Malaysia Marine Conservation Project

Volunteer to conserve coral reefs at the Malaysia Marine Conservation Programme

Do your bit to conserve the marine environment by volunteering with this important Marine Conservation project!

1 to 8 weeks from from US $905 / £823

Volunteer Marine Conservation Malaysia

Volunteers are needed at this important Marine Conservation project in Malaysia to help conserve and improve understanding of the coral reefs and seagrass beds. You will also help conservation efforts through running awareness campaigns and conducting underwater surveys.

Malaysia Marine Conservation Project Overview

Join us to make a difference in Malaysia helping vital marine conservation efforts!

If you have been searching for volunteer opportunities that involve diving and conservation, then look no further! Volunteers at this marine conservation project help collect data on the health of the coral reefs and seagrass beds through underwater surveys. You will also help conservation efforts by getting involved in awareness campaigns and encouraging recycling and composting schemes.

And all this is done surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Perhentian Isalnds!

Malaysia Marine Conservation Project

This project provides an amazing volunteer experience for marine conservation volunteers on a beautiful island; all whilst helping to protect the magnificent environment.

Join us at this amazing volunteer opportunity in Malaysia and help protect the coral reef!!

Volunteer - diving
Project Overview

The Project:The Malaysia Marine Conservation Project focuses primarily on understanding and conserving the fragile coral reef environment. The project  focuses on collecting a baseline of data in order to monitor the environmental impact around the island, preserving the coral reefs and creating awareness to try and prevent damage from tourism.

Project Location: This project is located 17 km of the coast of Malaysia, in the Perhentian Islands, with beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.

Main Volunteer Activities: Volunteers will be involved in diving based data collection techniques to monitor the health of ecosystem. Research may also involved using camera traps to investigate shark and ray species, as well as waste management and awareness campaigns on land.

Hours: Volunteers six days a week.

Duration:  Volunteer at this project can volunteer from 1 - 8 weeks from April - September. Only qualified divers may volunteer for 1 week. For unqualified divers, the minimum stay is 2 weeks as during the first week you will complete your diving course.

Accommodation: Volunteers stay in shared dorms which are a 2 minute walk from the Perhentian Marine Research Station project house.

Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers at this project must be aged 18+ and be a confident swimmer.

Project History

The Malaysia Marine Conservation Project is on a quest to protect and conserve the marine environment around the Perhentian Islands. By collecting data through research dives, the project aims to map and assess the health of the seagrass beds and coral reef. Using this data, steps can then be taken to protect and improve the health of the ecosystem.

The project works closely with the Marine Parks Department and Reef Check Malaysia, with the research conducted depending on what is most needed at the time.

They also work on programmes to raise environmental awareness and among the local residents and tourists in the islands.

How the project is helping
Marine Conservation Project Malaysia
This project has focused on mapping seagrass beds, assessing the health of the underwater environment and also enouraging effective waste management on land. In the past couple of years the project have shifted their focus to the construction of artificial coral reefs and also leasing with local people and tourists in order to create awareness for the fragile environment.
In 2019, 32 dive coral reef surveys were conducted, over 4000m was surveyed, 25 beach and 18 underwater clean ups were held and 389 people attended talks held by the project about the health of the local marine environment.
Why the project need volunteers
Volunteer in Malaysia

Volunteers make a huge difference by helping the project's local staff with their work including coral reef surveys, environmental monitoring and running campaigns with local stakeholders and tourists. The more volunteers there are at the project, the more vital work can be carried out.

Get involved and Volunteer to help vital conservation efforts!

Typical Volunteer Duties

Volunteers at this project work six days a week. Some of the duties you will be carrying out while at the project include:

  • If unqualified must do dive course. This will be the first week.
  • Seagrass monitoring using underwater quadrants and mapping
  • Coral rehabilitation by transplanting coral fragments and creating coral pyramids
  • Elasmobranch monitoring: using camera traps and diving to monitor shark and ray species
  • Reef diversity monitoring
  • Waste monitoring in collaboration with local stakeholders
  • Supporting awareness campaigns
  • Work with the precious plastic machine to recycle plastic waste
  • Beach clean ups


Volunteers helping with diving surveys in Malaysia
Volunteer Accommodation

The marine conservation project is located in a small village in the Perhentian Islands. Volunteers get to enjoy their time surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the island!

