Help us to conserve some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world
This is your chance to learn how to dive and assist with vital coral reef research and conservation efforts in one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the ocean. Local barangays (villages) that wish to establish sustainable fishing practices contact us via the local government with which we are partnered and we assist them in this goal. You will become part of a research team collecting baseline information on the current health of the reef system. This information is then used to develop management plans with the local community so that they can establish a Marine Protected Area (MPAs) which balances the needs of the reef and community. We have assisted in establishing 15 MPAs to date (2019) and have recently completed a ‘Before-After-Control-Impact’ study to ensure their effectiveness.
You do not need to have any prior experience to join us. If needed we will take you through your PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses on-site, before moving on to our Skills Development Program (SDP). This programme is based on the globally recognised Reef Check surveying methodology (of which you will gain certification). You will learn how to identify a host of corals, fish and invertebrates and once certified will join our research teams helping to conserve Southern Leyte’s beautiful reefs.
Each month we offer a 4-week free placement to a Filipino as part of our scholarship programme. This is an important part of our capacity building work ensuring that members of the local community gain the skills needed to undertake conservation work and pioneer sustainable management practises in their future marine biology focused career goals.
Our only requirements are that you are at least 18 years old, able to pass the CCC medical, and keen to get stuck in and help.
This is a full-time project with volunteers living and learning together. We allow stays of as little as 2 weeks but do recommend at least 4 weeks if possible.
We have start dates every 4 weeks. Please note, we close for 3 weeks over Christmas.
What you get up to on a day to day basis depends on what stage of the training you are at. The Skills Development Programme is taught through a combination of classroom-based and practical diving (or very occasionally snorkelling) sessions. It’s generally a classroom-based session followed by a snorkel or dive ‘pointy’ where our Science Officer will take you out onto our beautiful house reef and go over everything that you have learned that morning, and then the same again in the afternoon. Once you have completed your training you will become part of the research team collecting vital data and assisting us with our community work. We try to get out on 2 survey dives a day over 5 days, the 6th day is a fun dive day, and the 7th is a de-gas/rest day. This is of course dependant on weather and health.
When there are no CCC activities scheduled volunteers are of course welcome to sign off-site and go for walks, go for a swim/snorkel etc. In the evening we have strict drinking rules but one night a week is ‘party’ night when these are relaxed and the team usually heads to a local karaoke bar, or has a party on the beach. We are in a very remote area so although there is a town nearby it is very small! On Sundays, people either relax on-site or will plan a larger outing, such as a hike to a local waterfall, or (in the season) a whale shark viewing trip.
Male dorm or female dorm with bunk beds and a shared bathroom
We are based in a basic single level house meters from our house reef. This consists of dorms with shared bathrooms, a large communal area, kitchen, classroom and medical room.
Bar, Eating Area, Kitchen, First Aid Kit, Fan, Power Supply
We have a base team of four international staff and 3 local staff plus 2 dogs. - Field Base Manager - Project Scientist - Science Officer - Scuba Instructor - Boat Captain - Compressor Operator - Cook
Breakfast and lunch is prepared on a rota by staff and volunteers Dinner is prepared by our local cook. We are happy to cater to dietary requirements.
We would recommend getting a local GLOBE SIM upon arrival for internet, texts, WhatsApp calls etc. Although the internet speeds may not be what you are used to, it is adequate for emails, social media updates and phone calls, but not streaming of movies etc. Internet access is not guaranteed due to the rural setting of the base.
Phone signal is acceptable.
Our nearest local clinic is in Sogod, easily reached by car or bike. The nearest hyperbaric chamber is in Cebu. We have detailed and thorough incident management plans and a 24/7 operations cover that can be actioned if needed.
We will meet you at Tacloban airport on the start date of your expedition and bring you in a taxi back to the project site.
Valid Passport, Proof of Insurance, Visa (if needed)
A Cleared CCC Medical form
Advice on flights, visas, insurance and dive gear given
Our on-site staff team have been picked for both their skills and personalities, they are ready to support you during your stay.
Flights, Insurance, Visas, Personal Dive Kit,
I worked with Coral Cay in Napantao from January-April 2013 as the Science Officer. Every aspect of this project was exceptional; from the organisation back in London, to the local staff, volunteer logistics, diving and general set up, .These are some of the best coral reefs in the world, bar none, and chicken adobo is one of the great asian dishes. There was one day off a week to chill and relax, and the rest of the time was busy, hard work, but it is as rewarding an experience as anyone can hope to gain. Would recommend to everyone and anyone.
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