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Environmental Internship

Adventures in Iguazu

Adventures in Iguazu My name is Raphaella Ridley and I am a student at Somerville College Oxford. This summer, I took part in an environmental internship organised by Green Planet Ventures that was based in Iguazu National Park, Brazil, where me, and six other interns stayed for a month. I had such an amazing time in the National Park and I would never have expected to be lucky enough to partake in some of the activities organised. On my first day, the other

Career in Sustainability

Career in Sustainability: Find your Niche The Step Up sustainability Career method   The problem with finding the right niche in sustainability is that this field of work is HUGE. To keep this simple let’s forget that sustainability means different things for different business, people and organisations. So let’s part from a starting point that we all agree that sustainability refers to protecting the environment and achieving social justice. Just here we have the first dichotomy, are you eco-centric (put the ecological

Volunteer Abroad

When volunteering abroad does more damage than good!!! I want to start by saying that I am not against volunteering, quite the opposite.  However, as someone who has worked managing volunteers, in several settings, I do see both sides of the picture. There has been a lot discussion about voluntourism and how it can do more damage than good.  I agree this can be the case.  There are plenty of examples where the western and church cultures of volunteering and helping others

Helping Sustainable Development in La Cachuela

Helping Sustainable Development in La Cachuela, Peruvian Amazon  This summer’s interns are currently working away on perhaps our most exciting development project yet. We are lucky enough to be participating in a sustainable development planning workshop in a small Amazonian community called La Cachuela. It is a community of just 50 families who live spread across a forested and agricultural area of 2,000 hectares. Right next to a growing Amazonian tourist industry in the city of Puerto Maldonado, the people of

Mind the Gap!

Climate Change and Development: Mind the Gap!! Are you sitting comfortably? Let me start from the beginning The new world order established after the second world war, saw the creation of the United Nations in October 1945. Its main objective was to enhance international cooperation and prevent another major global conflict. It has rained a bit since then. This international organisation started with 51 countries and as of today it leads negotiations and discussions on mayor global issues amongst 193 countries. Arguably, climate change

Forests of Costa Rica

Forests of Costa Rica, the Bigger Picture To be able to make sense of the forests of Costa Rica, we need to look at the country’s topography and try to paint a picture. As you can see in the map below, there is a high mountain range (with a highest altitude of almost 4000 m) running (roughly) along the middle of the country, sandwiched between both coasts. If we travel from the Caribbean to the Pacific, in a straight line, we

Costa Rica Wildlife Holidays

Costa Rica’s Wildlife, a Snapshot Costa Rica is one of the best countries in the world for wildlife holidays from birding or birdwatching to admiring beautiful butterflies, colourful frogs, monkeys and so much more. Its territory is 51,000 sq km, making it only 0.03% of the land surface of the planet. Despite this small size, it is estimated that over 5% of the species of the planet live there. This makes Costa Rica a number one place for wildlife tourism in

Citizens of the Amazon, Brazil

The Seringueiros: Citizens of the Amazon When we talk about the amazon and its people, we all immediately think about the indigenous communities that live in the area whose livelihood, resources and culture are under constant threat by modern society and western-styled intensive development. But very few think about other native communities of the area. The rural dwellers that inhabit the Northern Brazilian Amazon have lived there for several generations. Some of these families from the grandparent to the baby have

Dissertation Abroad, Proposal & Implementation

Doing a research for dissertation abroad for your masters and or undergrad is a desire of many students, but not many of us manage to navigate the system and put in place all the arrangements successfully and in good time to be able to achieve that objective. Not too long ago, I found myself in that situation. I was sitting in a lecture theatre at King’s College London and my mind racing with the inspiration to do a research on climate

Costa Rica Holiday, Best Time to Go

What is the best time to travel to Costa Rica Costa Rica is a country of wonderful wildlife, beautiful and kind people, gorgeous scenery, volcanoes and hotels to suit all tastes and demands. So, any time of the year you travel you will find great things to do and great places where to stay. However, as a tropical rain-forest country, it rains a lot throughout the year.  The good news is that like in most countries there is a dry and

What is the Cerrado?

