ecovolontariat amazon forest in peru, cybelle planet

10 points to better understand eco-volunteering

  1. Take part in the protection of wildlife

  2. Concretely helping a local project

  3. Volunteering

  4. A commitment to nature in the medium or long term

  5. Several types of programs to help wild flora and fauna

  6. Programs for everyone

  7. An enriching experience

  8. Giving meaning to his vacation

  9. Register directly or use a specialized platform 

  10. Ethical charters for better choice


#point 1: Take part in wildlife protection

The realization of wildlife protection programs requires human and financial resources: monitoring equipment, veterinary equipment, pens, staff ...

Public or private funding is a rare commodity for projects which will have to call on external resources. Eco-volunteering is a concrete and sustainable solution for many programs.

The protection of wild, often threatened and fragile species is a priority that does not only concern specialists and politicians. Citizens must also take part in it, partici- pating in participatory projects.

#point 2: Concretely help a local project

Ecovolunteers join a local project to protect wild fauna or flora, and help him in his daily work.
In addition to their involvement in the field, ecovolunteers will also contribute financially to the program *. .

Thus the eco-volunteering represents a huge added value for the reception project which, thanks to the eco-volunteers, will be able to continue its program for the fauna and flora over the long term.

* In some cases this financial aid is provided in the form ofa donation, entitling you to a tax reductionit depends on the structure that takes care of the registration.

#point 3: Make a voluntary commitment

The eco-volunteer is volunteering for a mission to protect the environment. As such, he can not receive financial compensation for his action.
Ecovolunteering is thus distinct from statutory volunteering (Volunteering of International Solidarity (VSI), Civil Volunteering (Civic Service Contract), European Voluntary Service (EVS) ...) where volunteers receive a derogatory compensation from the Labor Code.

#point 4: A commitment to nature in the medium or long term

Eco-volunteering is characterized by a commitment of one week to several months, within a local program of nature protection. A minimum period of participation is determined to allow the ecovolunteers to be trained and to provide concrete assistance to the project for which they have invested.

Namely :

  • eco-volunteering is different from nature projects, organized punctually at a given date and place (eg day of waste collection ...), and for a very short time.
  • Participatory science programs also can not be considered ecovolunteerism. The latter involve citizen observers in a research program on an ad hoc and unstructured basis.

#point 5: Several types of programs to help wild fauna and flora

Eco-volunteering missions serve the protection of wilderness. They can be:

  • management programs for natural areas or habitat restoration (clearing, reforestation, restoration of wild habitats ...),
  • monitoring and species protection projects (observations, counting, monitoring of populations and habitats, etc.),
  • support for the implementation of local eco-development programs (enhancement of local flora and fauna, support to local communities for economic development that respects biodiversity ...),
  • sanctuaries (refuges) housing endangered wild animals and which set up rehabilitation programs in nature,
  • awareness programs like local people and schoolchildren.

Namely: eco-volunteering is different from programs taking place on farms or sheepfolds (WWOOFING)

#point 6: Programs for everyone

The eco-volunteering missions are for everyone, with no particular knowledge or skills required. Lasting at least one to three weeks, novice ecovolunteers will be able to train and acquire all the skills necessary for their participation.

However, some missions require minimum skills such as the practice of a foreign language (English is generally the working language in missions abroad), knowing how to swim (for missions taking place at sea), or be willing to live in a community.

#point 7: A rewarding experience

The participants in an eco-volunteering mission leave to concretely support a local project and will take part in its various daily activities: monitoring and counting of animals in the wild, help with daily care in shelters, participation in educational interventions in the environment in schools ...

The ecovolunteers have the opportunity to learn a lot about the local environmental issues that the programs answer, about the species and their behavior ... They will also be able to discover and understand the local culture and also learn a lot about themselves because eco-volunteering is also an unforgettable human adventure!

#point 8: Giving meaning to your holidays

Eco-volunteering means deciding to travel differently for nature. Ecovolunteers carry out a militant and committed act. Far from being "idle" on the beach, they decide to give their time and energy to an environmental cause.

The ecovolunteer will not only go to observe the endangered species, but will concretely commit to their safeguarding.

Often based abroad, eco-volunteering missions usually require travel by plane, generating pollution and greenhouse gases. Local involvement for a medium or long-term environmental protection program, and the adoption of eco-responsible behavior, are territorial compensation, which can also be coupled with carbon offsetting. Far from "canceling" the pollution generated by our transport, ecovolunteering also allows us to travel without being a mere consumer of carbon!

#point 9: Register live or use a specialized platform

Going eco-volunteering, yes, but how? There are two ways to organize your adventure: by organizing your own trip from A to Z, or by using a specialized ecovolunteer platform.

It is possible to find on the internet local projects that receive ecovolunteers, so you can contact them directly and organize your own mission. However, there are a number of things that need to be kept in mind, which, if not respected, could turn your experience into a nightmare: bad preparation of the ecovolunteer or incorrect information on reception conditions, unscrupulous programs that display "wrong" good deeds...

Eco-volunteering platforms are specialized structures - associations or companies - that pre-select eco-volunteering missions and offer them directly to future eco-volunteers. In addition to saving valuable time for participants, these structures are true eco-volunteering professionals and are an additional guarantee for the ecovolunteer of the quality of the project for which he is committed.

Today around fifteen French-speaking platforms exist, each with its specificities and advantages: tax deduction, tourism approval, support and preparation of eco-volunteers, guarantee on the project ...

#point 10: Ethical Charters for Better Choice

Ecovolunteering is an activity that is still little known and which currently has no framework. However, eco-volunteering is booming and more and more people want to take part in a program to protect fauna or flora!

It is very important to remain realistic about the proposed programs because the abuses exist! Some of them are already denounced, as for example theexploitation of lions in captivity in Africa.

Eco-volunteering is a strong commitment and this act of generosity must be in favor of programs that are really useful for the planet.

In order to promote ethical ecovolunteering, the Cybelle Planète association has been committed since 2014 to the development of ethical charters dedicated to eco-volunteering:

  1. la ethical charter of eco-volunteering who proposes 8 commitments to the organizing structures,
  2. la charter of ecovolunteers which proposes 9 commitments to the ecovolunteers who wish to engage.

These charters constitute a reference base for future ecovolunteers in the choice of their mission and / or ecovolunteer structure. They also allow eco-volunteering structures to clearly display their ethical positioning.

Note: The ethical charters were drawn up during public participatory consultations and are the reflection of collective thinking.