Have you ever wondered “Where to volunteer for the environment?” Many people wish to preserve what nature blessed us with so that it is safe and clean for all future generations.
If you’re someone who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty or wants to use their mind to improve the earth’s conditions then we have found some super organisations here in Malaysia who are open to fresh volunteers with creative ideas, as selecting the best organisation to volunteer with is crucial for your entire experience here in Asia!
Here are some of the places where you can volunteer for the environment:
Just as fearless as their name sounds, the EcoKnights strive to bring environmental educational interventions by utilising their own scientific research and studies to help advance the Malaysian mindset. They are raising their awareness year by year with creative campaigns and educational events.
What’s awesome about the Eco-Knights is that they organise really cool festivals around Malaysia such as the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF). EcoKnights also keep up their community engagement by organising workshops and initiatives like Project H20 which helps deliver safe drinking water to villagers on the island of Mantanani (Sabah).
At this NGO they are always receptive to interested individuals and potential eco-knights who share their values and wouldn’t mind contributing their time or efforts towards a satisfying cause. In fact, if you’re extremely excited about becoming an eco-knight, you can actually volunteer with them which will dramatically intensify your existing environmental knowledge. Nevertheless, if not, you can always like them on Facebook to subscribe and share their future activities.
See more organisations that help environmental conservation here.
The Free Tree society is all about planting the seeds of today to nurture them into the trees of tomorrow. This organisation began with a group of like-minded women in the year 2012 who simply wanted to take seeds, sprout them and then donate healthy little plants to the public for free! For their objectives, they have kept an open mind and understand that it takes just as much time for a seed to thrive and grow as it does with an environmental project.
Overall, they hope to ‘increase and improve the Malaysian suburban and city greenscape’ by educating people on the correct way to plant trees and to increase their awareness of environmental holidays. By aiming to establish a dedicated plant society, they hope to encourage like-minded volunteers to participate in their efforts and spread the word.
Generously, the Free Tree society holds ‘giveaway days’ where they like to support local homeowners, community gardeners and education centres by planting trees and plants within their surroundings. As they so graciously state on their website, ‘the more we plant, the more we give away!’
The W.A.Y organisation focuses on the future generation and the impact that they will have on Malaysia for many years to come. This NGO involves driven members of today’s youth and brings them all together to discuss extremely important issues, such as the welfare of our environment. By acting as a worldwide initiative, it’s not just Malaysia’s youth who is involved, it is an international spectrum of opinions and actions which are really starting to play their part in our society. Founded in 1949 and still running in 2017, the environmental issues that the W.A.Y covers are truly vast and always expanding. For instance, they highlight the fact that human beings and the environment are two things that are co-dependent on one another. Therefore, educating youth must be a matter taken very seriously as we are responsible for activities which damage and may permanently destroy our environment. By taking part in the World Assembly of Youth, you are essentially having a say in your future as they work very closely with the development of national youth policies. Why not make a real impact and participate with the W.A.Y today? Here at SOLS 24/7, we believe in the importance of serving society and this NGO does just that.
Based in Sabah, this society aims to protect its wetlands through research, advocacy and education. These wetlands act as a home for many species of wildlife and must be thoroughly maintained so that their environment stays safe and sound.
Otherwise known as the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands (KKW), there are many programmes on offer to volunteer with such as environmental education for all ages and exhibition areas which you may assist with. What’s great about this supportive KKW society is you can actually become a ‘Voluntary Guardian’ and manage the wetlands.
To become a member of this movement, you must display a sense of dedication to protecting the environment and you must truly believe in the importance of nature conservation. This role requires you to volunteer for at least 10 days per year and you may find yourself involved with areas such as wetland management and fundraising events for the KKW, a worthwhile responsibility!
The Global Environment Centre was established in 1998 with a mission to support the protection of the environment and sustainable use of natural resources to meet local, regional and global needs, through strategic partnerships with communities and like-minded organisations. They have diverse programmes ranging from river care protection, reducing deforestation, and peatland conservation.
Volunteering with GEC can be done both for a short-term and long-term duration, in different areas of work; photography, event management, advertising, researching, and much more. Do check out their website and get involved!
“Know nature, value nature and act for nature”.
MNS, one of the older NGOs in Malaysia, was formed in 1940 and has invested a tremendous amount of effort in habitat conservation and environmental education around the nation. They are a multiple award-winning organisation for their integral role in preserving our natural habitat and wildlife, one of them being The Merdeka Award, by Petronas, ExxonMobil and Shell.
