Life couldn’t exist without trees.
Currently, the world faces the challenges of climate change and wildlife preservation, along with having to support billions of people. We need solutions. And trees could hold the answer.
After all, trees provide oxygen and store carbon. They give humans fuel, food, medicine, building materials, and more. And they shelter animals and anchor the soil.
Sadly, the number of trees has been decreasing. Since humans have started chopping down trees, the global number of trees has declined by 46%, according to a study published by Nature. While forests still cover 30% of the earth’s surface, World Bank research shows we’ve lost 1.3 million square kilometers of trees since 1990 (that’s larger than South Africa).
Don’t panic. Not all is lost.
You can do your part to turn the tides. Right now, you can volunteer to plant trees around the globe, from the United States to Spain to Thailand. By doing so, you’ll make the world a greener, healthier place. And that will benefit people and animals.
In this guide, we’ll cover how you can volunteer to plant trees abroad. Before you know, you’ll be signed up for a tree planting volunteer program and en route to the adventure of a lifetime.
How You Can Volunteer to Plant Trees Abroad
First, you may be asking yourself:
- Where can I volunteer to plant trees?
Here’s the good news: You can join tree planting volunteer programs anywhere in the world. You can volunteer to plant trees in the UK, Canada, Japan, and elsewhere. Simply put, tree planting volunteer projects abound. If you can’t travel abroad, know you can find opportunities to greenify your local town.
If you want to make the most difference, sign up for tree planting volunteer programs in environmentally significant areas such as the Amazon rainforest, the Congolese Rainforest, and the islands of the Philippines. By volunteering to plant trees in regions like these, you can have a big impact on combating climate change and improving the environment.
For most projects, planting trees helps achieve a larger goal, such as enhancing the quality of life in a community, protecting wildlife, or preserving a natural environment. Examples of programs that offer the chance to volunteer to plant trees include:
- Community development projects
- Environmental preservation projects
- Wildlife conservation projects
As you can see, you have lots of options when it comes to tree planting volunteer programs abroad. When choosing a program, consider your budget, time availability, preferences, skills, and interests.
Best Tree Planting Volunteer Programs Abroad
For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of the best tree planting volunteer projects. See what catches your eye and matches your needs. Then apply with the organization, pack your bags, and embark on your volunteer abroad adventure!
Note: When you sign up for a tree planting volunteer program, your participation includes airport pickup, orientation, 24/7 support, accommodation, and some meals. Before you sign up, check with the organization for full details and program requirements. For each project, we’ve listed the volunteer fees. Typically, the longer you stay, the cheaper prices get per night/week.
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)
Founded in 2007, International Volunteer HQ has placed more than 111,000 volunteers abroad. With affordable, year-round programs across 50+ destinations, IVHQ features projects to suit any passion, from education to healthcare to the environment. Great organizations and institutions volunteer with IVHQ, including Microsoft and the University of Michigan. That’s a testament to IVHQ’s excellent service initiatives.
If you want to volunteer to plant trees, IVHQ has great options. They’ve also partnered with ClimateCare, a UK-based organization that aims to offset carbon emissions by planting trees, conserving habitats, reducing energy use, and increasing climate awareness. By supporting ClimateCare and IVHQ, volunteers can offset carbon emissions from flying abroad to volunteer.
Read about tree planting volunteer opportunities with IVHQ below
Coast and Waterway Conservation in New Zealand
Price: $915 for 2 weeks; $1,770 for 4 weeks
Journey to Auckland, where you’ll care for the stunning beaches, landscapes, and islands there. A focus of the project involves the conservation of traditional Māori land. You’ll work side-by-side with the local community. Duties include planting native trees, removing invasive species, collecting seeds, and composting and mulching. Other duties include beach cleanups and tree planting events with local schools.
Past volunteers have had wonderful experiences on this project, like Agnes from Brazil:
“You will love this program if you love traveling, prefer outdoor activities, have an adventurous spirit and are curious about other cultures. I was involved in beach and waterway clean-ups, dealing with the global challenge of litter and the impact of humanity on our marine environment. The other set of activities was focused on native bush preservation. We were weeding, collecting seeds and removing invasive species at a native tree nursery, making it possible to bring the local wildlife and native bush back to their special place.”
