Frontier

Marine Conservation and Diving

Beqa, Fiji show on map
Non-profit
·
founded in 1989
Frontier
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Coordinator | David
Coordinator | David
Scuba dive in the crystal clear waters of the south Pacific. Live in paradise on a beach camp and carry out important marine conservation work. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Highlights

  • Help to preserve Fiji's marine and coastal biodiversity
  • PADI scuba diving courses and qualifications available
  • Make lifelong friends and return with incredible stories, photos and memories
  • Dive at some of the best dive sites in the world and study their health
  • Extend your experience in tropical marine and coastal conservation field work

The Fijian archipelago lies scattered lazily in the achingly blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, bathed in the radiant antipodean sunlight. Its towns and villages are veritable melting pots of cultural influences.

Fiji's irresistible shores are fringed with picture-perfect palm trees, and the azure waters that surround the islands are inhabited by an astonishing array of marine creatures; over 1,200 species of fish including clownfish, triggerfish, blue tangs, 12 species of whales, dolphins, anemones, soft coral and much more.

Enjoy fragrant sun drenched days and exotic nights of delectable food cooked in a traditional underground oven. Fiji will enchant you with its infectious, chilled out "Fiji time" lifestyle, its heavenly beaches and surrounding mountains of rainforest– the perfect paradise location for your Frontier adventure!


The aim of Frontier-Fiji Marine Conservation Project is to better understand the marine resources of the island of Beqa, and to provide teaching and training to enable local communities to make informed decisions regarding the management of their coastal ecosystems.

To achieve this mission, we conduct scientific baseline data surveys of reef areas. Once a long-term data set is obtained, patterns of resource use can be identified and work with local communities can begin to build awareness of the value and vulnerability of their marine environment.


The marine research and conservation programme is run in association with the University of the South Pacific. The work aims to provide the local stakeholders, research organisations and government bodies with the information they need to design and implement management plans for the future protection of Beqa island and lagoon marine ecosystem.

To gather the data needed you will be diving to locate and map the extensive coral reefs and study the various communities living on them (if necessary you will learn to dive first). To do this you will deploy a wide range of newly learned research skills and scientific techniques including: underwater visual census of reef and commercial fish such as triggerfish and parrotfish, indicator species (both fish and coral), assessment of algal and coral cover to determine the extent of coral bleaching and damage, and line intercept transects for benthic life and indicator invertebrate species such as nudibranchs. With so much to learn it's worth noting that those joining for only a few weeks will be training most of the time and may not get to do a lot of surveying. You may record observations of the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a range of marine life. You may even get to study the impact of artisanal fishing on the coral reefs or report the effects of Global Warming on marine communities. The type of fieldwork underway will depend on the time of year and the content of the research program when you join up and how long you are joining for.

Whilst diving, you'll see an extraordinary array of animals from turtles to rays, sea cucumbers to feathery starfish, spiny urchins to octopus and jellyfish. When you motor out each day on the Frontier boat to distant dive sites you may even encounter flying fish, sharks and dolphins.  By the end of your project you will be expert at identifying vast numbers of colourful and patterned reef fish as well as being an experienced and competent diver. Although the work is intense and challenging you'll get immense satisfaction from having survived and from having made a valuable contribution to the conservation of this untarnished marine wilderness. You will return home with the new friends you've made and a wealth of fascinating stories and memories.

You'll find your team to be a fun, dynamic mix of ages and experiences, with members who all share a passion about travelling in developing countries and saving endangered life. Your staff will be young, friendly individuals who are highly experienced in their field and many have volunteered on a Frontier project earlier in their career.

Typical day

7:00 a.m. – Breakfast at the the Frontier camp, prepared by the volunteers!

8:30 a.m. – Volunteers leave camp by boat for dive training, or science training at the volunteer house 

12:30 p.m. – Volunteers break for a packed lunch (lunch prepared by volunteers when at the volunteer house)

2:00 p.m.  -  Volunteer work at the volunteer house for the afternoon (beach cleanups, camp maintenance, science training, snorkeling) 

5:00 p.m. – The working day comes to an end. Volunteers are free to catch up on anything, plan for the next day’s work and socialise.

6:00 p.m. – Dinner at the Frontier camp, prepared by volunteers!

7:00 p.m. - Socialising… party on a Saturday!

*This itinerary should only be considered as an example of the kind of activities and timescales to expect.  Actual itineraries may vary depending on the season and the requirements of the project.

 

Details on Arrival

Start dates are every Monday throughout the year.  You can take part from one week to twenty weeks.  Longer placements can be offered on request.

Free-time activities

The Frontier-Fiji camp is fun and in your spare time and weekends off you'll have opportunities to swim and snorkel, play volleyball or even attend local church ceremonies. Alternatively you may enjoy a traditional kava session with the locals, play a wide variety of fun card games from poker to bridge, chess or backgammon, or join in a camp quiz night. After a long hard day of diving you may prefer to relax and sit and chat to your new friends beside a roaring campfire, under a sky lit up by millions of stars.
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Frontier cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Frontier.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Frontier (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Frontier
Before you go:

Pre-departure support 
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)

In-country:

Cast away camp accommodation & food
Local orientation & comprehensive project training
Project equipment & camp diving equipment
Research materials
24 hour in-country support
International HQ emergency support & back-up
Free airport pick-up and transfer to the island for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of each the month. Optional airport pickup, first night accomodation and transfers to the island can be provided for an extra cost for those arriving on different dates.

Airport Pickup at Nadi International Airport
Free airport pickup and transfer to the island is provided for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of each month. For volunteers arriving on different days airport pickup, transfers to the island and hostel accomodation for the first night can be arranged at a small additional cost
Accommodation
During the project you'll live in our simple but comfortable timber frame house on a cast away camp about 5-minutes walking from the Bay on the south Pacific island of Beqa. We aim to provide you with an authentic and memorable living experience. The Beqa house and camp has been constructed by local craftsmen using traditional building techniques and locally sourced building materials. The camp is situated up a short hill from the shore through the rainforest. Camp life is very simple, unsophisticated and fun. You will be staying in communal house near to the local communities. Your "shower" consists of a pipe that runs into an outdoor stall from the local stream and runs 24 hours a day. We have a western style bucket flush toilet and camp-style gas hobs to cook on. Prepare for the basic, cast away, virtually footprint-less lifestyle! 
Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
Camp food is simple and consists largely of rice, lentils, split peas, pasta, tinned tomatoes, potatoes, onions, curry, rolled oats, freshly baked bread, and any fruit or vegetable grown on the land (pumpkin, eggplant, papaya, banana, mango, cassava, bele leaves, etc. depending on season). All food is purchased in-country or made on camp in order to help support the local economy. Luxuries such as sweets, biscuits and drinking chocolate have to be brought over to the island from Suva, so make sure you stock up before heading to the camp! Part of your role on camp will be to help with the cooking, so get your cookbooks out now and start practising! Also, with luck you'll be invited to local feasts and festivals – a great way to integrate with the local communities in the nearby villages and absorb the fabulous and welcoming local culture.
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Nadi International Airport (NAN) in Nadi. We assist you to find cheap flights to Fiji.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Fiji provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Fiji you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Fiji.
Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 1,955
2 weeks
$ 2,304
3 weeks
$ 2,593
4 weeks
$ 2,780
5 weeks
$ 3,273
6 weeks
$ 3,647
7 weeks
$ 3,834
8 weeks
$ 4,038
10 weeks
$ 4,412
20 weeks (max. stay)
$ 7,013
Average fees
$ 1,153 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Beqa/Fiji between 1 week and 20 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Frontier will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Fiji.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Frontier during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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