Protecting and educating tourists about native forests in the Sacred Valley, Peru, working in a national park in Belize, conserving much-needed water in the Oaxacan desert of Mexico, exploring wildlife preserves around Mysore, India, and getting your hands dirty in Northern Thai reforestation, ProWorld’s environmental projects come from the communities to protect their valuable natural resources. Below are some of your options for environmental projects.
ProWorld plants enough trees and installs enough clean burning stoves to offset over 4,000 tonnes of CO2. That is enough to offset the entire carbon footprint of ProWorld and the flights of every volunteer!
Join ProWorld Environmental projects through Semester Abroad, Intern Abroad, & Group Programs.
Availability of projects varies throughout the year
Cleaner Burning Stove Project
Protect the native, endangered forests of the Sacred Valley while helping to improve the health of its community members. A majority of the rural agricultural population in the province of Urubamba cooks indoors over an open fire without adequate ventilation.
In order to address the issue of deforestation for fuel and health issues related to inadequate ventilation, ProPeru started the Clean Burning Stove Project. By installing fuel-efficient wood stoves with proper ventilation, ProPeru staff and volunteers help reduce the amount of wood consumed by community members while simultaneously reducing illnesses related to smoke inhalation.
Environmental Education and Conservation Project
Interns have the opportunity to work with local school children and community members, educating them about the local environment and conservation measures.
This project may include raising awareness about local environmental issues, reforestation campaigns, work in local nurseries, leading environmental field trips for children, or recycling and composting efforts in the local schools and communities.
While the environmental portfolio has a number of projects listed below, they all operate under the primary umbrella of Environmental Protection. While volunteers can sign up for a particular focus for their environmental project, they will most likely work in some way on most, if not all, of the environmentally-related projects operating in Belize at the time of volunteering.
The Elijio Panti National Park was founded in 2003 by the Itzamna Society, a local Mayan NGO. This 13,000 acre stretch of land is the newest national park in Belize.
This on-going project includes trail building and maintenance, infrastructure development, signage, bridge construction, tree planting, environmental assessments, promotion & marketing, campground creation & maintenance, educational material development, interpretive trail development, among other projects. Presently, the Elijio Panti National Park project is not available between September-December due to the rainy season making it extremely difficult to reach.
Join the Itzamna Society in its quest to preserve the environment and culture of Belize. You will participate in programs designed to promote the preservation of biodiversity and local culture in the San Antonio village area. Additionally, you will work with governmental and non-governmental agencies to conserve Belize’s remaining natural resources.
Environmental Education Center
The Environmental Education Center was founded in 2005 through the joint efforts of several environmentally conscious, educated, and interested stakeholders to promote an exemplary site for environmental education in Belize. The center includes a 12-acre preserve containing interpretive trails, a gibnut-raising project (gibnut is a local rodent like animal), a small organic farm, and a Tilapia pond.
ProBelize volunteers have been invaluable in the development of infrastructure, manual and brochure design, fundraising and environmental education outreach program to schools and communities. You will work alongside community partners in developing and expanding the centers ability to positively impact the environmental conscience of Belize.
Fondo Oaxaqueño para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (FOCN)
Oaxaca has the most biodiversity out of all the states in Mexico. The Fondo main goal is formulate and strengthen strategies that support the ecosystems and biodiversity in Oaxaca through sustainable practices that come from traditional and scientific knowledge.
They have several projects running to support ecotourism on the coast and throughout Oaxaca.
Environmental Projects at ProIndia focus on education and conservation. Mysore, with its nearby lakes, parks, zoo, and wildlife preserves, is well-placed for environmental work. India works with its local partners to deliver internships that get interns out working in nature, exposing them to India’s rich biodiversity and natural beauty.
Alongside India’s rapid growth and development, oftentimes the environment has been neglected. ProIndia works with organizations countering this trend. These partnerships support important environmental education working especially with children, as well as conservation and tree planting projects.
Mysore Amateur Naturalists (MAN)
Initiated by a group of dedicated environmentalists, MAN aims to conserve, restore and educate the community about the environment in and around Mysore.
ProIndia interns work on a variety of projects which may include the creation of advocacy and education materials, management of public relation efforts, and contribution to a variety of ongoing surveys and consensuses.
Thailand’s rapid economic growth towards the end of the 21st century encouraged a tremendous amount of environmental destruction. Sustainable agriculture and forestry, and environmental conservation are the major issues addressed by ProThailand’s partner environmental organizations. Grassroots efforts require cooperation between Thai and Ethnic communities, government & local municipalities, University faculty and researchers, and, quite often, international stakeholders.
ProThailand Environmental Interns can join a small handful of organizations in their efforts to protect the environment, participating in such initiatives as forest conservation, agriculture, and environmental education. Please be advised some environmental projects and conservation efforts require skilled people in this field, and are restricted to certain seasons of the year.
Some environmentally focused organizations ProThailand partners with are:
Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU)
FORRU carries out scientific research to develop the best techniques to grow, plant and take care of indigenous forest tree species, so forest restoration and biodiversity recovery can be achieved successfully and efficiently on degraded land. As well as being ecollogically valid, it is important the methods developed are cost effective and acceptable to local people.
Give North works towards creating environmentally sustainable projects, such as constructing check dams, building fire breaks, and reforestation. Each project is conducted based on the local needs of communities through needs assessments.
Initiated While Ghana is a country endowed with abundant natural resources, lack of past and present management of those resources has led to vast environmental degradation. Deforestation, overgrazing, and periodic drought have led to desertification and soil erosion. Ghana’s wildlife populations, depleted by habitat loss, have been further threatened by poaching. Economic reform policies put into place in the 1980s led to rapid industrialization and economic growth in Ghana, but at a high expense to the environment. Unsustainable agriculture practices, increased timber exports, and uncontrolled mining have taken their toll, contributing to vast deforestation, soil erosion, and rampant pollution. Communities that previously dealt with almost entirely organic trash, now struggle with proper sanitation and waste management strategies.
ProGhana Environmental Interns work to promote environmental awareness in local schools and communities. They also support local community eco-tourism projects which provide an economic incentive to local community members to protect their natural resoures and help to promote environmental awareness.
All of Brazil’s major ecosystems are threatened, not just the well-known Amazonia. In Bahia, depletion of the forest, desertification, and beach pollution are major issues. Many species of animals are threatened, including the well-known sea turtle. In Salvador, basic environmental problems related to the lack of sanitation and clean water still persist. Brazil has many advanced laws for the protection of the environment, but implementation is lax.
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ProBrazil Environmental Interns work in partnership with local NGOs, including beach clean-up and protection, animal protection, community education, and sustainable tourism