Environmental Conservation Volunteer Project in the Philippines - Palawan
Happy in nature and want to be an Environmental volunteer in the Philippines? International Volunteer HQ’s Environmental project empowers volunteers to help preserve and protect the island environment of Palawan. Volunteers gain conservation experience while assisting with the restoration of a mangrove swamp which is a vital part of the local ecosystem and an important habitat for marine and bird life.
- Programs start every Monday
- Affordable fees from £329 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Preserve and conserve the natural environment around Palawan
Explore the incredible islands and scenic landscapes of the Philippines
Stay with other volunteers near the beach in Tigman Village
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
The island of Palawan is world-famous for its stunning natural environment, with pristine beaches, green bushland and crystal clear water. However, it requires work to maintain, restore and conserve the area’s natural beauty. Volunteers are needed to undertake a variety of tasks which help preserve this incredible environment.
As an Environmental volunteer, you’ll be based in a mangrove forest where you will help rehabilitate the vital habitat for local marine and bird life. The mangroves play a huge role in both cleaning the sea water and protecting the shore line from storm surges and erosion, but have declined in recent years. Volunteer duties include:
- Replanting and rehabilitating mangroves
- Helping with litter and mangrove education programs in local schools and communities
- Gather seeds that slow erosion and deforestation
- Helping to clean up local beaches
Why do Environmental Conservation volunteering in Palawan with IVHQ?
As an Environmental volunteer in the Philippines you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Restoring an important habitat for wildlife
- Encouraging local communities to live sustainably
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining conservation experience
- Immersing yourself in Filipino culture
- Exploring the spectacular island of Palawan
- Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- Volunteers aged 16-18 are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
- Volunteers must have a medium level of fitness.
Philippines photo gallery
Academic course credit
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Read reviews from Environmental Conservation volunteers in Palawan
”My highlight from the volunteer experience was teaching the youth about climate change. This was a great part of our environmental project. I've worked with kids for over 20 years and I've never seen kids so welcoming, well behaved, excited and ready to learn than the groups of kids we talked to about climate change. It was incredible to feel their energy. ... The local team are outstanding. Probably the best out of my four trips. We were very lucky to have them. A warm and welcoming team with experience makes all the difference. The experience was extremely humbling. Filipino people (specifically in Tigman Village) are so welcoming and friendly - it's really eye opening. There's very little stress and anxiety there. People care about and for each other and clearly show it. While the project itself was fun, the culture had the most impact on me by far. Also, we had a really great mix of other volunteers during my two weeks. That makes a huge difference, having a good group. What I would you say to someone still hesitant is all the feelings you may have are normal. Maybe a little nervous - traveling into the unknown. Try not to think about it as stepping "out of your comfort zone". Use the mindset that you're "stepping into a brand new comfort zone". Try the mentality: "I'm going to a new home" instead of "going away from home". It helps with the culture shock. Also, TRUST YOURSELF. Use your instincts as you make decisions and handle situations. You will be challenged and sometimes uncomfortable. But remember that is OKAY. You're not failing if you're uncomfortable, you're growing. Remember, the benefits of an open mind and an open heart when you do programs like this far outweigh the challenges. ” read more
Read reviews from Environmental Conservation volunteers in Palawan
Set in the western Pacific ocean, the Philippines is a collection of incredible islands that are home to nearly 110 million people known for their friendly smiles. With a multicultural population and a newly industrialized economy, cities in the Philippines have been making great strides towards reducing poverty. However, in the country’s more remote areas low-income communities still struggle to access basic necessities like healthcare and education. Volunteers are valued in these areas for the help they provide to local schools, community services and initiatives that aim to improve the quality of life for those outside the main centres.
IVHQ’s Philippines program is set in the Arborlan District on Palawan - an island often considered one of the most beautiful in the world. With turquoise waters lapping at the edges of white sandy beaches, breathtaking scenery, UNESCO World Heritage sites and world-class diving spots, it’s a coastal paradise to rival any place you could dream of. Volunteers will stay near the remote Tigman Village on the east coast of Palawan.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation is held every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Palawan on the day before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS) between 10am and 5pm. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Tigman Village. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation. If you are travelling in the Philippines prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Puerto Princesa on the day before your program orientation.
There are two options for orientation in the Philippines, a One-Day Orientation and an Introduction Week.
The One-Day Orientation: This begins on your selected start date and all volunteers will attend. It covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in the Philippines, including an introduction to the IVHQ Philippines program, the local team, general rules and a class on the local culture and language. In the afternoon, you’ll learn about the projects, take a walking tour of the local area and arrange your SIM card. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.
Introduction Week: The Introduction Week begins on your selected start date and your volunteer program will commence the following week. The Introduction Week is very popular among IVHQ volunteers. We recommend all volunteers take advantage of this week to gain a deeper understanding of the Filipino culture, a true appreciation of life in the Philippines and bond with fellow volunteers while also taking a cooking class, necklace or bracelet making, and touring local attractions. It’s also a great way to help settle the culture shock you can face when arriving in the Philippines. The Introduction Week has an additional cost of US$365 (approximately £316).
If you wish to participate in the Introduction Week, you can indicate your interest in this option on your application form when you apply for the program or you can let your Program Manager know once you’ve been accepted on the program.
