Who we are

Ara Dinawan Research Education Conservation Center is an organization for marine and environmental conservation. ADRECC is led by passionate nature lovers and scuba divers that share a common goal: protect and preserve our marine life and our green environment for future generations. We at ADRECC seek a sustainable livelihood and encourage everybody in our environment to do the same. Our home base is located on Ara Dinawan Island, not too far from Kota Kinabalu City in east Borneo. It takes a 30 min car drive to Kinarut town and another 15 min by boat to reach Ara Dinawan.


The lovely Dinawan Island is home to a few small resorts, mostly hosting tourists on day trips from Kota Kinabalu with various water activities on offer, as well as lunch and a beautiful place to relax out of the city. ADRECC has joined forces with one of the island resorts, and therefore we host volunteers that work hard to protect and rebuild the local ecosystems, as well as help them build a sustainable business that doesn’t negatively impact the incredible local environment. A win-win for all.

This is more than a simple workaway, a fabulous experience that will change us forever.

Bastian & Magali, Dec 19

What we’re up to

Here on the island , ADRECC is currently focusing on education, conservation, observation and research for the following:

  • Coral planting and nursery
  • Sea Turtle hatchery
  • Sharks & rays
  • Seagrass and sea wheat planting.
  • Island flora & fauna
  • Reef checks
  • Community awareness and education program
  • Island wildlife
  • Eco-fruit farm
  • CSR program
  • Nature camp
  • Plastic pollution
  • Ocean art, DIY, kids art… and more
  • Eco-bricks program
  • UW photography
  • Marine & environmental awareness program
  • Much more…

ADRECC is not only organizing projects on the island, we also step out to assist local communities on projects (for example, with school talks or beach cleanups) as well as working and collaborating nationally and internationally with friends and conservation partners around the world.

How you can get involved

As you might be starting to understand, we host volunteers to help with our projects and grow the center. We need help because there is so much to do! We accept volunteers from all around the world, and your background does not need to be as a marine biologist or dive instructor. Because education and training is one of our major focuses, we want eager people to come and be willing to learn and join our team (the ADRECC family). So you might be a high school student from Kuala Lumpur or a builder from Canada. What helps is that you’re willing to learn and share skills and our common interests as we apply them to conserving our beautiful natural world. Not all tasks are purely conservation based, as we have had many volunteers creating murals, building furniture, working on our websites, or even making promotional videos like the one below. You tell us how you would like to contribute!

Coming back to the conservation projects on the island, each area is overseen either by our expert personnel, or under the remote guidance of experts and conservationists within Borneo and abroad. Best of all for you, each project involves coaching and hands-on learning for our volunteers and students – so you’re getting your hands dirty and actually learning on the job! After our initial test-run in March 2019 we’ve continued to grow the center and our capabilities, hosting a steady stream of happy and very helpful volunteers from around the globe. Plus, we are open to short and long-term volunteers (with very reasonable fees) to stay on the island and assist on the projects, so matter the amount of spare time you have to donate we can accommodate you!

Good vibes and people. The work that’s being done and researched here is fantastic. 

Yoshiya & Rei, Jan 20

School Groups

In 2020 we are now hosting school groups, supporting up to 60 kids at a time. With assistance from your supervising teachers, we provide a place for your students to learn about the environment whilst actually camping and living in nature. Due to the large numbers, we obviously have different rates and you should be in contact to help us work out a time and schedule that works for us both. The best way is to email us at adrecckk@gmail.com