When you’re not volunteering, explore Auckland. Enjoy the beauty of Waiheke Island, ascend the Sky Tower, and soak up the fun of Queen Street. So, are you ready to help the environment and volunteer to plant trees in New Zealand?
Environmental Conservation in the Philippines
Price: $260 for 1 week; $690 for 4 weeks
Venture to Palawan, a gorgeous archipelagic province! When you volunteer to plant trees in Palawan, you’ll strengthen the environment and improve the quality of life for locals. Specifically, you’ll plant mangrove trees and remove rubbish from mangrove areas. Mangroves protect shorelines and waters by reducing erosion from storms and tides and filtering pollutants out of the water. In addition to planting and protecting mangrove trees, you’ll also educate locals about the importance of mangroves and the dangers of litter.
During free time, Palawan, with its gorgeous beaches and night entertainment, awaits. Try traditional food, learn some Tagalog, go jungle trekking, and more. It sounds like quite the experience, right?
Plan My Gap Year (PMGY)
Plan My Gap Year offers volunteers life-changing experiences across 15 countries in South America, Asia, and Africa. An award-winning organization, PMGY receives praise for their affordable fees, impactful initiatives, and superb volunteer support. Each year, they send more than 4,000 volunteers overseas.
With PMGY, you can volunteer to plant trees through several projects. PMGY also runs a carbon offset scheme, allowing volunteers to contribute directly to tree planting around the world.
Read about tree planting volunteer opportunities with PMGY below
Elephant Conservation in Thailand
Price: $789 for 1 week; $1,614 for 4 weeks
Want to help elephants and plant trees? Then join this program in Phetchaburi province. At the elephant sanctuary, you’ll ensure rescued elephants have a natural habitat to call home. These elephants previously endured abuses in the tourism and logging industries, and need forests, lakes, and grazing areas. As a volunteer, you’ll plant trees, including banana trees, grasses, and other plants. Other duties include cleaning enclosures, maintaining pools and mud baths, and creating enrichments.
What’s great is this program can be combined with a trip to nearby attractions like Kaeng Krachan National Park, as well as a stopover in Bangkok. Already packing your bags?
Big 5 Wildlife Experience in South Africa
Price: $684 for 1 week; $2,019 for 4 weeks
Lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffaloes…oh my! For this program, you’ll work at a game reserve on the Eastern Cape, monitoring the animals, doing anti-poaching patrols, repairing fences and roads, and more. You’ll also plant indigenous trees, remove alien vegetation, and do landscaping. Your work goes a long way in keeping the living environment healthy and safe.
Volunteering to help the Big 5 is an experience unlike any other. If you have a passion for wildlife, this is a great program for you. You can even go on a side trip to Cape Town or Johannesburg before or after the project. Ready to volunteer to plant trees, help the Big 5, and learn all about conservation management?
Want to volunteer to plant trees in Latin America? Then put Maximo Nivel at the top of your list. Established in 2003, Maximo Nivel operates locally based institutes and oversees service projects in Peru, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Known for unparalleled in-country support, affordable pricing, and impactful programs, Maximo Nivel receives much praise from past volunteers. Across nearly 850 reviews, they have a 4.89 rating out of 5 stars on Volunteer Forever.
Several Maximo Nivel programs engage in tree planting and reforestation. Your efforts can go a long way in improving the environment in Latin America.
Read about tree planting volunteer opportunities with Maximo Nivel below
Eco-Agriculture Volunteering in Costa Rica
Price: $695 for 1 week; $1,495 for 4 weeks
Love coffee? Then this organic farming project wants you! As an eco-agriculture volunteer, you’ll assist local coffee farmers who run sustainable farming operations. You’ll learn all about eco-friendly coffee production, from picking and weeding to roasting and packaging. You’ll also plant shade trees to enable better plant growth. And, of course, you’ll get to sample some seriously fresh coffee!
