Become a Dive Volunteer in Perhentian Paradise

Become a Dive Volunteer in Perhentian Paradise

Posted by Sam Hopkins on Dec 20, 2013

This month at The Great Projects we are thrilled to announce the launch of yet another incredible project, this time just off the coast of Peninsular Malaysia, in the beautiful Perhentian Islands. This initiative is based around research and data collection, as a part of a PhD study into the impact of commercial diving on the island's coral reef ecosystem.

Living in a traditional, Malaysian Muslim village, volunteers on this project will be given the excellent opportunity to become a dive volunteer in the stunning, surrounding waters in a sustainable and responsible way, collecting data and conducting surveys. The information gathered will be assessed and collated, and will go towards the PhD study. The overall aim of this endeavour is to conduct research into the detrimental effect of diving and snorkelling in beautiful coral reefs that surround the islands, with a view to ultimately closing the dive site which is causing the most physical damage.

This project includes both PADI Open-Water and Advanced Qualification courses for those who are not already qualified, and is one of the most sustainable and responsible ways to learn to dive, as volunteers will be actively contributing to conservation research and working with the local community and dive tourists to raise awareness about the issues facing the reef ecosystem.

What's more, the project is based in Pulau Kecil, the larger of the two Perhentian Islands off the coast of Peninsular Malaysia, a truly breathtaking area of natural beauty and a laidback, peaceful way of life. As much as the Perhentian Islands are fast becoming a tourist draw (and they have recently been voted as CNN's best beach destination in Malaysia), the traditional village which hosts this project remains untouched by tourist influences, and provides a truly tranquil area of remote and secluded paradise. Volunteers will not only live alongside the local villagers, but will interact with them on a daily basis, as well as helping out with the local school's sports club. This allows the local people to connect with the project and its aims, rendering the work it carries out all the more sustainable, and also allows volunteers to learn from villagers about the social issues facing the area and how to work towards constructive solutions.

Our existing diving projects are perennially popular, and so we have high hopes for what we can achieve through this newest addition. Diving and snorkelling related damage is a serious problem for much of the coral reef ecosystems that surround areas of Malaysia and Indonesia, and we feel that this project can really make a positive difference through working towards devising a sustainable solution. This a truly excellent opportunity for anyone interested in diving and marine conservation; a fully responsible and sustainable initiative, dedicated to the conservation and incredibly diverse marine environment.


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