France – Les Courmettes

France – Les Courmette

Courmettes 1Le Domaine des Courmettes is A Rocha France’s second site, an hour’s drive up into the hills northwest of Nice. It offers 600 ha of preserved wildlife in a variety of natural habitats and a breathtaking view of the French Riviera. The Domain is open to the public, with several hiking trails.

This is a pioneering experience, with a small on-site team and volunteering needs in many areas: building, painting, roofing, insulating, administrating, welcoming visitors and hikers, nature surveying, path-making, marketing, hosting commercial events, and so on. Les Courmettes holds huge potential for touching hearts and lives and helping visitors connect with the losses generated by climate change and the joys of living healthily. Come and be a part of it as an individual or even better, as a group!

A Rocha also hopes to develop various environmental education tools in the near future, as well as eco-tourism in the years to come.

Volunteers at Les Courmettes are welcomed for stays of at least two weeks. Living conditions are a little rougher than at Les Tourades, especially during the winter months, and city dwellers might feel somewhat isolated over longer stays. Count on about 130 euros for a week’s full board (subject to change).

Those who participate in outdoors work need to be physically fit and able to hike around the Domain. Ability in French, while not essential, is an asset. Because the community at Les Courmettes is an international one, we do not offer a French-language immersion experience

Long-term volunteer positions at Les Courmettes include:

  • logistics assistant for events management and welcoming visitors (with organisational and people skills)
  • building maintenance coordinator (with a variety of construction and home improvement skills)
  • land management assistant (with skills in environmental management)
  • renewable energy project manager (for implementation on site and to offer feasibility studies for churches and parachurch structures)
  • environmental education assistant (with skills in education, small group leadership, graphic design and drawing)
  • gardening and house help (with agriculture and organisational skills).

These team members may live on or off-site; they would join the team for six to 12 months or more. They must be financially self-supporting, and A Rocha France is available to help volunteers raise support from their local communities.

To apply, please fill out our volunteer application form.

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France – European Solidarity Corps Volunteer

Reconciling biodiversity preservation and welcoming the public at Les Courmettes.

  • Location: Domaine des Courmettes – 06140 Tourrettes sur Loup – France
  • Date: from Monday the 3rd of January 2022, for a period of 12 months
  • Organization: 35h/week, mission including work on weekends and public holidays (2 weekends per month) and some school holidays (spring and autumn)
  • Positions to be filled: two, open to young European citizens from outside France

Activity description:

The project offers young people the opportunity to acquire experience in a project that includes both nature conservation and welcoming the public, a new issue that many natural sites worldwide are currently facing. By being involved in the management of the site of Les Courmettes, a beautiful and naturally rich site near Nice, volunteers will develop competences in environmental education, scientific studies and natural site management.

Volunteers will take part in raising awareness with the public through different media (panels, discussion, educational tools etc.), species and habitat studies (fieldwork, data analysis etc.), maintenance and management actions (trail marking, site defence etc.). Specific time (up to 10%) will be devoted to learning French and communicating about the ESC through different media (10% – video, stands, articles). 30% of the time will be spent on tasks related to the proper functioning of the Les Courmettes centre: welcoming visitors, maintenance of the estate and its park, various tasks related to community life etc.

Accommodation, food and transport arrangement:

Volunteers are housed at the Courmettes centre, which is also the logistical base for the projects, A Rocha France’s head office and the hub for running the life of the team. Rooms are shared (1 to 2 people of the same sex per room). Lunch and supper, prepared by a cook, are eaten together at fixed times during the week with the team and any other participants. When the cook is absent, team members take turns to prepare meals. Breakfasts are self-service. Vegetarian diets can be offered. Cars are available (with a fee) to get around. The modus vivendi ‘rules of life’ may be adapted due to the COVID situation.

Training during the activity:

Training will be provided on arrival concerning the modus vivendi of the centre’s community life and how the week, project and activities will unfold. Field work training is provided for the volunteer throughout project such as: species identification skills, protocols, use of observation tools and other field equipment. Training in welcoming public and environmental education will be provided on arrival.

Participant profile:

We are looking for volunteers who have a real interest in raising awareness and protecting the environment. They will need to enjoy rural life, contact with people and flora and fauna, which means sometimes putting up with difficult weather conditions and being ready to welcome visitors at Les Courmettes and talk about the site’s regulations. Volunteers will have to show that they can take initiative in the tasks they undertake and follow them through to completion. They should not hesitate to ask for clarification or direction if necessary for their projects. A basic knowledge of French is an advantage for the volunteers, but not a necessity.


Send resume and motivation (with two references) to:

Coline Raillon, Nature Projects Officer at Les Courmettes

[email protected]


Czech Republic – Bird ringing

Krupárna, A Rocha Czech Republic’s environmental centre, is in the northeast of the Czech Republic. The centre and its ponds and bird hide enjoys many visitors – children, adults and wildlife. The team actively monitors and rings birds in nearby Special Protected Areas (SPAs) under the Natura 2000 / European Birds Directive.

