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A Rocha is an international network of environmental organisations with a Christian ethos. A Rocha, which means "the rock" in Portuguese (see entry Rocha), was founded in Portugal in 1983[12]

A Rocha
MottoConservation and Hope
PredecessorA Rocha Trust[1]
Founded13 December 1983;
35 years ago
FounderMiranda and Peter Harris[2]
Typeenvironmental NGO network
Focuscommunity-based conservation projects[3]
HeadquartersLondon, UK
OriginsConstituted in the UK[4]
Area served
International chair
Rebecca Irvin[5]
Key people
Simon Stuart (trustee, ARI)[6]RJ ‘Sam’ Berry, James Jones, Chris Wright (Council of Reference, ARI)[7] • Chris Naylor (Executive Director, ARI)[8]Andy Atkins (CEO, UK)[9] • Rev Dave Bookless (Director of Theology, ARI)[10]
GBP 0.8M for ARI (2017),[4] £4.6M globally[11]:18 (2016)
144 (FTE)[11]:20


The organisation network is constituted by A Rocha International (ARI), as a supporting body, and other organisations, which can be National Organizations or Associated Projects. Each organisation is independent.[13]

As of 2016, A Rocha is working in several countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Netherlands, New Zealand/Aotearoa, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda, United Kingdom, and United States.[13] There are ongoing conversations with other potential groups around the world, particularly in East and Southeast Asia.[11]:8–9

A Rocha's modus operandi is based on five guiding principles: Christian, Conservation, Community, Cooperation, and Cross-Cultural.[3]


A Rocha aims to protect the environment through local, community-based conservation, scientific research, and environmental education,[14] and they have “a track record of successes”.[15]

A bird ringer ageing a Hoopoe at the Cruzinha field studies centre, Portugal

A Rocha operates field study centres in Canada (two centres), France (two centres), India, Kenya, Portugal[16] and also in the Czech Republic.[17] These serve primarily as a base for A Rocha's and other organisations’ field studies and for environmental education, and most also offer accommodation for visitors.

Areas of A Rocha's work include:

  • Species and landscape surveying and monitoring, such as raptor counts in Pembina Valley, Canada,[18] camera trapping of mammals in India,[19] the Kenya Bird Map,[20] dry grassland biodiversity surveys in Switzerland[21] and mapping tropical forests using unmanned aerial vehicles[22][23]
  • Habitat and species restoration projects, such as mangrove restoration projects in Ghana,[24] and improving breeding chances for Grey-faced petrels by eradicating invasive mammals, restoring habitats and deploying artificial nests in Raglan, New Zealand[25]
  • Reducing human–wildlife conflict in India, notably with elephants[26][27] and leopards[28]
  • Setting up private or public parks and reserves such as the Kirosa Scott Reserve in Kenya,[29] and Foxearth Reserve[30] and Minet Country Park in the UK
  • Enlarging and campaigning for the safeguarding of existing natural and protected areas, such as the Atewa Forest in Ghana,[31] and the Alvor Estuary in Portugal[32][33]
  • Bridging biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihoods, such as via sustainable agriculture and community garden projects across Canada;[34] the Arabuko-Sokoke Schools and Eco-tourism Scheme in Kenya;[26][35] the establishment of CREMAs (community resource management areas) around Mole National Park[26] and Lake Bosumtwi,[36] Ghana; and training community members in Uganda to construct bio-sand water filters[37]
  • Environmental education activities and resources, such as the Wild Lebanon website in Lebanon[38] and "creation care camps" in the USA[39]
  • Carbon footprint reduction and mitigation projects, such as producing charcoal briquettes from waste in Uganda,[40] the "Eco Church" church greening programme in the UK,[41] and running "Climate Stewards", a global programme which encourages people to reduce their carbon footprint, and accepts donations to offset emissions via community forestry and cookstove projects in Ghana, Kenya and Mexico[42]
  • Cooperating worldwide for nature conservation, such as being a member of IUCN[43] and IUCN's European Habitats Forum[44]
  • Engaging Christian communities with the relevance of nature conservation to the Christian faith, through conferences,[45] speaking engagements,[46] books[8] and papers,[10] and partnerships such as the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network[47]

A Rocha also serves as an Erasmus+ / European Voluntary Service agency in France,[48] the Netherlands[49] and Portugal.[50]


