Conservation Volunteer Projects in Nepal
- Placement location: Ghandruk, Annapurna mountain range
- Role: To preserve local biodiversity, conduct wildlife research
- Main Research Focus: Conservation of the common leopard, leopard cat, barking deer, Asiatic bear, red panda and numerous bird species
- Local Environment: Himalayan Mountains (2000m altitude)
- Accommodation: Family-run volunteer hostel
- Price: From
- What's included? Food, accommodation, airport transfers, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What's not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 4 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
You can volunteer on our Conservation & Environment project in Nepal in the spectacular Annapurna Mountain range in the Himalayas, where we work with a national nature and conservation organisation which helps to preserve and enhance biodiversity in the area. The Annapurna conservation project area is home to unique wildlife such as the common leopard, leopard cat, barking deer and several bird species including numerous endangered species of vultures.
With Nepal’s second largest city, Pokhara, based at the foothills of the mountain range the area provides Projects Abroad volunteers the chance of a life time to work within the Himalayan Mountains about three hours away from a beautiful city.
Here you will find answers to the following questions:
What is my role on this Conservation & Environment project?
Volunteers on this project can get involved in a wide variety of activities, such as:
- Wildlife research – as with any conservation area it is vital to monitor the populations of wild animals. This is done through various census techniques and using camera traps. Strong emphasis is placed upon researching threatened and endangered species. This work involves mammal surveys with camera traps, mammal surveys focusing on the red panda (around once a month in a different area, a 7 hour hike away), a bird watching census and a butterfly census (from March to June and September to December).
- Rubbish collection – this activity is important in the area. With the help of the local community, we often clean the river, forest and the village. This activity teaches the locals about the importance of recycling rubbish (glasses, plastic bottles) and the harmful effect of pollution in natural habitats.
- Our green house project – we have a small vegetable garden located next to the hostel, which volunteers help to look after.
- Plant identification – involves collecting plants from the wild, identifying them, drying them out and creating a herbarium. This teaches us a lot about the plants around Ghandruk and is also an opportunity to learn the techniques of identifying and drying out plants.
- Conservation education – running workshops and events in the community. This work often depends on your interests and length of stay. On certain occasions we also arrange anti-poaching education in the village.
- Community activities – these vary from learning how to cook traditional Nepalese dishes, to helping with planting tea or rice, learning local crafts or maintenance work like fixing steps when areas are damaged by water or livestock.
Our volunteers will undergo training and a comprehensive induction in Pokhara by our Projects Abroad staff to ensure each volunteer understands what each project involves and its contribution to the management of the area. Each programme contributes to the overall aim of preserving and enhancing biodiversity in the region.
Given the variation in Nepal’s climate – with the wet season from June to September and the dry season from October to June – these activities may not be possible at all times. Work on the projects will be arranged depending on the season and the weather conditions.
What are the aims of this Conservation & Environment project?
The Annapurna Conservation project’s primary goal is to preserve and enhance the natural resources within the area along with aiding social development in Ghandhurk. The area is rich in biodiversity and is a treasure house for 1,233 species of flowering plants, 102 mammals, 488 birds, 40 reptiles and 23 amphibians.
The geography and biodiversity of Nepal is unique. Its habitats are diverse; ranging from tropical forests to high altitude mountainous areas. With Nepal being home to the world’s largest mountain, Mount Everest, and having over 240 peaks over 20,000 feet, many of the conservation struggles are being fought within these areas.
Due to the pressures of human encroachment, climate change and loss of habitat these areas are being continuously threatened causing loss of biodiversity and environmental degradation.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Nepal Conservation Management Plan.
Where will I live on this project?
Due to the sheer size of the management area, volunteers will stay in a family-run hostel in Ghandruk, located about 3 hours away from Pokhara. Although the facilities are very basic, you’ll be waking up each morning to stunning views of the Himalayas.
Living in Ghandruk will give you a unique cultural experience and meals will be provided at the hostel each day. As all Conservation volunteers live in the same hostel there will always be other people around to work and socialise with.
Pokhara is one of Nepal’s most popular destinations amongst trekkers and tourists looking for an adventure in the Himalayas, however, it offers a more tranquil and relaxed urban environment than Kathmandu.
Please note that the project involves a lot of walking and hiking, so a reasonable level of physical fitness is an advantage.
You can join the Conservation project in Nepal for three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. Please be aware that it can take up to three days travelling to get to and from the Conservation project base. If you join us for three weeks you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely on the project, however you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.