Voluntourism: supporting nature conservation on holiday

Voluntourismus ©Sebastian Schröder-Esch

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Enjoying nature on holiday and protecting it at the same time is what voluntourism offers in the Nationale Naturlandschaften are all about.

Voluntourism for Biological Diversity

The summer holiday season is in full swing, so why not involve visitors in nature conservation activities and let them support Protected Area professionals in their work? Developed by the Nationale Naturlandschaften (formerly know as EUROPARC Germany), the project “Voluntourism for Biological Diversity” has exactly that in mind.

With new partnerships between Protected Areas and tourism operators, the project supports the conception, development and testing of attractive and meaningful holiday packages in four model areas (Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea and Müritz National Parks, Southern Black Forest Nature Park, Central Elbe Biosphere Reserve). Voluntourism for Biological Diversity in the National Natural Landscapes develops diverse tourism offers for young and old in National Parks, nature parks and biosphere reserves. The offers include short-term and one-off assignments as well as packages from tour operators.

Voluntourism offers attractive opportunities to promote and protect biodiversity while enjoying holiday in a practical and meaningful way.

The initiative is being realised in cooperation with a number of German Protected Areas and partners, including some EUROPARC members such as the Müritz National Park or the Mittelelbe Biosphere Reserve. Together, they have developed a variety of engagement opportunities where participants can discover natural treasures during their holidays, get to know regional cultural highlights and at the same time support conservation experts in their work.

Fixing bridges and creating shelters for wood grouse

After the long period of COVID restrictions, the first voluntourism assignments are now starting and looking for participants. All the voluntourism offers from the four model areas can be found on the platform www.naturschutz-im-urlaub.de.

Last week, the first day’s work has begun in the Feldberg nature reserve in the Southern Black Forest Nature Park, where a footbridge in a moorland landscape needs to be repaired. Another voluntourism opportunity in Feldberg involves wood grouse biotope maintenance, concretely clearing areas and piling branches to provide cover for the wood grouse.

The first project in the Müritz National Park will start on 5 August. After a joint bicycle tour, participants can roll up their sleeves and dispose of an old collection of jars that were once used to extract tree resin.

Download the press release (in German). The list of available voluntourism offers is available here.