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A Rocha is an international network of environmental organizations with a Christian ethos. A Rocha, which means "the rock" in Portuguese (see entry Rocha), was founded in Portugal in 1983[15]

A Rocha
Founded 13 December 1983;
34 years ago
 (1983-12-13) – as “A Rocha Trust”[1]
Founder Miranda and Peter Harris[2]
Type environmental NGO network
Focus science and research, practical conservation and environmental education[3]
Origins Constituted in the UK;[4] first project in Portugal[5]
Area served
Key people
Rebecca Irvin (chair, ARI)[6]Ghillean Prance, Simon Stuart (trustees, ARI)[7]RJ ‘Sam’ Berry, James Jones, Chris Wright (Council of Reference, ARI)[8] • Chris Naylor (Executive Director, ARI)[9]Andy Atkins (CEO, UK)[10] • Rev Dave Bookless (Director of Theology, ARI)[11]
GBP 0.55M for ARI,[4] £4.5M globally[12]:16 (2015)
22 (15 FTE[4]) for ARI;[13] at least 84 worldwide[14]


The organization network is constituted by A Rocha International (ARI), as a supporting body, and other organizations, which can be National Organizations or Associated Projects. Each organization is independent.[5]

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.[5] There are ongoing conversations with other potential groups around the world.[12]:2

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,[16] and they have “a track record of successes”.[17][18]

A bird ringer aging 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[19] and also in the Czech Republic.[20] These serve primarily as a base for A Rocha’s and other organizations’ 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,[21] camera trapping of mammals in India,[22] the Kenya Bird Map,[23] dry grassland biodiversity surveys in Switzerland[24] and mapping tropical forests using unmanned aerial vehicles[25][26]
  • Habitat and species restoration projects, such as mangrove restoration projects in Ghana,[27] and improving breeding chances for Grey-faced petrels by eradicating invasive mammals, restoring habitats and deploying artificial nests in Raglan, New Zealand[28]
  • Reducing human–wildlife conflict in India, notably with elephants[29][30] and leopards[31]
  • Setting up private or public parks and reserves such as the Kirosa Scott Reserve in Kenya,[32] and Foxearth Reserve[33] 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,[34] and the Alvor Estuary in Portugal[35][36]
  • Bridging biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihoods, such as via sustainable agriculture and community garden projects across Canada;[37] the Arabuko-Sokoke Schools and Eco-tourism Scheme in Kenya;[29][38] the establishment of CREMAs (community resource management areas) around Mole National Park[29] and Lake Bosumtwi,[39] Ghana; and training community members in Uganda to construct bio-sand water filters[40]
  • Environmental education activities and resources, such as the Wild Lebanon website in Lebanon[41] and “creation care camps” in the USA[42]
  • Carbon footprint reduction and mitigation projects, such as producing charcoal briquettes from waste in Uganda,[43] the “Eco Church” church greening programme in the UK,[44] 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[45]
  • Cooperating worldwide for nature conservation, such as being a member of IUCN[46] and IUCN’s European Habitats Forum[47]
  • Engaging Christian communities with the relevance of nature conservation to the Christian faith, through conferences,[48] speaking engagements,[49] books[9] and papers,[11] and partnerships such as the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network[50]

A Rocha also serves as an Erasmus+ / European Voluntary Service agency in France,[51] the Netherlands[52] and Portugal.[53]