You’ll either work at a farm in Monteverde Cloud Forest or the Talamanca Mountains. After volunteering, feel free to go trekking, make a trip to San Jose, or explore the gorgeous coasts. Gearing up for a coffee-fueled adventure?
Amazon Conservation and Reforestation in Peru
Price: $645 for 1 week; $1,245 for 4 weeks
As one of the most biologically diverse places on earth, the Amazon Jungle serves as a vital lung for the planet. We must protect it. As a conservation volunteer, you’ll focus on reforestation. Primarily, you’ll volunteer to plant trees, remove alien vegetation, and monitor wildlife. You’ll also do educational outreach in the local community. Not only will you learn all about tree species in the area, but you’ll also play a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change on the Amazon (and that will help us all).
Past volunteers give this project great reviews, like Oulana:
“For about four weeks, I volunteered in the Amazon jungle. Pretty much all I have to say is that this was hands down one of the best times of my life! The jungle is incredible. We did reforestation work like planting trees and removing invasive species, as well as other necessary jobs like clearing trails for researchers. I definitely recommend this program for anyone looking to do amazing work and see amazing things!”
Great for those aspiring to work in conservation, biology, or a related field, this program truly takes you off-the-beaten-path to one of the world’s most unspoiled places. You’ll be wowed from day one. Ready to venture into the heart of the Amazon?
Love Volunteers began in 2009 with the goal of making volunteering abroad more transparent, affordable, and impactful. Love Volunteers oversees projects across more than 34 countries worldwide. Each of their projects has been carefully vetted to ensure high standards of quality and safety. Past volunteers applaud Love Volunteers for their efforts, giving them an average rating of 96%.
If you want to volunteer to plant trees abroad, Love Volunteers has programs for you. Through their community and environmental initiatives, you can make a real difference for communities in need.
Read about tree planting volunteer opportunities with Love Volunteers below
Community Development Volunteering in Tanzania
Price: $199 for 1 week; $619 for 4 weeks
Make your way to Arusha, the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro. There, you can serve as a community development volunteer, helping improve the quality of life in marginalized communities. You’ll help expand access to quality healthcare and education. You’ll also work on community-based initiatives, such as tree planting, water hygiene, sustainable gardening, and recycling projects. With more greenery and greater availability of clean water and fresh food, people in Northern Tanzania can live a better life. And you’ll be a part of making that happen.
Located at the base of volcanic Mount Meru, Arusha delights with its natural beauty, friendly atmosphere, and variety of nearby attractions, such as Tarangire National Park. Good times await!
Environmental Volunteering in New Zealand
Price: $379 for 1 week; $1,509 for 4 weeks
Want to protect New Zealand’s national parks and endangered species. Around the city of Auckland, you’ll assist with maintaining wetlands, replanting inner-city parks, and rebuilding areas affected by natural disasters. Duties include tree planting, walking trail construction, wildlife rescue, weed control, and conservation fencing. All your work goes towards the bigger goal: preserving the region’s natural heritage.
After you volunteer to plant trees and protect the environment in New Zealand, take a vacation! After all, you’ll volunteer near happening Auckland and you’ll be close to some of the world’s best scenery. Ready to book your ticket?
Established in 1992, Projects Abroad has placed more than 122,000 volunteers abroad. One of the top names in volunteering, Projects Abroad has been featured in major publications, including the New York Times, CNN, and CNBC. They’re known for their commitment to improving local communities and empowering volunteers to make a real impact.
Through Projects Abroad, you can volunteer to plant trees across the world, from Ecuador to Botswana. Knowing that traveling overseas comes at an environmental cost, Projects Abroad offsets carbon emissions by planting mangrove trees on conservation projects around the world.
Read about tree planting volunteer opportunities with Projects Abroad below
Rainforest Conservation and Lemur Research in Madagascar
Price: $3,220 for 1 week; $4,660 for 4 weeks
Want to protect the diverse plants and animals in Madagascan rainforests? You’ll get to help with lemur research too! How awesome is that? As a rainforest conservation volunteer, you’ll help in a variety of ways. Typical tasks include:
- Conducting plant and animal surveys (see lemurs!)