Volunteer schedule example
Weekdays: After the initial orientation week, you will work for approximately 3 to 6 hours per day, depending on the project and your placement. A typical schedule is as follows:
|8:00 AM||Breakfast with fellow volunteers.|
|9:00 - 11:30 AM||Volunteers work at their placements.|
|11:30 AM||Volunteers break for lunch. If volunteers are unable to return to the volunteer accommodation, they will be given a packed lunch.|
|1:30 - 2:00 PM||Work at the placement resumes (except Childcare volunteers, who use their afternoons to prepare for the following day)|
|3:30 - 4:00 PM||Work ends and volunteers have free time to explore the local area.|
|5:00 - 6:00 PM||Dinner with fellow volunteers.|
Weekends: Volunteers have weekends free to relax and explore Palawan and the Philippines. In Tigman Village, the closest place to your accommodation, you can visit the colourful daily local markets and shop for fresh tropical fruits and vegetables, clothes and street food. You’ll also be able to step out the door of the volunteer accommodation and onto the beach for a swim.
As well as this, there’s a stunning number of things to do further afield in Palawan. This incredible island is known for its natural beauty, exotic and endangered wildlife and having a wide range of interesting things to see and explore. You could find yourself battling frothy rapids while white-water rafting, island-hopping to visit the picturesque spots at El Nido where major Hollywood movies were filmed, wandering the length of one of the world’s longest beaches, cruising down an underground river or relaxing poolside with a cool drink in hand.
Accommodation and WiFi
You’ll stay in dormitory-style accommodation in Tigman Village. Volunteers should expect to share a room with up to seven other volunteers of the same gender. The accommodation has air-conditioning in the bedrooms. Bedding is provided and includes a bottom sheet, thin blanket and a pillow.
There is a shared bathroom with western toilets and showers with cold running water (nice and refreshing in the hot weather!) A fridge is available to store your personal food items and there is an area for hand-washing laundry.
Couples, families or individuals who want more privacy have an option to upgrade to private room accommodation. Private rooms are subject to availability and therefore you must arrange this well in advance of your program.
Given the remote island location, internet and phone reception at the accommodation is limited and often non-existent. There may be 3G WiFi dongles for volunteers to connect to, but you shouldn’t expect to have the same connection speed that you are used to at home. There is better reception and internet available from some of the nearby villages (a 10 to 15 minute drive from the volunteer accommodation), or in Puerto Princesa City (a 60 to 90 minute drive). We recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card with data when you arrive in the Philippines. You can then use this to access the internet in the nearby villages.
Volunteers are served breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays with just two meals provided on weekends. Breakfast consists of bread and spreads with tea or coffee, while lunch and dinner are local Filipino cuisine. Rice is a staple in the Philippines and most meals will include a portion of rice, accompanied by two or more dishes which will be a combination of vegetables, meat or seafood cooked in local spices and sauces.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||£329 Equivalent to £47/day|
|2 weeks||£460 Equivalent to £33/day|
|3 weeks||£626 Equivalent to £30/day|
|4 weeks||£775 Equivalent to £28/day|
|5 weeks||£924 Equivalent to £26/day|
|6 weeks||£1073 Equivalent to £26/day|
|8 weeks||£1371 Equivalent to £24/day|
|10 weeks||£1669 Equivalent to £24/day|
|12 weeks||£1967 Equivalent to £23/day|
|16 weeks||£2562 Equivalent to £23/day|
|20 weeks||£3158 Equivalent to £23/day|
|24 weeks||£3754 Equivalent to £22/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteer Service
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £284) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Philippines generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Recommended activities and tour add-ons
We believe that no volunteer adventure would be complete without experiencing the natural and cultural wonders of your host country. That’s why we offer an exciting Introduction Week to IVHQ volunteers in the Philippines as an affordable add-on.
|Day 1||Start off with an introduction to the Philippines program, the local team, general rules and a class on the local culture and language. In the afternoon, learn about the local projects, take a walking tour of the local area, and arrange your sim card. You will able to see the typical houses of the locals and the way they live in the village. And at night, there will be a welcome night and you will see a Philippine cultural dances performed by the local children.|
|Day 2||In the morning you will have the chance to join a Filipino cooking class. After lunch, you will take part in a Filipino language lesson to help communicate better with the locals who cannot speak or understand English.|
|Day 3||You will be able to experience and see one of the beautiful waterfalls in Palawan. You will enjoy a picnic while you are there. After you will visit a local market located in Narra town.|
|Day 4||You will get to make a local hand fan using local materials with assistances from the locals. In the afternoon you will get to create your own design of necklace or bracelet using local materials to take as a souvenir.|
|Day 5||After breakfast, volunteers will meet about the upcoming placements and receive the placement specific introduction. In the afternoon, volunteers will be working at their placements.|
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on the needs of the project, local weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances
The introduction week has an additional cost of US$365 which includes all orientation activities, meals, and accommodation.
Please note the introduction week is not included as part of your program duration. So if you want this to be part of the total amount of weeks you spend on the program, please let us know.
How to book IVHQ’s recommended add-ons:
Ready to join? Please see the add-on options in your MyIVHQ checklist or email your IVHQ Program Manager and they will add this to your file.
Check what's required to visit the Philippines
Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Essential country information
|Currency||Philippine Peso (PHP)|
Weather and climate: The Philippines has a hot and humid climate all year round, with average temperatures between 25°C and 28°C (77°F to 83°F). The hottest months are April through to May, where the average temperature sits above 30°C (86°F). The dry season runs from January through to June. The wet season runs from July through to December.