden to table. Volunteers will spend part of their project time in our organic garden helping grow fresh fruits and vegetables in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner. Typical tasks will include planting new seeds, maintaining the nursery, making organic compost, monitoring crop growth, building organic fences and other maintenance tasks as necessary.

MARINE CONSERVATION

Coral Reef Restoration – This is the second eco-friendly product we build in this project. Coral reefs are often called the rainforests of the ocean, both due to the vast amount of species they harbour and to the high productivity they yield. Aside from the hundreds of species of coral, reefs support extraordinary biodiversity and are home to a multitude of different types of fish, invertebrates and sea mammals. Unfortunately, like many other places, coral reefs in Sri Lanka have dwindled in size recently due to the adverse effects of climate change and human activities. This part of the project involves building artificial coral reefs using durable and eco-friendly materials to mimic the effects of natural coral reefs. These are then placed in the shallow areas of the ocean where the natural reefs were once thriving. Over time, research has shown that these artificial reefs are generally able to provide a stable habitat for fishes and all the other plant and animal organisms that one would find on a natural reef, thereby restoring this lost marine ecosystem to a large extent.

ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN-UPS

 Beach Cleaning – Sri Lanka is home to some of the world’s most pristine beaches surrounded by the warm ecologically-rich waters of the Indian Ocean. Apart from providing humans with natural meditative beauty, beaches provide a host of environmental benefits including preserving our coastal and ocean ecosystem, actingas nesting sites for turtles and other species, providing vital feeding ground for birds and terrestrial wildlife, mitigating the damaging effects of climate change by protecting our coastlines from storms and strong waves, and more. Unfortunately, in recent years, increased human pollution, particularly plastic pollution, both on land and water, has contributed to unhealthier beaches in Sri Lanka and around the world, making the need for beach clean-ups an essential environmental need. Volunteers spend part of their project time doing beach clean-ups in groups carefully segregating plastic, glass and organic waste, which are then given to the local authorities for disposal or for recycling purposes. This project rotates around different beaches in and around the Galle and Unawatuna areas, thereby increasing the reach and scope of this initiative.

 River Cleaning – Being a tropical island, water cleanliness is just as important as land cleanliness for our ecosystem. The Gin Ganga River is an important 116 km long water body originating from the virgin Sinharaja Rainforest and flowing down through several villages towards Galle and into the Indian Ocean. Keeping the river clean benefits local neighbouring communities, the surrounding flora and fauna, and ultimately the ocean. This part of the project involves volunteers riding in canoes (2 per canoe) and cleaning smaller tributaries of the river of plastic and other waste products that threaten the immediate ecosystem. Life jackets, canoes, oars, scooping nets and waste collecting bags are provided. It requires teamwork and a sense of adventure, all done in a beautiful rural natural setting surrounded by paddy fields.

The frequency of the above activities during any given week or month will depend on the local conditions on the ground at the time(for example, river cleaning may not be possible to do during the heavy monsoon season due to flooding or high tides). It will also depend on the needs/priorities of the various initiatives and activities at certain times of the year. In general, however, volunteers can expect to participate in a majority of these activities during their time on the project, if not all of them. We also expect this project to evolve over time with new activities and initiatives introduced which expand the general scope and reach of our environmental conservation efforts in our community.

Download the program description

Where is your project

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Included in the price

  • Local Transports
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Orientation session and daily briefing
  • Supervision

Not included in the price

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • ETA Visa
  • Private Airport transfert ( Covid measures)
  • Wifi (15€ per month)

Your accommodation

Located on a quiet hillside in the Unawatuna area (15 minutes drive from the center of Galle), the volunteer house offers a breathtaking view of the beach and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. With a maximum capacity of 48 people, the volunteers are spread over three floors in 11 multiple rooms for 4 to 6 people, with an in-room bathroom and ocean view. For couples and families, or those needing privacy, single, double and family rooms are available at an additional cost. 

The house also has an outdoor pool, 3 kitchens and 3 living rooms (one per floor), a large dining room and a private outdoor garden for relaxing moments. Volunteers will have the chance to live in a peaceful area, surrounded by lush vegetation, near a small Buddhist temple away from the main tourist areas of Galle. Small bonus: the beach is only 5 minutes away by foot!

Single room in the volunteer house (weekly rate): 110 EUR

Double room in the volunteer house (weekly rate): 150 EUR

Activities

Additional information

Conditions

-16 years

- Intermediate level of English (understand instructions, able to communicate).

- Passport copy

Payment
A deposit of 300 € must be paid 7 days after sending your reservation and then the balance must be sent to us no more than 12 weeks before the start of your project.
For stays in less than 12 weeks: the full amount must be paid to confirm the reservation. 

Cancellation

A 50% deposit is required for booking. Balance payment is due 4 weeks prior to departure. In case of cancellation before start date, all fees will be refunded, except the deposit. In case of cancellation after start date, there will be no refund.

Other

Founded by people who are passionate about Sri Lanka and its culture, our partner organization is a socially responsible company based in Galle, Sri Lanka that welcomes international volunteers to Sri Lanka and offers them sustainable volunteer programs. They work with many local communities in the city of Galle and spread their actions in the fields of education, health care and animal protection.

The association's offices are located in the volunteers' house, to ensure optimal security and to be available for the volunteers on all fronts: transportation, logistics, meals, advice for trips and excursions, emergencies, etc.

Program

Environmental Conservation Project in Sri Lanka
From 1130 EUR

Dates Duration

Add-ons

Accommodations

Total incl. tax per person:

Environmental Conservation Project in Sri Lanka

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