Places still available for July & August - book now
Forest Conservation Volunteer Project in Portugal - Lisbon

Forest Conservation Volunteer Project in Portugal - Lisbon

Purpose
Protect the planet & preserve nature
Start dates
Programs start every Monday
Duration
Choose from 2-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours per day
Age
Volunteers aged 18+
Accommodation
Dormitory-style hostel
Program fees
From £883 for 2 weeks
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who have a good level of fitness, want to spend time doing physical work outdoors and are interested in helping with the ecological recovery of native forests in Lisbon.

Project details

Want to turn over a new leaf as a Forest Conservation volunteer in Portugal? International Volunteer HQ’s Forest Conservation project is a great way for volunteers to contribute to the restoration of native forests and wildlife in Lisbon. Volunteers gain conservation and fieldwork experience while learning about the forest and practices that will help it recover from environmental challenges and protect it long into the future.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Forests and mountains play an essential role in the health of our planet. They perform a wide range of functions for local ecosystems, such as providing natural resources, controlling soil erosion, regulating and filtering water and recycling nutrients. They also aid soil formation, the sequestration of carbon, the filtration of air pollutants, and reduce the risk of fires and floods.

IVHQ’s Forest Conservation project aims to promote the ecological recovery of degraded areas through the restoration of native forests and native species, while involving the local community as much as possible. The project is designed to enhance the area’s natural heritage, reduce environmental damage, regenerate and recover natural spaces, promote biodiversity and restore ecological functions.

As a Forest Conservation volunteer you will study and learn about the forest. You’ll be working alongside the field team of local volunteers, coordinators and other members of the community to make a visible impact. Most of the activities are based in a natural park that surrounds a part of Lisbon. Fieldwork tasks vary depending on the season but may include:

  • Applying control techniques for invasive species that were introduced in the last decades for fast reforestation and are now threatening natural areas
  • Planting different species with diverse methodologies (mostly in autumn and winter)
  • Maintaining planted areas
  • Protecting biodiversity niches
  • Maintaining walking trails

The travel distance from the house to the volunteering site is about one hour by public transport.

Once a month there is an activity out of the city that usually lasts from 2 to 5 days. These field trips take place in different parts of the country, so volunteers may have the chance to explore other villages and areas in Portugal. Volunteers play an important role on these trips by planting on a larger scale in areas that have been degraded due to intensive agriculture, fires or the presence of exotic species.

Please note that the volunteer work while on the Forest Conservation project can be very physical and demanding and, as such, volunteers do need to have a medium level of fitness to take part.

When joining the project in winter, volunteers should be prepared for lower temperatures of between 40-60°F (5-15°C), and come equipped with warm clothing. If you volunteer during the summer, temperatures range between 77-100ºF (25-38ºC), so comfortable and light-weight clothes are recommended.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action

Climate change affects everyone, everywhere. 2010 - 2020 was the warmest decade ever recorded and Carbon Dioxide levels have risen to an all-time high. In order to keep global temperatures below the Paris Agreement’s 2 degree Celsius limit, we must take action to educate communities, conserve nature and promote sustainable solutions.

Why do Forest Conservation volunteering in Lisbon with IVHQ?

As a Forest Conservation volunteer in Portugal you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Assisting with conservation efforts in Lisbon
  • Helping to protect and preserve natural ecosystems
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining forest conservation and fieldwork experience
  • Immersing yourself in Portuguese culture
  • Exploring Portugal’s natural environment

Volunteer requirements

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers other projects in Portugal which are open to younger volunteers, and also alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.

Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

Get personalized recommendations >


'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

LL
Lois Lloyd
08 May 2024

I was nervous going into my experience because I had never of left the UK on my own before. I wanted to volunteer in Peru first but decided to volunteer in Lisbon as it was closer to home and to provide me with more experience of travelling alone before travelling further away. I am glad I did this because I fell in love with Lisbon and had a great experience volunteering. I did plenty of research beforehand and could not find a bad review of IVHQ and therefore was why I chose to volunteer with them. Everything was well explained and the accommodation was lovely, with food available throughout the day and lovely staff. This experience gave me confidence, cooking skills, and pushed me out of my comfort zone. Would 100% recommend and even in the process of applying for my volunteer experience in Peru!

...
DD
Doortje Dekkers
03 May 2024

This was a very good introduction to solo travelling for me and a good way to get to know Lisbon and its culture better.

...
YX
Yuhan Xu
29 Apr 2024

During my trip to Lisbon, I had the chance to meet people from various countries and professions. Interacting with them helped me gain clarity on my post-graduation aspirations. Moreover, I conquered my fear of dogs by volunteering at an animal shelter. Previously, whenever a dog barked, I'd instinctively scream and flee. Yet, with the encouragement of shelter staff, I started approaching, petting, playing, and understanding these dogs' backgrounds.

...
LL
Lauren Loveman
10 Apr 2024

Just do it! The people are so friendly it’s so well organized and honestly it’s the best experience. :)

...
IW
Ian Wolverton-Weiss
14 Nov 2023

I went in with very little expectations and walked out with a satisfied, sentimental feeling about me. I felt that I had made many connections there and blended into my new environment well, making great memories and friendships that really improved my sense of self confidence and purpose. I would say the most valuable part of the trip was getting to interact with people who had very similar interests and a positive mindset towards the volunteer work and the community environment. I learned that I can free myself of too much stress if I love what I am doing and have a supportive network of peers and leaders. I would recommend giving a program a good consideration, I found that my adventure in Portugal was well worth it.