What is the Cerrado? Cerrado is the word used in Brazil to define the vegetation that covers the central part of the South-American continent, most of which is part of the territory of Brazil. This is the ecosystem equivalent to the African Savanna, but don’t be fooled by the analogy. The Cerrado looks in many places more like a short forest, than a savanna. As you can see in this picture below. That makes it a great area for trekking. The biological

My trip to Iguazu

My Trip To Iguazu National Park I have just finished my third year studying Materials Science at Oxford University and went to Iguazu national park in June-July 2018 to work on Green Planet Ventures’ ICMBio data analysis project. The opportunity to be in a real working environment in another country was a very useful, but also challenging experience. I spent the first week adjusting to work in the office and immersing myself in the culture of a new country, with people

Costa Rica, Follow the tracks!

Traveling to Costa Rica? Read On! Costa Rica is a small country but contrary to what one might first think, it is quite a complex one to travel around of and/or to decide on what to do and where to go. This is due to its immense variety and complex geography amid its small size. Costa Rica is located on the strip of land that joins North America with South America, next to Panamá, nearer the South American end. It has

My Trip Was Brilliant!

I am Belinda, a second year student in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University My trip was brilliant! I went to do the vertebrates’ monitoring trip in Serra da Bodoquena National Park. This is an 8 day expedition into the National Park area to monitor bird and mammal species. I did four treks, spending four to five hours walking in the jungle to take note of all species we could see. The trails are about nine kilometres long and you walk in

Green Planet Ventures Partners with Oxford University Summer Internships.

Oxford University Students become Green Planet Ventures’ interns at in Iguazu National Park Through our internships we help university students put theory to practice. The students are inserted to work at a research/conservation institution; a real work environment relevant to their subject of study. They benefit the  the institution in questions as they help to bring a fresh outlook on the issues. But also the students get opportunities to: Apply their theoretical knowledge, Get an insight into a real-work environment; They assist specialists that


As a result of human impact on our climate, there are changes to come in the shape of natural disasters, droughts, floods, earthquakes, storms and others. The countries most vulnerable to those changes are located in the tropics, where we also find the biggest percent of the biodiversity of the planet. Coincidentally, these are precisely the countries least developed economically, hence lack the resources to adapt. So we feel a moral obligation to support these countries climate change adaptation endeavors,


Forests are home to nearly 80% of the terrestrial biodiversity of the planet. They provide livelihood for more than a billion people around the world and help regulate climate. Hence their importance to combat climate change. Furthermore, most biodiversity rich countries, are economically poor and their rural population depend directly on forests and other natural resources for their livelihood. They lack financial resources for their subsistence, let alone for environmental conservation and research. That is why we are committed to forest conservation


The ecological reserve of Sarapiqui in Heredia, Costa Rica, where Green Planet Ventures’ interns and volunteers work, has found a species of bat (Furipterus horrens), unseen for years. The species had not been seen in Costa Rica for 45 years (since 1973) and they were about to declare it extinct in the country, when the finding took place. See the local news. This is a rare species with a reported distribution range from Nicaragua to Brazil, appearing mainly in caves in


So, you’ve seen the Green Planet Ventures website, you’re looking to gain useful experience in sustainability, but you want to know more about what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be staying and who you will be working with! That’s why I’ve written this introduction; to help you anticipate what to expect when you take a placement with Green Planet Ventures. Firstly, what will you be doing? The project placements are designed to help you gain useful work experience in sustainability (sustainable development

Social and Environmental Goals Finally in one Place

The 17 sustainable development goals framework is a long stride towards sustainable development. This was a long overdue step that was finally consummated exactly two years ago. Before 2015, development and the environment had been divorced in such a way that made the idea of sustainable development a chimera. For the past seven decades, in fact since the creation of the United Nations in the middle of last century after the II Wold War, Environment and development negotiations were two


In 2016 the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports a total global loss of 7 mi ha of forests. That is an area roughly the size of the republic of Ireland, or one and a half the size of Costa Rica. Due to the increasing human population, it’s not surprising to see that 85% of that is due to conversion to agriculture. What is worse is that the greatest conversion took place in the tropics, in countries considered low income. Not

My Master’s Dissertation Research with GPV

My Master’s Dissertation Research with Green Planet Ventures June- July 2018 I am Rosie, I joined Green Planet Ventures’ sustainable development project in the Amazon for six weeks from June- July 2018. The project is hosted by their partner ICMBio based in Acre (the western most part of the Brazilian Amazon).I did my undergrad in Geography at Sussex University and worked for a few years before I enrolled in the Environmental Governance Master’s at Oxford University.The objective of my trip was