  1. ^ Charity Commission for England and Wales. A Rocha Trust. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  2. ^ A Rocha. Peter Harris. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b A Rocha. Meet A Rocha. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b Charity Commission for England and Wales. Charity Details: A Rocha International. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  5. ^ A Rocha. Rebecca Irvin. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  6. ^ A Rocha. International trustees (People page filtered by team and position). Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  7. ^ A Rocha. International council of reference (People page filtered by team and position). Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b Naylor, Chris. Postcards from the Middle East: How our family fell in love with the Arab world. Oxford, England 2015: Lion Hudson.
  9. ^ A Rocha UK. Meet the team. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  10. ^ a b Bookless, Dave. The Bible and Biodiversity. The Jubilee Centre Cambridge Papers. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d A Rocha. International Review 2016/17. Retrieved from on 29 October 2018.
  12. ^ Elsdon, Ron (1992) Greenhouse Theology pp 193–195, Monarch, ISBN 1-85424-153-2.
  13. ^ a b A Rocha. Overview. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  14. ^ Johnson, Marina. The Church of England Newspaper 1 August 2008: A Rocha: Spearheading the Green revolution in the church.
  15. ^ Awoyemi, S. M. (2008). "The Role of Religion in the HIV/AIDS Intervention in Africa: A Possible Model for Conservation Biology". Conservation Biology. 22 (4): 811–813. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01007.x. PMID 18786094.
  16. ^ A Rocha. Stay at our field study centres. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  17. ^ A Rocha Czech Republic. Our field study centre Krupárna – The Mill. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  18. ^ Stelmach, Lorne (17 June 2013). "Record raptor counts in the valley". The Morden Times. Morden, Manitoba. Retrieved 26 October 2016 – via
  19. ^ A Rocha India. Camera trapping. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  20. ^ Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town. Welcome to the Kenya Bird Map project. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  21. ^ A Rocha. Dry grasslands biodiversity surveys. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  22. ^ A Rocha. Mapping tropical forests. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  23. ^ Vaglio Laurin G, Chan JC-W, Chen Q, Lindsell JA, Coomes DA, Guerriero L, et al. (2014) Biodiversity Mapping in a Tropical West African Forest with Airborne Hyperspectral Data. PLOS ONE 9(6): e97910. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097910. Published 17 June 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  24. ^ A Rocha Ghana. Community mangrove restoration project. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  25. ^ Smallman, Elton Rikihana (14 September 2016). "Oi, grey faced petrel making a Raglan comeback". Stuff. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  26. ^ a b c Sluka, Robert D.; Kaonga, Martin; Weatherley, Janice; Anand, Vijay; Bosu, Daryl; Jackson, Colin (2011). "Christians, biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation: a potential synergy?". Biodiversity. 12 (2): 1–8. doi:10.1080/14888386.2011.599780.
  27. ^ Varma, S., Anand.V.D., Gopalakrishna S.P., Avinash, K.G., and Nishant M.S. (2009). Ecology, Conservation and Management of the Asian Elephant in Bannerghatta National Park, southern India. A Rocha India/ANCF: Asian Elephant Ecology and Conservation Reference Series No.1. A Rocha India and Asian Nature Conservation Foundation, Bangalore. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  28. ^ A Rocha. Bangalore Leopard attack – what now?. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  29. ^ A Rocha Kenya. Dakatcha Woodland. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  30. ^ A Rocha UK. Foxearth: dawn of a new quest. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  31. ^ A Rocha Ghana. Save Atewa Forest. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  32. ^ Taylor, Jenny (29 February 2012). "Religiously literate campaign secures prison sentence for rogue developer in Portuguese beauty spot". Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  33. ^ Donn, Natasha (5 February 2015). "Environmentalists slam council over Ria de Alvor development plans". Portugal Resident. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  34. ^ A Rocha Canada. Sustainable Agriculture: Creation care through food. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  35. ^ Collins, Susan Ashley (March 2008). Transformative Learning Through Conservation: A Case Study of the Arabuko-Sokoke Schools and Eco-tourism Scheme, Kenya (PDF) (Master of Natural Resource Management). Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  36. ^ A Rocha Ghana. Collaborative Ecosystems Conservation of Lake Bosumtwi. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  37. ^ French Republic. 100 Projects for the Climate: Women, Water & Climate. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  38. ^ A Rocha Lebanon. Wild Lebanon – Powered by A Rocha. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  39. ^ A Rocha USA. Creation Care Camp. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  40. ^ A Rocha Uganda. Charcoal briquettes. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  41. ^ "St Paul's Goes Green for Eco Church". St Paul's Cathedral. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  42. ^ Climate Stewards. Home page. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  43. ^ IUCN. Members database. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  44. ^ IUCN. European Habitats Forum. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  45. ^ Regent College. Holy Ground: Answering God’s Call to Creation Care. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  46. ^ Olelo Community Media (5 September 2016). IUCN 2016: High-level Session 5 Sep – Connections: Spirituality & Conservation (ID: #WCC_13830) (Video). Honolulu, Hawai‘i: IUCN. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  47. ^ Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network. About. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  48. ^ European Youth Portal. Volunteering organisation information: A Rocha France. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  49. ^ European Youth Portal. Volunteering organisation information: Stichting A Rocha Nederland. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  50. ^ European Youth Portal. Volunteering organisation information: A Rocha – Associação Cristã de Estudo e Defesa do Ambiente. Retrieved 25 October 2016.