Eco-volunteering in Indonesia

All year long, we offer eco-volunteer missions

into the fabulous karsts of Konawe on Sulawesi island, in Indonesia.

If you share our values and feel concerned about the causes we fight for, come and join us in the field ! Not only will you contribute to the preservation of this magnificent region and improve the lives of isolated populations, but you will also live a moment out of time, make unforgettable encounters, observe wonderful animals and explore one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Our ecovolunteer missions are made for you!

Why come with us ?

  • To participate in the protection of one of the 34 hotspots of biodiversity on the planet, an island considered the last refuge of a unique fauna and flora, and in particular, to work towards the restoration of a beautiful coastal environment imperilled by plastic waste pollution,
  • To share extraordinary adventures and make lifelong friends ; in short, for an intense and unforgettable experience,
  • To “log off” and experience a rare and enriching regeneration , to the rhythm of nature, the sea, and the songs of forest birds…
  • For the chance to plunge into ecosystems – those of Wallacea – that are among the world’s richest in biodiversity, but also the least accessible and facing the greatest threat,

Or because you’re fed up with living outside the law ;-) Indeed, the charter of the environment in the French Constitution declares that the environment is the common heritage of humankind and that "everyone has a duty to take part in preserving and improving [it]".

Mission ecovolunteer in Matarape Bay Indonesia

One of the many islands in the bay sublime Matarape (nicknamed "Little Raja Ampat"), in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Where do we work?

Since 2012, Naturevolution has been exploring the isolated karsts of North Konawe on the Southeast peninsula of Indonesia's Sulawesi Island, one of the last "Lost Worlds" on the planet. A biogeographical zone as inaccessible as it is extraordinary , it includes a mountainous aspect (the Matarombeo massif) and a wild archipelago of paradise-like islets (the bay of Matarape).

The island of Sulawesi, throughout its mosaic of habitats, boasts extraordinary rates of endemism - nearly 80% of amphibians, one third of birds and 98% of terrestrial mammals are uniquely native to the island. Its karstic massifs in particular protect, for example, the largest concentration of butterflies in the world, as well as the world’s oldest rock paintings, while its coral reefs are among the richest on the planet.

Why do we work here?

The answer is simple: Sulawesi Island is home to an exceptional archaeological and natural heritage, one of the richest in the world, and this incredible region is being systematically and hugely affected by irreversible and inadmissible degradation , particularly due to the rapid development of nickel mines, oil palm plantations and plastic pollution ...

  • Palm oil plantations continue to grow and reduce sadly quickly the canopy. Today, there are few places where one can move without hearing or seeing a chainsaw whole catchment forests on fire.
  • Nickel mines are growing with equal speed, particularly on the coast. Beyond systematically destroying forests, their impact on coral reefs is alarming. Stripping the lands bare causes uncontrolled spillage of sludge under the heavy rains that fall so frequently in this region, suffocating the corals.
  • Plastics, for their part, are very widely used despite a complete non-existence of systems for repurposing, treatment or recycling on site. Astronomical amounts of plastic are thrown directly into rivers or the sea, and end up on beaches or in the stomachs of marine animals.

It goes without saying that taking action on this is urgent!

Concluding a plastic waste clean-up operation on the beach

What are we doing on the ground?

Confronted with multiple crimes against the environment in this region, we chose to start with plastic pollution and concentrate our conservation efforts on coastal areas, in particular the magnificent bay of Matarape (nicknamed “little Raja Ampat”).

We aim to work on waste management via 4 targeted and inseparable steps:

  • Public awareness supported by local authorities in the form of meetings with village residents, development of information panels, and training of local resource persons.
  • Organization (in collaboration with residents) of major waste collection operations (on beaches and bordering reefs in particular) and the disposal of plastic waste to a sorting centre.
  • Repurposing, sorting and recycling of plastic waste
  • The repurposing of plastic waste into everyday items, crafts, fishing equipment, etc ...

As an ecovolunteer, you could participate in some or all of these activities.

And we would also use your help to ensure biological monitoring of marine species (Fish, invertebrates and corals) through regular dives snorkeling.

Approximately two thirds of your time would be dedicated to these missions. The rest would be devoted to exploring this spectacular environment, and particularly the Matarombeo massif , located a few kilometres away.

Observation and monitoring protocol of coral reefs in the Matarape bay. Sulawesi, Indonesia.

How do we live on the ground?

  • We are moving from beach to beach on a local fishing boat ensuring complete logistical autonomy,
  • Our various base camps (in personal tent) are each installed on a beach. We sleep under the stars and the gentle sound of waves,
  • We spend most days in the middle of nature, at the edge of the water or even in it. We also visit some coastal villages,
  • We eat products brought back from Kendari with fish from the local fishery, and equally local tropical fruits and vegetables,
  • Everyone helps with the dishes,
  • We collect fresh water in wells and rivers, we're filtering or boiling,
  • Some drinks (beers or soft drinks) can be found in some villages,

"This life in the midst of nature is fairly comfortable and more importantly, a wellspring of friendships with a healthy dose of fun"

Campement écovolontaire sur l'île de Labengki, Sulawesi, Indonésie

Ecovolunteer basecamp on Labengki island, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Who are our volunteers?

