Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a two-pronged approach to marine conservation. While the main focus of this project is to renovate the coral reefs that have been badly damaged due to 45 years of fish bombing, you will also be working to help protect the endangered Green and Hawksbill Turtles who come to Pom Pom Island from May to September to nest. The ultimate goal of the project is to rebuild fish and coral populations so that the occasional reef sharks are encouraged to stay and remain resident within this sanctuary for sharks, rays, turtles and all marine life.
With a large area affected, the reefs surrounding Pom Pom are nowhere near as diverse or healthy as they were 40 years ago due to extensive local fish bombing. While the reef damage has now stopped, coral rubble is a common sight on the sea bed and fish & invertebrate populations are low. Marine biodiversity is very high and the site that you will be working on is in the coral triangle which is known for the largest numbers of reef species in the world. While there are many schools of fish in the area, there is neither the coral nor the additional shelters on the reefs to get these fish to stay. Volunteer manpower is desperately needed to repair the reefs by replanting coral and increase the settlement of reef fish juveniles, as well as build fish aggregation devices to retain the large number of pelagic fish in the area. This work is not only for the healthy development of the reefs but also to potentially create a protected area for white tip, black tip and grey reef sharks in Sabah – a 3 to 5 year plan for this project. As these particular shark’s diet consists of octopus and pelagic fish, numbers need to be increased if the sharks are to be attracted and more importantly – to stay.
The turtle nesting season of the endangered Green and Hawksbill Turtles occurs yearly from May to September. Unfortunately, while turtles are protected, turtle eggs can be easily sold in local markets and poachers have been known to sneak onto the island at night to steal the newly laid eggs from the mother turtle. Nests are easy to spot and a simple target for sea gypsies to come and claim their “prize”. Volunteers who will be on the island from May to September are desperately needed to carry out beach walks every evening to dissuade poachers from approaching the island. If regular patrols are instigated, poachers will have less inclination to descend upon the island and will finally leave nature to its own devices.
You will be based on the beautiful island of Pom Pom, located in the Celebes Sea in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The journey to Pom Pom will be a one hour speed boat ride from Semporna on the mainland, and will see you careening through perfect turquoise waters. The island itself has romantic white sand beaches, calm waters and shallow reefs. With easy access to over 10 other islands, Pom Pom is a gateway to the underwater world of the coral triangle.
• Duration: 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 weeks
• Cost: £1345 ($2354) for 2 weeks and £450 ($788) for every extra 2 weeks*
• Requirements: Suitable for anyone, Age 17+, or children with guardians; non-divers welcome
• Location: Sabah, Borneo
• Project Activities: Coral reef conservation through proactive reef rebuilding, construction and replanting, monitoring of turtle nesting, turtle tagging, sharks, rays, reef fish & invertebrate surveys
• Working Hours: Monday-Saturday, 8 hours per day
• Project Availability: Project is open year-round with arrivals on Sundays and Wednesdays
• 10% discount for groups of 6 or more
*Please note the dive courses included below:
2 weeks for non-qualified divers includes PADI Open Water
2 weeks for Open Water Divers includes your Advanced Qualification
2 weeks for Advanced qualified divers includes PADI Rescue
4 weeks for ALL divers includes PADI Advanced and Rescue
If no dive course is required (e.g. you are already Rescue certified) you will be eligible for a £160 discount.
• Accommodation: Shared tent on almost deserted beach
• Food: 3 meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner
• Airport pick up and drop off from Tawau Airport
• Transport to Pom Pom Island from Semporna when you arrive and transport back to Semporna from Pom Pom at the end of your project
• Training: Orientation and project induction provided, PADI Openwater & Advanced course included for 4+ week stays. Reef Check Tropical EcoDiver course included for 8+ week stays
• Support: 24 hour support
• Regular phone or internet contact with friends or family
• Free wi-fi
• Excursion Planning: Staff help organise extra dive courses and additional land or water excursions
• All dive equipment (except: mask, snorkel, fins, skins/rash vest/stinger suit)
• Water & sand proof watch
• Dive skins & snorkel gear
• Underwater or land cameras
This volunteer project in Borneo is based ...
£ 775 ($1356) for 2 weeks