- Building hides for night surveys (which are amazing)
- Collecting litter during community and park cleanups
- Planting trees and removing invasive plant species as part of a reforestation initiative
The environmental and lemur research project is based in Andasibe, a small town known for Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. After volunteering, you can explore Madagascar’s beaches, history, and culture. It sounds like a life-changing trip, right?
Birds, Butterflies, and Bats Conservation in Costa Rica
Price: $2,970 for 1 week; $4,260 for 4 weeks
Travel to Barra Honda National Park and protect birds, butterflies, and bats—animals that play a crucial role in Costa Rica’s magnificent natural ecosystem. Daily duties include assisting with biodiversity studies, running environmental education campaigns in local schools, and doing park maintenance work. You’ll also work a lot on a reforestation initiative, which mainly involves planting trees and removing alien vegetation. Your work will go a long way in restoring and improving the park.
This project best suits those hoping to work in ecology, zoology, sustainability, or a related field, as well as anyone who has a passion for the environment. What’s also great is that all the fun of Costa Rica awaits during free time. Whether you want to relax in a hammock in the forest or shop in the city of San Jose, you can have the trip of a lifetime.
Global Vision International (GVI)
Global Vision International (GVI) began in 1998 and aims to advance the United States’ Sustainable Development Goals. Focused on ethical volunteering, GVI runs 150+ projects around the world and places more than 2,500 volunteers annually. For many projects, GVI partners with international charities and nonprofits like Panthera and Save the Children.
For those looking to volunteer to plant trees abroad, GVI has you covered. These programs provide solid work experience in conservation.
Read about tree planting volunteer opportunities with GVI below
Environmental Restoration in Seychelles
Price: $2,865 for 2 weeks; $3,960 for 4 weeks
Touch down on Curieuse Island, a pristine and essentially uninhabited island of Seychelles. As an environmental volunteer on the tropical island, you’ll work to remove destructive alien plants that were brought by colonization, such as cinnamon. Through your efforts, you’ll improve the future prospects of endangered seabirds, tortoises, and sharks. And you’ll help the coco de mer, a rare native palm tree, thrive. Another task is monitoring mangrove tree populations, which have an important role in protecting the local ecosystem.
When you’re not planting trees and helping endangered species on Curieuse Island, enjoy the scenery and beaches of neighboring islands, like La Digue and Praslin. Already dreaming of your tropical adventure?
Coastal Conservation in Thailand
Price: $2,530 for 1 week; $3,730 for 4 weeks
Head to Phang Nga and contribute to the conservation of the province’s unique species and habitats. Tourism, logging, and other activities have led to issues like deforestation, plastic pollution, and beach erosion. Illegal poaching has put key species at risk. Needless to say, volunteer help is needed in Phang Nga. Your duties include everything from plastic pollution prevention and planting trees to biodiversity surveys and environmental awareness workshops.
What’s convenient about this project is that you’ll work in one of the world’s most naturally splendid regions. Phang Nga Bay, with its limestone karsts, amazes. And world-famous Phuket is nearby too! So, is Thailand calling your name?
Offering more than 160 community, wildlife, and environmental projects around the globe, GoEco has become a leading international volunteer organization. GoAbroad recognized GoEco as the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization in 2018. They’ve also been featured in publications such as The Guardian and USA Today.
Considering GoEco’s commitment to the environment, they have lots of suitable programs if you’d like to volunteer to plant trees. From wildlife projects to community development initiatives, you can make the world greener with GoEco.
Read about tree planting volunteer opportunities with GoEco below
Conservation Volunteering in Spain
Price: $1,250 for 2 weeks; $1,810 for 6 weeks
Hop over to Valencia, a port city on Spain’s southeastern coast. There, you can practice your Spanish as you volunteer to plant trees, monitor sea turtles, fix up parks, and restore habitats. You’ll also participate in wildlife surveys and data collection in Albufera Natural Park, a park home to the largest lake in Spain. Your volunteer work will help preserve the diverse ecosystems of the region.