The volunteer house is in the local village just minutes away from the 'Perhentian Marine Research Station project house'. Volunteers stay in shared dorms at the house. The house has shared bathrooms and toilets. Bedding and mosquito nest are provided at the house. The volunteer has has Wi-Fi access, so you will be able to keep in touch with those back home! 3 meals daily are provided at the house. Volunteers are responsible for keeping the house clean and tidy.

The village has some small shops where you can purchase toiletries, snacks, drinks and food.

Free Time
The island is a beautiful palace to explore or relax during your free time. Volunteers can spend their free time kayaking, snorkelling, getting a massage or strolling around the village! For qualified divers there are also diving opportunities on the island. Of course you can also spend your free time simply relaxing on the beach!

While alcohol is strictly prohibited in the village where the project is located, there are other beaches on the island where alcohol is available that volunteers can visit on their days off.

What’s Included
  • Dive course - in the first week you can become an open-water and/or advanced open-water diver
  • Return ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Island
  • Accommodation in shared dorms
  • All main meals.
  • In-country support from the local staff
  • All necessary equipment and materials.
  • All necessary training by experienced staff.
  •  Project donation.
Financial Transparency

As a UK registered Charity, Globalteer is required to be financially transparent to our donors. You can therefore see a full breakdown of where your money goes and our independently audited accounts by clicking below:

Where Your Money Goes

To discover why you should consider choosing Globalteer, please visit the following page:

About Globalteer

Why do we charge a fee for volunteering?

Globalteer requests a donation from volunteers to allow us to achieve our charitable objectives and support our partner programmes. In return, Globalteer provides volunteers with an amazing, responsible and ethical volunteer experience. Ensuring that your placement is responsible as well as rewarding, safe and enjoyable takes a good deal of work.

A summary of Globalteer’s total expenditure for the last financial year is shown below:

Donations and Grants 60% – This includes a share of volunteer placement fees, grants we have secured for our projects and donations managed by Globalteer that are made by individuals and groups to our projects and partner projects.

Support Costs 29% – This includes volunteer accommodation, volunteer transport, support staff costs, travel costs and some volunteer meals.

Operational Costs 11% – Costs of running Globalteer.

What’s not included
  • Flights
  • Transfer to Kuala Besut jetty
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Onward transport at the end of your placement
How much do everyday items cost?

The official currency of Malaysia (and Malaysian Borneo) is the Ringgit. There are around 5.5 Ringgit to the pound and about 4.35 Ringgit to the US dollar. The cost of living in Malaysia is very low compared to most countries in the developed world. There is little opportunity to spend money on the island itself; but in the nearest "mainland" town of Semporna you can buy a range of goods. The costs of some typical items are:

  • Short journey by taxi - 4 to 6 Ringgit
  • Meal in a local restaurant - 3 to 8 Ringgit
  • Western food such as pizza - 24 Ringgit
  • Small bottle of water - 1.5 Ringgit
  • Can of beer - 8 to 10 Ringgit

Quick Summary of the Malaysia Marine Conservation Project

The Malaysia Marine Conservation project focuses on collecting data about the coral reef and seagrass beds, particularly using data collection techniques involving diving. This research can then be used to develop and carry out methods to monitor, protect and improve the health of the underwater ecosystem.

The project also interacts with stakeholders and tourists on land, developing sustainability initiatives and educating people about the marine environment.

The sea turtle conservation project is located 17km of the coast of Malaysia, in the Perhentian Islands, with beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear waters

Volunteers are involved in underwater data collection, monitoring of the marine environment, and potentially research surrounding sharks and ray species. Volunteers will also be involved in awareness campaigns, waste management and beach clean ups.

Volunteer placements are year-round and for 1 to 8 weeks. Minimum 2 weeks if unqualified diver

Volunteer placements are from April - September.

Volunteers stay in shared dorms at the volunteer house.

Bedding and mosquito nets are provided.

Volunteers at this project must be aged 18+ and confident swimmers.

What’s Included:

√ Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Island √ Accommodation in shared dorms √ All main meals at the project √ In-country support from the local staff. √ All necessary equipment and materials √ All necessary training by experienced staff. √ Ferry back to Kuta Besut. √ Project donation.

We have a list of answers to questions frequently asked about the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can come to the project and help!

To apply click here: Apply now

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