Volunteer to Plant Trees Abroad

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Updated for 2024

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). 

Alarmed? 

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 New Zealand, to the Philippines, to Spain, to the United States, and to Thailand with a volunteer organization. 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 Ecuador, Tanzania, Peru, 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  Caribbean 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: 

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)

VolunteerForever

Founded in 2007, International Volunteer HQ has placed more than 130,000 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 CarbonClick, a UK-based organization that aims to offset carbon emissions by planting trees, conserving habitats, reducing energy use, and increasing climate awareness. By supporting CarbonClick 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

Journey to Auckland, where you’ll care for the stunning beaches, landscapes, and islands there. The 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? 

Apply Here

Environmental Conservation in the Philippines

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?

Apply Here

 

GoEco

Offering more than 150 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

Environmental Conservation in Sri Lanka

Located in Galle, Sri Lanka, join this volunteer program to learn how to protect nature’s beauty in this island, directly giving back to a community. You will work with passionate local conservation teams in preserving and maintaining mangrove trees, assist in organic farming, learn recycling and composting to reduce waste, planting and maintaining seeds in the nurseries, and helping to build artificial coral reefs. This is a hands-on project great for active volunteers as they will do a good amount of field work. 

There are many activities available during free time with this program, such as surfing, snorkeling, or just relaxing on the beach. There are also add-on tours for those interested. Get started here! 

Community Outreach in Zanzibar

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?

Apply Here

 

Maximo Nivel

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

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? 

Apply Here

Amazon Conservation and Reforestation in Peru

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?  

Apply Here

 

Projects Abroad

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 100% of their CO2 emissions by partnering with Ecologi to fund sustainable projects and by planting a tree for every participant, including over 178,765 mangrove trees since 2014. 

Read about tree planting volunteer opportunities with Projects Abroad below

Animal Rehab in the Amazon Rainforest – Peru

Price: $2,550 for 1 week; $6,000 for 4 weeks

Want to help protect the Amazon Rainforest and its wildlife? You’ll assist with reforestation and rehabilitation efforts. How incredible is that? As a rainforest conservation volunteer, you’ll help with tasks like:

  • Conducting plant and animal surveys
  • Feeding and caring for rescued animals
  • Planting trees as part of reforestation efforts

The project is based in the Taricaya Ecological Reserve. After volunteering, you can explore the Amazon’s diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. Sounds like an adventure of a lifetime, right?

Apply Here

Rainforest Conservation Spring Break in Peru

Perfect for college students and adults, this one-week program during March provides an immersive experience in the Taricaya Ecological Reserve. Volunteers assist with wildlife rehabilitation, contribute to biodiversity studies, and engage in sustainable farming practices. It’s an opportunity to live in the jungle, work alongside conservation professionals, and gain valuable skills for careers in biological or environmental sciences.

African Impact

African Impact’s Reforestation Volunteer Project in Kenya offers a dynamic approach to conservation in the scenic highlands near Nairobi. Volunteers are deeply involved in rejuvenating and preserving indigenous forests by removing invasive species, planting native trees, and revitalizing forest trails. Here are some highlights:

  • Engage with Local Communities: Volunteers collaborate with women, farm workers, and youth groups to promote sustainable living practices and environmental education.
  • Biodiversity Conservation: Activities include seed collection, propagation, and the maintenance of trails within the Brackenhurst Forest, a restored indigenous area boasting over 650 species of native flora.
  • Environmental Education: By conducting sessions in local schools, volunteers ignite a passion for environmental stewardship among the youth.
  • Sustainable Practices: Initiatives like rainwater harvesting and the development of vegetable gardens teach and support sustainable agriculture within the community.
  • Cultural Immersion and Exploration: Living just outside Nairobi, volunteers experience Kenyan culture, enjoy local cuisine, and explore renowned wildlife parks during their free time.

This project not only contributes to ecological restoration but also supports local communities in achieving sustainable livelihoods through practical and educational engagements.

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)

Volunteering with Involvement Volunteers International (IVI) offers an enriching opportunity to combat deforestation and make a tangible difference in preserving our planet. With over 30 years of experience in placing volunteers globally, IVI emphasizes affordability, safety, and impactful projects that benefit local communities and ecosystems. Here’s a look at some of their programs:

Amazon Rainforest Conservation, Peru

Volunteers can engage in reforestation, plant native species, and remove invasive ones, helping restore the Amazon’s biodiversity. Tasks include tree planting, wildlife monitoring, and community education. Accommodation is in a jungle lodge, providing a rustic and immersive experience.

Mangrove Environmental Conservation, Cambodia 

This project focuses on restoring mangrove populations in Kampot, crucial for local biodiversity and community livelihood. Volunteers plant mangroves, assist in ecological education and help maintain the health of this vital ecosystem. Lodging is provided in riverside bungalows, blending into the serene landscape.

Environmental Conservation, Tanzania

Positioned in Monduli, volunteers teach local communities about sustainable practices and environmental conservation. Activities include tree planting, beekeeping, and educational outreach, with accommodations in a local volunteer house or homestay.

Eco Farming & Agriculture, Guatemala

Volunteers work alongside local farmers in Antigua, learning sustainable farming techniques and participating in all farming cycles from planting to harvest. This program is ideal for those who enjoy physical work and are interested in sustainable agriculture practices, with accommodation options varying from homestays to independent housing.

Each program is designed to provide a meaningful and safe volunteering experience, supported by IVI’s dedicated in-country teams and comprehensive orientation sessions.

Volunteering Solutions

Volunteering Solutions has partnered with OneTreePlanted to enhance their environmental impact. For every booking, a tree is planted, supporting global reforestation efforts and contributing to climate change mitigation. This initiative not only helps restore ecosystems but also offers volunteers a sustainable way to make a positive impact on the planet. Check out this cool program where you can get directly involved with reforestation efforts: 

Caribbean Rainforest, Costa Rica

In the lush landscapes of Costa Rica, volunteers contribute to the protection of a 140-hectare rainforest reserve. Activities include biodiversity mapping, data analysis, trail creation, tree planting, and community education. The program promotes sustainable living and aims to expand the reserve to further protect the rich ecosystem. Accommodations are provided in a shared volunteer house surrounded by the serene rainforest, offering a full immersion into nature.

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

Island Biodiversity Surveying Citizen Science Project in Seychelles

Price: $2,145 for 2 weeks; $3,295 for 4 weeks

Join the Island Biodiversity Surveying Project in Seychelles and help protect unique flora and fauna. You’ll monitor mangrove tree populations and contribute to reforestation efforts. Work with seagrass, coral reefs, and endemic plants to ensure their conservation.

When you’re not planting trees and conserving marine ecosystems, explore the stunning beaches and tropical beauty of nearby islands like La Digue and Praslin. Ready to dive into this tropical adventure?

Apply Here

Coastal Conservation in Thailand

Price: $1,795 for 2 weeks; $2,845 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? 

Apply Here

Love Volunteers

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! 

Apply Here

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? 

Apply Here

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 guidance on fundraising for your travels, you can plan your entire trip here. 

Good luck on your travels. And go plant some trees!



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