  1. ^ Charity Commission for England and Wales. A Rocha Trust. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  2. ^ A Rocha. Peter Harris. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  3. ^ a b A Rocha. Our values. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Charity Commission for England and Wales. Charity Overview: 1136041 – A Rocha International. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  5. ^ a b c A Rocha. Overview. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  6. ^ A Rocha. Rebecca Irvin. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  7. ^ A Rocha. International trustees (People page filtered by team and position). Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  8. ^ A Rocha. International council of reference (People page filtered by team and position). Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  9. ^ a b Naylor, Chris. Postcards from the Middle East: How our family fell in love with the Arab world. Oxford, England 2015: Lion Hudson.
  10. ^ A Rocha UK. Meet the team. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  11. ^ a b Bookless, Dave. The Bible and Biodiversity. The Jubilee Centre Cambridge Papers. Accessed 19 Oct 2017.
  12. ^ a b c A Rocha. International Review 2015/16. Retrieved from on 25 Oct 2016.
  13. ^ A Rocha. International team (People page filtered by team and position). Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  14. ^ A Rocha. People. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  15. ^ Elsdon, Ron (1992) Greenhouse Theology pp 193–195, Monarch, ISBN 1-85424-153-2.
  16. ^ Johnson, Marina. The Church of England Newspaper August 1, 2008: A Rocha: Spearheading the Green revolution in the church.
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ Jackson, M. M.; Naughton-Treves, L. (2012). "Eco-bursaries as incentives for conservation around Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya". Environmental Conservation. 39 (4): 347. doi:10.1017/S0376892912000161. 
  19. ^ A Rocha. Stay at our field study centres. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  20. ^ A Rocha Czech Republic. Our field study centre Krupárna – The Mill. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  21. ^ Stelmach, Lorne (17 Jun 2013). "Record raptor counts in the valley". The Morden Times. Morden, Manitoba. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016 – via 
  22. ^ A Rocha India. Camera trapping. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  23. ^ Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town. Welcome to the Kenya Bird Map project. Retrieved 28 Oct 2016.
  24. ^ A Rocha. Dry grasslands biodiversity surveys. Retrieved 28 Oct 2016.
  25. ^ A Rocha. Mapping tropical forests. Retrieved 28 Oct 2016.
  26. ^ 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 Oct 2016.
  27. ^ A Rocha Ghana. Community mangrove restoration project. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  28. ^ Smallman, Elton Rikihana (14 Sep 2016). "Oi, grey faced petrel making a Raglan comeback". Stuff. Retrieved 28 Oct 2016. 
  29. ^ 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: 1–8. doi:10.1080/14888386.2011.599780. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016. 
  30. ^ 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 Oct 2016.
  31. ^ A Rocha. Bangalore Leopard attack – what now?. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  32. ^ A Rocha Kenya. Dakatcha Woodland. Retrieved 28 Oct 2016.
  33. ^ A Rocha UK. Foxearth: dawn of a new quest. Retrieved 28 Oct 2016.
  34. ^ A Rocha Ghana. Save Atewa Forest. Retrieved 27 Oct 2016.
  35. ^ Taylor, Jenny (29 Feb 2012). "Religiously literate campaign secures prison sentence for rogue developer in Portuguese beauty spot". Lapido Media. Retrieved 27 Oct 2016. 
  36. ^ Donn, Natasha (5 Feb 2015). "Environmentalists slam council over Ria de Alvor development plans". Portugal Resident. Retrieved 27 Oct 2016. 
  37. ^ A Rocha Canada. Sustainable Agriculture: Creation care through food. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  38. ^ 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 Oct 2016. 
  39. ^ A Rocha Ghana. Collaborative Ecosystems Conservation of Lake Bosumtwi. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  40. ^ French Republic. 100 Projects for the Climate: Women, Water & Climate. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  41. ^ A Rocha Lebanon. Wild Lebanon – Powered by A Rocha. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  42. ^ A Rocha USA. Creation Care Camp. Retrieved 27 Oct 2016.
  43. ^ A Rocha Uganda. Charcoal briquettes. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  44. ^ "St Paul's Goes Green for Eco Church". St Paul's Cathedral. 4 Feb 2016. Retrieved 28 Oct 2016. 
  45. ^ Climate Stewards. Home page. Retrieved 28 Oct 2016.
  46. ^ IUCN. Members database. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  47. ^ IUCN. European Habitats Forum. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  48. ^ Regent College. Holy Ground: Answering God’s Call to Creation Care. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  49. ^ Olelo Community Media (5 Sep 2016). IUCN 2016: High-level Session 5 Sep - Connections: Spirituality & Conservation (ID: #WCC_13830) (Video). Honolulu, Hawai‘i: IUCN. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016. 
  50. ^ Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network. About. Retrieved 26 Oct 2016.
  51. ^ European Youth Portal. Volunteering organisation information: A Rocha France. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  52. ^ European Youth Portal. Volunteering organisation information: Stichting A Rocha Nederland. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.
  53. ^ European Youth Portal. Volunteering organisation information: A Rocha - Associação Cristã de Estudo e Defesa do Ambiente. Retrieved 25 Oct 2016.