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Easter Island Conservation and Reforestation

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Easter Island Conservation and Reforestation

Take part in a volunteering project that aims to reforest Easter Island, one of the most isolated, inhabited islands in the world!

Prices from $3,245

As one of the most isolated, inhabited islands in the world, Easter Island is a unique destination located at the most eastern point of the Polynesian triangle. Known to its natives as Nui Te Pito o Te Henua, which means “the navel of the world”, the island is a mere speck in the vast Pacific Ocean.  It measures approximately 14 miles by 7 miles and is filled with over 1,000 monumental Moai statues, whose ancient origins are still unknown to this day. The unique cultural history of Easter Island has been recognised by UNESCO who has placed the island on the cultural heritage list of distinguished places around the world. 

Easter Island was once an island overgrown with vegetation; however, in recent centuries it has been extensively deforested and by the 19th century was left almost completely barren. The loss of the forest had an impact on populations of both the wildlife and the native inhabitants, as food sources and material resources were depleted, ultimately resulting in an ecological collapse on the island.

You will have the opportunity to take part in a volunteering project aiming to reforest the island and reintroduce the Island’s endemic plant species. Easter Island is the most species-poor Island in the Pacific Ocean, with only 30 native plant species; therefore, it is essential to protect these species.  This is done by breeding plants in the laboratory before replanting seeds in specific regions around the island and actively restoring Easter Island to its former productive landscape.

 You will also be involved in promoting environmental awareness to the native population (Known as The Rapa Nui), with an aim to achieve a sustainable relationship between the tourists, natives and the natural environment of Easter Island. As well as protecting local animal populations, through restoring their natural habitats

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Experience life in the middle of the pacific on the remote Easter Island
  • Help restore the forests of Easter Island 
  • Protect native plant and animal species
  • Experience the unique culture and traditions of Easter Island
  • Take part in habitat surveys and mapping of vegetation
  • Learn about the environmental problems that Easter Island faces.

FAST FACTS

Location Easter Island
Activities Preserve endemic species
Actively reforest Easter Island
Support environmental education
Organise and deliver events about reforestation to students and tourists
Protect local animal populations
Record plant stocks
Transport it is a short taxi journey from the airport to your accommodation (around 10-20USD)
Accommodation Single room, self catered

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)
 

In-country


Accommodation
Project orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

The aim of the conservation volunteer program is to reforest Easter Island, with a focus on reintroducing plant species that are endemic to the island. The programme is supervised by the national forestry authorities and aims to reverse the damage inflicted on Easter Island’s environment over the past centuries. Without any protection from trees, large areas of land on the Island have become infertile due to damaging wind, rain and sun light. Therefore the project faces a challenge that is more complex than just replanting trees.  

There is a large focus on researching and breeding endemic Island plants, with species being grown under controlled laboratory conditions prior to reforestation. These carefully grown trees can then be planted in barren areas to promote the growth of a forest.  Research is also being carried out on the difficulties of germination for these endemic plants to improve their rate of survival.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Whilst volunteering on Easter Island you will be completing essential tasks alongside local employees to help reforest and preserve the natural environment. Your daily tasks will include surveillance of endemic plant species, active reforestation, recording plant stocks and helping with plant breeding along with other essential responsibilities.  

Furthermore with the introduction of healthy plant species, the survival of local animal species will improve. Therefore you will be responsible for protecting and reintroducing local wildlife whilst on the project. 

You will also be participating in environmental workshops to educate The Rapa Nui locals and tourists on the importance of Easter Island’s natural environment and learning about the environmental problems that Easter Island faces.  Your efforts will contribute to restoring Easter Island back to its former environmental condition, rebuilding its natural heritage. 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

Upon arrival at Hanga Roa Airport you will independently  travel to your accommodation via a short trip in a local taxi. Please be aware that you will be responsible for paying for this transfer which should be around 10-20USD. You should take these additional costs into account when planning your project. You will receive an orientation session upon arrival at the project by a friendly Frontier representative. 

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

During the project you will be staying in a single room accommodation with self catering facilities, in the Island capital of Hanga Roa. This accommodation will be located a short distance from the project location, which is situated at the edge of Hanga Roa.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Although your accommodation will be self catered and food is not included in the project, you should use your  free time to experience the delicious Easter Island cuisine. The traditional food on the island is made up of seafood such as tuna, swordfish, lobster and shrimps. As well as agricultural products that were introduced by the Marquesas islands many years ago, such as sweet potatoes, yams, plantain and sugarcane.

 A speciality dish to try is the Easter Island curanto, which is cooked in a hole in the ground filled with red hot stones. These stones are covered with plantain leaves and layers of meat and sweet potatoes are added, before the food is covered with more leaves and a layer of dirt. The heat cooks the food slowly and the result is a delicious dish often shared by the community. 

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

great!  | 13 Aug 2018
volunteering for environmental conservation on Easter Island has been excellent experience. The l...

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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

As you will be situated in the island capital, Hanga Roa, you can immerse yourself into Island life and experience the culture of the Rapa Nui people. As a volunteer you will form lifelong friendships with island residents and experience their delicious, traditional cuisine. Outside of working hours you will get to explore the beautiful landscape of Easter Island and visit main attractions such as the incredible Maoi monuments, the pink-sand beaches and the volcanic cones. You will also be able to take part in activities such as hiking, horseback riding, diving, mountain biking or visiting the beach! 

COSTS

8 weeks $3,245

12 weeks $4,595

Minimum 2 months, maximum 3 months

The program can start every Monday

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Easter Island (IPC)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


LEGAL STATEMENT

Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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