...
MC
Martha Crawley
02 Aug 2023

This experience was truly magical. The people I met were so lovely and inspiring. I think I have gained a more positive outlook on life and humanity and also gained independence and confidence with travelling solo and meeting new people. Personally, I have also gained knowledge on how to maintain forests as I chose Forest Conservation. Also just do it because you will definitely not regret it, as I found it so so fun!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit

Location

Volunteer Abroad in Portugal with IVHQ

Location

The IVHQ Portugal Program is located in and around Lisbon - the capital and largest city in Portugal. It’s a veritable treasure trove of history, culture, breathtaking scenery, exciting nightlife, gorgeous beaches and great places to eat and drink.

Portugal and Lisbon have risen from poverty only this century, so while it is a fantastic and affordable destination to visit, local communities are still facing the lingering effects of previously being one of the poorest countries in Western Europe. Volunteers can have an impact on these communities by supporting local initiatives which aim to improve the lives of Lisbon’s residents and make sure they have access to all of life’s basic necessities.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday, and volunteers need to arrive in Lisbon the day before their orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Lisbon Airport (LIS). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee, however, if you arrive outside of Sunday between 9:00AM - 9:00PM, your pick-up will incur an extra cost of US$65. Volunteers under the age of 18 are required to travel with written consent from both parents or guardians in order to enter Portugal. Volunteers under the age of 18 who require a pre-arranged visa will also need their visa application to be signed by a parent or guardian.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in either Lisbon. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Portugal prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a prearranged location in Lisbon on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Portugal team at the accommodation. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Portugal – an introduction to Portugal, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for Portuguese language lessons if you’re on a Lisbon based project, and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Volunteer schedule example

Weekdays

You will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 6 hours per day. Please note that start times and daily workloads depend on the project that you are participating on.

8:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast is available at the volunteer accommodation
8:30 AM Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
1:00 - 3:00 PM Lunch is served at the accommodation or at your placement. After lunch, you will continue your volunteer work.
2:30 PM Volunteers with afternoon or evening shifts travel to placement and begin work on their project.
7:00 - 9:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.

Weekends

Volunteers have the weekends free and Portugal and Lisbon are full of interesting things to do, see, visit, eat and learn.

Explore the old city of Lisbon and get yourself lost in the small alleys that are seeped with music and delicious food. Be sure to try the local pastry - pastel de nata and listen to traditional folklore music - fado. Lisbon is a vibrant city with many cultural and music events, you can’t possibly be bored here. If it’s nature you’re looking for - it has that too! Sintra Natural Park is only a short drive away and boasts wonderful castles and palaces. Come for a day trip to Arrabida beach and try the well-known local wines.

Volunteers can make travel arrangements further afield once in Lisbon, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers on Lisbon based projects will be accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel with other volunteers in Estoril which is a 5 minute walk from the beach. You can expect to share a room with between 3 - 13 other volunteers of the same gender however, male volunteers may share mixed-gender rooms with other guests if the male dormitory room reaches capacity.

Bedding and towels are provided, and there are shared western bathrooms however, they are not separated by gender. Staff will clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy. Please note that there is a 10:00 PM curfew in place at the hostel for volunteers under the age of 18.

WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation, as well as many cafes and restaurants in the area. To keep connected, the local team will provide you with a free local SIM card that you can activate to purchase mobile data for an unlocked mobile phone.

Private double rooms in the hostel, with the use of the communal bathrooms, are available at an additional cost of US$384 (approximately £318). These can be purchased as an add-on via your MyIVHQ account once you have registered for the Portugal program. All accommodation upgrades are subject to availability.

Volunteers travel to their placements from the volunteer accommodation via public transport or by foot.

Meals

Portuguese food is delicious and during your time in Portugal, you will be sure to receive some incredible treats.

Most volunteers are provided with three meals a day. Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and generally includes tea, coffee, bread, cheese, ham, spreads, cereal, yoghurt and fruit. Lunch and dinner usually include local staples such as fish and chicken, as well as rice, pasta, vegetables, and salad. If your placement requires you to be away from the accommodation during lunch or dinner, these will be provided at your placement or you will take a packed meal.

Tap water is fine to drink in Portugal, however bottled water is readily available if you prefer and you should budget US$10 (approximately £8) a week for this.

Pricing

  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately £273) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
2 weeks $1,065 Equivalent to $76/day
3 weeks $1,425 Equivalent to $68/day
4 weeks $1,785 Equivalent to $64/day
5 weeks $2,155 Equivalent to $62/day
6 weeks $2,525 Equivalent to $60/day
8 weeks $3,265 Equivalent to $58/day
10 weeks $4,005 Equivalent to $57/day
12 weeks $4,745 Equivalent to $56/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £273) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers on Lisbon based projects and on the Biological Park Conservation project generally find US$65 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses. For those on the Wolf Conservation project, we recommend a weekly budget of US$150.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Lisbon

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Lisbon! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Lisbon program.

Language Lessons
Language Lessons

Enhance your Portuguese language proficiency at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Portugal.

From £261

Check what's required to visit Portugal

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

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.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Lisbon
Population 10.46 million
Languages Portuguese
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+00:00

Weather and climate: Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and mild winters. During winter, from December to February, temperatures are mild and vary from 8°C to 14°C (46°F to 57°F). Summer, from June to September, is dry and hot with temperatures ranging between 18°C and 29°C (64°F and 84°F). Rainfall is heaviest in December/January and driest in July/August.

Apply to check if you're eligible!
Apply for free

Other projects you may be interested in

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!