Marine Conservation - Research Assistant Marine Conservation - Research Assistant Raja Ampat, Indonésia Barefoot Conservation
Barefoot Conservation Research Assistants will undertake Manta Ray research & Reef Check surveys, while contributing to our Community Projects, like English Teaching,

30 Project reviews of Barefoot Conservation

Project Details

Marine Conservation and Community outreach program's in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

Barefoot Conservation is a new and exciting, not-for-profit organisation that takes a fresh look at marine conservation and community awareness.

Our focus is grass roots conservation and community action. Our aim is to engage, educate and empower the local community to make sustainable conservation a way of life, not just a project.

We feel this holistic approach to conservation will give you/us a greater depth of experience and understanding. Through community projects we gain vital insights into the needs and values of the community and how marine conservation efforts can be integrated to benefit local people.  

Our conservation strategy is to help the local community build their resilience to climate change, globalization, and the economic and ecological choices the region will inevitably face.

A major part of our scientific work is our marine research program. This will monitor and assess the impact of climate change, over-fishing, and pollution on the marine environment and the people whose livelihoods depend on it. The information we gather will be used by the local government, local stakeholders, community and NGO's to implement measures to prevent and mitigate ecosystem degradation.

What sets us apart from similar non-profit dive volunteer organisations (other than the stunning pristine untouched paradise location!) is that volunteers see exactly where their contribution to the community is going, and the ratio of your fee that goes into the community is very high. The part of your expedition fee that doesn’t cover diving, insurance, food, accommodation, transport, fuel and minimal staff wages (most of our staff, even the CEO, work for free!)  will be spent on community projects. For example, this money may go towards building a new kindergarten & village community centre. Or your money combined with others may buy new school books, toothbrushes/paste for dental hygiene or medicines which are vital for education and health in the communities. You will then help distributing these in the schools/villages and be able to stay in touch with the children you have helped educate.

Barefoot Conservation only employs full time Indonesian teachers from the region, to teach in the classrooms of 4 different village schools. These teachers, along with the help of our volunteers, write the lesson plans, run the lessons together, and work closely with the children all year round, so they can form a good teacher to student relationship. These local teachers who are fluent in English, work with the children from grades 1 to 6, so they can build on this relationship, year on year.

Some of the money will go toward wider community based projects like our Ocean Warrior project, educating the local children & community on how to keep plastics out of the ocean or kids dental hygiene program. 

Our community projects work to alleviate poverty and create entrepreneurial solutions to ensure conservation is a viable and attractive economic alternative to current practices such as shark finning and/or dynamite fishing. By raising awareness of, and helping implement, strong ecotourism and sustainable fisheries management, we can ensure that the community and visitors benefit from the remarkable marine resources for generations to come.

Under our Indonesian Universities Scholarship Programme, we invite Indonesia's future marine biologists to work and study with us for free. This provides a wonderful opportunity for synergy between international volunteers and Indonesian students, sharing ideas and building a cohesive environmental ethic for the future. 


Barefoot Conservation's mission is to work in partnership with the Raja Ampat local government, local Papuan Communities and stakeholders, to protect the coral reefs of Raja Ampat and the communities that rely on them.

This partnership is bonded by a willingness to make a real difference, and the understanding that research, survey dives and Marine Protected Areas cannot work unless accompanied by education and the sustained alleviation of poverty.

Our projects are designed to work at a grass roots level, thus making a real difference to real people, and a difference that each volunteer can see and be a part of.


  • Undertake Reef Check & Manta Ray surveys in the surrounding area for use in advising local government and communities on Marine Protected Areas (MPA's).
  • Undertake educational programmes on environmental issues, sustainable fishing techniques (if necessary) and the economic benefits of MPA's.
  • Increase quality of life and alleviate poverty in local communities, through our community projects (Education, Waste Management/Clean Water, Health Clinics, Renewable Energy).
  • Encourage entrepreneurial attitudes to deter from unsustainable destructive activities like shark/manta finning or dynamite fishing.

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organization
Foundation Year
Contact Person
Simon Barden
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

Barefoot Conservation volunteers since 2013 when the very first expedition was run have successfully: 

  • Identified over 450 individual Reef Manta Rays (Manta Alfredi), and over 100 Giant Manta Rays (Manta Birostris)

  • Performed 100's of Reef Check Surveys.

  • Produced a habitat map of Arborek Island.

  • Identified close to 50 different Nudibranch species.

  • Provided free education in English, Mathematics and Bahasa Indonesian to over 150 local Papuan children, in 4 remote village schools.

  • Educated 100's of local Papuan children in the importance of protecting the environment and recycling plastics.

  • Provided free health care and dental hygiene to the village of Arborek where we are based.

  • Completed approximately 328 beach clean ups, with the local community.

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals

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