Previous volunteers, such as Rachel, an environmental activist, applaud this program. Here’s what she had to say:
“I recently graduated from college with an environmental degree. I knew I wanted to spend some time volunteering, but I also knew I wanted to gain experience in my field. One day we physically got into the water and took samples to determine whether or not the water was becoming more or less polluted. We weeded, cut down trees, planted new trees, and picked up garbage in the surrounding park. When I volunteered, I always felt that I was making a difference.”
During the program, you’ll stay with a host family, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. The program includes a tour of Valencia and famous sites like the Valencia Cathedral and Central Market. Without a doubt, you’ll have a blast on your volunteer trip!
Community Outreach in Zanzibar
Price: $2,450 for 2 weeks; $3,150 for 4 weeks
Want to travel to Zanzibar, Tanzania? Consider this community development project. You’ll put your skills to good use on a myriad of projects, including teaching English to local children, organizing after-school sports activities, doing beach cleanups, and planting trees in the community. Your efforts will go a long way in enhancing life in Zanzibar for those who need it most. You’ll ensure children get the attention and support they deserve. And you’ll do your part to keep the environment healthy and beautiful.
During free time, Zanzibar, with its world-class beaches and cultural sites, offers tons to do. Check out the Old Fort of Zanzibar, go on a spice tour, and more! Sounds like fun, right?
A Broader View
A non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania, A Broader View offers volunteer travel placements across 25 countries. Their programs aim to support low-income communities through environment, education, health, and community initiatives. Many volunteers choose A Broader View because of their unique programs, cost-effective fees, and in-country support.
When it comes to tree planting volunteer programs, A Broader View gives you numerous options, from conservation work in the wild to community work in the city. It’s up to you where you go! Either way, you’ll be volunteering to plant trees.
Read about tree planting volunteer opportunities with A Broader View below
Community Development in India
Price: $990 for 2 weeks $1,250 for 4 weeks
Make the trip to Udaipur, India, and work to improve life in an impoverished neighborhood. Your contributions will beautify the neighborhood and improve life for children and families that need it most. As a volunteer, you’ll do a wide variety of tasks, including:
- Renovation of community centers, health clinics, and schools
- Teaching hygiene awareness to children
- Repairing homes for families in need
- Implementing recycling programs
- Landscaping and planting trees
During free time, the city of Udaipur awaits. Check out City Palace, take in views of Lake Pichola, and visit Jagdish Temple. How exciting does that sound?
Community Development in Nepal
Price: $1,030 for 2 weeks; $1,310 for 4 weeks
Thinking of going to Kathmandu? Then join this program. As a community development volunteer, you’ll get your hands dirty as you renovate libraries, restore temples, build toilets, repair houses, implement trash collection programs, and more. To make the living environment healthier for locals in need, you’ll also plant trees, pick up litter, and participate in awareness campaigns.
This immersive program allows you to understand more about the daily lives of people in Nepal. When you’re not volunteering, enjoy the history, culture, and entertainment of Kathmandu. And note the views of the Himalayas (they wow!).
Ready to be a tree planting volunteer abroad?
When you volunteer to plant trees abroad, you take a stance. Your efforts contribute to a better tomorrow, one where proper attention is given to the environment. After all, we couldn’t survive without a healthy living environment. You can turn the tides and make the world a greener, more inhabitable place!
As you look through tree planting volunteer programs, consider where your efforts can have the biggest impact. At Volunteer Forever, we’re here to help you make your volunteer adventure a reality. From searching through programs to finding volunteer scholarships and grants, you can plan your entire trip here.
Good luck on your travels. And go plant some trees!
Nick Callos · Writer
With a BA in English Literature & Writing from Boston College, Nick researches and writes about volunteer, intern, and teach abroad programs worldwide. He has studied abroad and taught English in Chengdu, China, and aims to help fellow travelers make a lasting impact on the communities they visit.