One of their biggest milestones – The Kuala Selangor Nature Park or KSNP was established in 1987 as a result of MNS’ successful advocacy against state government who planned to turn the area into a golf course. MNS now manages and runs KSNP on behalf of the Selangor state government. This is the only instance where a park is managed by an NGO for the government in Malaysia.
Whether you want to work full-time, or volunteer with them, they have different vacancies on their website.
TRAFFIC is a non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants. Their goal is to reduce the pressure of illegal and unsustainable trade on biodiversity and enhance the benefits of wildlife conservation and human well-being derived from trade to sustainable levels by 2020.
“We want to see a world where wildlife trade is sustainably managed, maintains healthy populations, contributes to the development and helps motivate commitments to conserve wild species and habitats” – says their Executive Director, Steven Broad.
In March 2018, TRAFFIC and their partners launched the first-ever Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online in response to mounting evidence showing that illegal trade is shifting from physical to online markets. The coalition brought together over 20 tech giants including Tencent, Facebook and eBay who have committed to deterring illegal wildlife trade on their platforms. Isn’t that awesome?!
Who doesn’t know what WWF is? (Not the World Wrestling Federation, in this instance) However, did you know that they started as a two-person organisation? Today, they have close to 200 people! WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:
- conserving the world’s biological diversity
- ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
- promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption
If you are an outgoing and enthusiastic person, with a passion to volunteer for wildlife and the environment, you might want to consider WWF Malaysia! The opportunity will give you the experience to fundraise and build awareness of their campaigns and programmes.
By conducting field trips and educational seminars, WWP promotes awareness and sustainable development of water resources. Set up in 1997, WWP aims to educate parents who play a vital role as “water managers” at home and in the workplace. Parents manage the family’s water budget and educate their children about water-saving methods. WWP promotes water demand management (WDM) to ensure that water resources are not depleted but remain sustainable.
Every drop of water counts! A small thing such as switching off the shower when soaping and shampooing also helps. Do you want to volunteer with them? Or perhaps become a Water Parent? Doesn’t that sound super awesome?!
Established in 1977, SAM is involved in a variety of activities and campaigns to ensure that environmental justice is linked to social justice, development decisions and policies and that management of natural resources are sustainable and ecologically-sound. It supports the struggle of the indigenous peoples in defending their indigenous customary rights and the natural resources of the tropical rainforests.
For its efforts in highlighting the destruction of the tropical rainforests in Sarawak and in bringing the plight of the indigenous people to the attention of the international community, SAM was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the alternative Nobel Prize in 1988 and the Goldman Award in 1991. How many NGOs do you know that has acquired a Nobel Prize?
Environmental conservation enables nature to get on with the job of keeping us and the planet healthy, and TrEES has a track record of over 21 years in making the planet a better place.
They develop programmes that empower people to become actively involved in conserving the environment; sustainability at its best! Since 1995, TrEES have recycled over 12,500 tonnes of waste while raising over RM 1 million for community groups, schools, and charities.
They have also produced thousands of young leaders that actively participate in conserving and protecting the environment. You can be one too, you know. Volunteer with them now!
If you are intrigued by the beautiful East-coast part of our country, Borneo, then PACOS Trust might be the community-based organisation that you’ve been looking for. This organisation is fully dedicated to supporting indigenous communities in Sabah since 1987.
The most interesting thing about PACOS Trust is that they support community organisations in 14 districts in 23 geographical areas, with each organisation determining and implementing its own area plan and work programme.
We at SOLS 24/7 try to promote every type of volunteering possible, whether it is volunteering with underserved communities, volunteering with the environment, and also with animals, as they play a big part in the health of our biodiversity.
Environmental volunteering abroad is your chance to protect nature on land as well as under the sea. If you love the great outdoors and hands-on work, there are so many other NGOs out there that tirelessly work towards making this planet a better place to live in, both for current and future generations. Volunteer for the environment today!
If you’re wondering “What type of volunteer work can I do?” We have the answers:
- 5 Ways to Volunteer in Malaysia You Should Know
- Top 13 Organisations to Volunteer With in Malaysia
- Life as a Volunteer in Malaysia
- How to prepare to volunteer in Asia
- Discovering Malaysian Culture While Volunteering
We hope that this article helped your search and always remember that there are many other NGOs out there in Malaysia, and other countries in Asia, which would LOVE your big-hearted help!
Read more on volunteering:
- Voluntourism – What’s wrong with it?
- Volunteers – does your work matter?
- 5 Volunteering Stereotypes You Should Be Aware Of
- Volunteering: The Battle Between Money Vs. Meaning
- 7 Things You Should Know Before Volunteering
- 5 Benefits of Volunteering in Malaysia