The team would appreciate volunteers with at least a basic knowledge of ornithology or environmental conservation to help with the monitoring and ringing (in spring and summer) and research in general (at all times). The main monitoring work will be with Corncrake and Red-backed Shrike. Other activities that may be part of the work programme are building nest boxes, DIY, gardening, and general support of the field study centre. Volunteers are expected to be involved in work activities over usual work hours (6-7 hours per day). Speaking Czech is not necessary, but please be prepared that the team operates in Czech and has basic English.

Volunteers usually come for a period of two weeks minimum and are accommodated in single-sex dormitory rooms at Krupárna at the cost of 15 € per day for food and lodging. This opportunity could be a great fit for two friends who wish to volunteer together, as the residential community is small and may not be able to offer full-time support over weekends.

To apply, please fill out our volunteer application form.

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A Rocha at the COP

The international climate change conference, COP26, takes place from 1-12 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. It is the 26th Conference of the Parties, bringing together the signatory countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The key aims are to agree on ‘ambitious’ targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050, when the amount of greenhouse gases we are adding to the atmosphere is no longer more than we take out.

13 staff members will be representing A Rocha from the UK, Ghana, France, Canada, Climate Stewards and A Rocha International. A Rocha Ghana and A Rocha UK have exhibition stands and others will be networking, reporting out, and seeing how they might influence outcomes. Their key asks will be for countries to commit to emissions targets that will, if implemented, cut greenhouse gases by 40% in 10 years; for rich countries to fulfil promises to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance; and for all countries to include Nature-based Solutions in their national plans, with agreement on sound, common principles or standards.

The team will be posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Read more and follow along as the conference unfolds. And if you are interested in beginning your own journey to Net Zero, why not take a look at Climate Stewards’ new website? There are free online tools and advice to help individuals, churches, NGOs and businesses measure, reduce and offset their carbon emissions.

Photo by Fredrika Carlsson on Unsplash

13. Conservation in action, Nurdle hunt with Env. club members, Monicah Njambi, A Rocha Kenya

The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2021 is open!

From noon (GMT) on #GivingTuesday 30 November until noon on 7 December any donation you make through the Big Give’s Christmas Challenge website will be doubled (while match funds last) by generous donors and the Big Give’s philanthropic partner, the Reed Foundation.

Our involvement last year enabled A Rocha International to raise over £31,000 towards our global environmental education activities. Your support has helped to equip and empower children and communities to live sustainably with the world around them, like these schoolchildren in Uganda …

This year, A Rocha International is taking part in the Christmas Challenge again, during which we’ll be aiming to raise £30,000 to continue this work supporting and coordinating A Rocha’s global environmental education programme. In 2022 we want to:

  • Resource the A Rocha organizations through a series of training webinars and a week-long environmental education conference, including up-to-date information on current environmental concerns and policies;
  • Enable A Rocha’s environmental education officers to share their knowledge, ideas and expertise, particularly around Plastic Free February, supported by contextual material and digital resources;
  • Create a Biodiversity Toolbox that brings together quality materials and highlights examples of good practice; and
  • Provide the training and support needed to ensure A Rocha’s global environmental education activities are operating effectively to meet local needs.


With every donation doubled, your gift will have twice the impact.

Shea butter workers - A Rocha Ghana

Greening businesses in Ghana

In Ghana, as in many places around the world, consumers are demanding greener, cleaner products and services, even if it means paying more. That’s why A Rocha Ghana, working in collaboration with IUCN Ghana, is engaging with companies across the country to help them respond.

Businesses in Environmental Stewardship Network (BESNet) provides a platform for businesses across Ghana to contribute to environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation. Through training workshops and webinars, companies are being equipped and informed on how best they can value nature through their practices and decision-making processes.

Currently, the network includes close to 30 companies: from multinationals like Guinness Ghana, to small-scale businesses like Werlan Farm.

‘BESNet introduced us to the need to value natural capital in our business,’ says Ruth Kaweh Allan, the owner of Werlan Farm. ‘Through it we learned that protecting the land, the insects, the trees, and all living organisms on it would contribute to sustainability. We intensified our organic farming practices. Instead of pesticides we are using homemade concoctions with neem oil, pepper, onion and some spices to control pests and diseases. We also use farmyard manure to provide nutrition across the farm.’

The Green Corporate Star Award offers special recognition to businesses that demonstrate a particular commitment to environmental sustainability through their operations or by supporting environmental projects.

In time, the BESNet team hopes to develop more resources and tools that businesses can use to ensure their practices are environmentally friendly, as well as support them to develop environmental sustainability policies.

Through BESNet, A Rocha Ghana is demonstrating that it is possible to do business and protect the environment.