All applications, of all ages (from 18 years, or less if parental consent) as you are agile on land and under water, all skills and all nationalities are welcome, without any discrimination.

"Enthusiasm and motivation are all that matter."

No particular scientific background or specific degree is required.

The only requirements are that you are:

  • checked by a doctor before departure to ensure a very good shape
  • able to speak French, English or Spanish
  • souriant(e), agréable à vivre et avec de l’énergie à revendre !

Exploration of the Matarombeo massif, Sulawesi Island, Indonesia

How long are the missions?

Our missions last 2 weeks

but for more fun you can double and stay 4 weeks ;-)

How is your arrival organized?

We will meet you on Sunday evening in Kendari Airport (KDI code) or in the hotel Agung in Kendari city center which can be reached easily by taxi (€ 10 the most) if you arrive earlier. We will share a first welcome meal in the town of Kendari. Sunday night will be supported. We leave on the ground on Monday morning to reach the same afternoon the beautiful bay of Matarape.

When the mission concludes, we will take you back to Kendari on the Friday evening, where the hotel night is also taken care of, and you can fly out from Saturday morning.

Bateau indonésien utilisé sur l'une de nos missions écovolontaires

For almost the entirety of the mission, we keep the same boat that we use every day to get us on the grounds of our actions.

Dates and prices 2019

Period Date support in Kendari Date Due to Kendari Duration of mission Planned Activities Rate
July-August 2019 Sunday, July 7, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 2 weeks
Cleaning coastal (mangroves and beaches)
Raising awareness
Biological monitoring of marine species (fish and corals)
Getting mooring place to protect coral reefs
1350 €
Sunday, July 21, 2019 Saturday, August 3, 2019
Sunday, August 4, 2019 Saturday, August 17, 2019
Sunday, July 7, 2019 Saturday, August 3, 2019 4 weeks
2050 €
Sunday, July 21, 2019 Saturday, August 17, 2019
Sunday, July 7, 2019 Saturday, August 17, 2019 6 weeks
2700 €
Octobre-Novembre 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 samedi 2 novembre 2019 2 weeks
1350 €
dimanche 3 novembre 2019 Saturday, November 16, 2019 2 weeks
Sunday, October 20, 2019 Saturday, November 16, 2019 4 weeks
2050 €

To note that :

  • If you sign up for 2, rates are reduced by 8% and 12% from 3 people.
  • The departures of our missions are guaranteed from 4 participants.
  • There are not many places available for 2019, but you can pre-register and we will come back to you as soon opening our mission in 2020 (the month of November 2019).

Inspired? Get in touch! !

Matarape bay, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Island hopping by sea kayak in Matarape Bay - Sulawesi Island, Indonesia

Distribution of the trip cost

Logistics costs include
  • * The transport, meals, accommodation at hotel
  • On-site mission training team
  • Equipment needed to carry out the mission
  • Preliminary preparations ensuring your stay is the best it can be

* Please note that transportation is our main cost item because :

  • the route boat engine to achieve Matarape bay are relatively expensive;
  • for safety reasons in particular, we have to keep the boat with us throughout the trek, which prolongs all the rental period and therefore the cost;
  • the canoe trips on the river Lalindu are also very expensive.

Management fees include
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the results and impact of the missions
  • Mission promotion
  • Administrative processing of volunteer registrations
  • Repatriation insurance and civil liability
  • Membership of Naturevolution

Your donation to the conservation program will contribute, among other things, to
  • Salaries of project staff in the field throughout the year
  • Research and development of strategies and means of implementation that will ultimately safeguard all the region’s ecosystems
  • Travel expenses of teams essential to the development of the project
  • Daily management and financial activities in France necessary to the success of the conservation programs
  • Purchases and investments to the development and smooth running of projects

Mission price does not include
  • International flight + airport taxes
  • Personal equipment (tent, clothes, shoes, sleeping bags, water bottle, backpack, headlamps, ...)
  • Antimalarial drugs and vaccines
  • Le visa
  • Extra drinks, snacks and souvenirs
  • Accommodation at the hotel and any other expenses outside the official dates of the mission
  • Cancellation insurance for your airline tickets.

Tax exemption

Note that the full cost of your mission, airfare included, is tax-free : 66% for an individual, 75% if you are subject to ISF (French wealth tax), and 60% for businesses.
All tax exemption information can be found in the ‘other questions’ section below.

Snorkeling observation of the marine biodiversity of bordering reefs


Dreaming but broke? Consider crowdfunding!
We offer a dedicated crowdfunding platform and personalized coaching to help you raise the necessary funds from your friends and networks or through fundraising events (craft sales, screenings, etc.).
To find out more, visit: Crowdfunding

Despite its imposing size the Amboina sail-finned lizard can run on water to flee predators, Matarombeo massif, Sulawesi Island

Other questions

How much cash do I need?
On site, there will be very few opportunities to spend money and cost in Sulawesi is never too high, we think you will very well go out with a fifty per mission.

Do I need insurance?
Repatriation and civil liability insurance for the duration of the mission will be automatically contracted on your behalf with our insurer MAIF upon payment. You may take out additional insurance if you wish.

Do I need a visa?
Our mission ecovolunteers akin, under Indonesian law, both for a holiday and voluntary short, you need to apply for a visa on arrival (VOA) at Jakarta airport at a cost 35 US $ 550,000 or TST. Cash machines taking international cards can withdraw rupiah if you do not have dollars arriving. If you plan to stay in the country more than 30 days, this visa may be extended (max. 60 days) without highlighting the country, with the formalities taking a few days. For more information, visit this page.

What's the weather like in Sulawesi?
It will rain from time to time but the weather by the sea is generally pleasant. Temperatures will be summery, between 25° and 35° during the day, but with humidity close to 100%. Luckily we will be able to swim every day in water warmer than 25°.

How large will our group be?
Our missions have maximum ten volunteers but with a minimum of 4 people to validate a start.

Is it dangerous to travel to Sulawesi?
Indonesia is a vast country made up of innumerable islands, but generally speaking it is safe for travellers provided general rules of common sense and good behaviour are upheld, as in any other country.

Can I arrive and/or depart outside the indicated dates?
Unfortunately, it is difficult to join or exit our missions once they have begun due to challenging transport logistics in this very remote region.
However, outside of mission dates, you are welcome to stay on and travel independently in Indonesia.

How can I be contacted?
Due to the remoteness of our field sites, the traditional telephone communications are - usually - not possible, so do not expect to be able to call your family during the mission. However, the beginning and end of your stay will still be covered by the mobile network. As for safety, a satellite phone will always be present and we will use it for emergencies only.

What vaccinations are required to visit Sulawesi?
Antimalarial treatment, Malarone type can be recommended.
Vaccine side, only those against hepatitis A and B as well as typhoid fever are advised. A check, however: the essential upgrade of the DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-polio).
These tips are for information only and do not replace the advice of a doctor.

What are the cancellation conditions?
Cancellation by the volunteer:

  • if the cancellation takes place more than 2 months before departure, it will be free of charge and the volunteer will be refunded in full,
  • if the cancellation takes place between 2 months and 1 month before departure, a "deposit" will be retained (600€),
  • if the cancellation takes place within one month of the departure, the volunteer will be ineligible for a refund and the totality of the payment will be retained, except in case of force majeure or proven medical reason.

Cancellation by Naturevolution:

  • In case of non-payment of participation fees one month before the mission, the ecovolunteer’s reservation will be cancelled and the deposit of 600€ will be retained,
  • The fees will be reimbursed in full by Naturevolution in case of cancellation of the mission for logistical reasons, if there are fewer than 4 participants, or in case of other unforeseen circumstances.

In fact, given the difficulty of access on site, Naturevolution reserves the right to cancel the mission, in particular in the case of force majeure, damage, or meteorological imperative, at any time prior to departure, without further obligation to reimburse fees paid to Naturevolution.
Such cancellation does not entitle you to compensation. As such, Naturevolution asks the volunteer to take necessary precautions (cancellation insurance, flexible air tickets) when booking flights to Kendari on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, and assumes no responsibility for additional costs related to the modification or cancellation of fares for any reason whatsoever.

It is recommended to take out cancellation insurance.

Is my trip tax-deductible?
[The following information is only valid for people paying taxes in France. The situation is likely to be different in another country] Insofar as the management and logistics costs (70% of the total cost), as well as the airfare, are required to ensure a successful mission, which aims to protect the environment, these fees are considered a donation. The remaining 30% is purely a donation to our North Konawe karsts conservation program.
The entire cost of the mission (including the flight) is therefore tax-deductible : up to 66% for an individual (capped at 20% of income), 75% if you are subject to the ISF (capped at € 50,000) and 60% for companies (capped at 0.5% of turnover).
So, for example, if you are an individual departing on a 2-week mission and your flight costs 1000 €, your mission will cost you, after tax deduction, only (1350 € + 1000 €) - 66 % = 799€.
If you are not paying taxes this year or if your payment exceeds the limits mentioned, tax deductibility can be carried forward up to 5 years after the donation.

The karst massif of Matarombeo is a veritable Swiss cheese of nature with an extensive underground water network.

How do I register?

If you would like to participate in one of our ecovoluntary missions, please fill in the pre-registration form below. We will be in touch as soon as possible to explain the mission processes, to give you the procedure to follow prior to departure, the list of equipment to bring, and all the details of the work we carry out in the field.

One more question ?

Philip Mistral, in charge of mission ecovolunteers
Ecovolunteer project manager
Whatsapp +33 6 18 44 05 23
Facebook Messenger 👉 ci-contre
English translation made possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Cressida McDermott