A Rocha USA is “engaged in biodiversity conservation worldwide through practical, community-based actions, scientific studies and environmental education. Two of today’s major challenges are the worldwide decline of vulnerable species and habitats, and the perceived lack of participation by Christian groups in these issues. A Rocha USA is engaged in actions to meet both of these challenges. A Rocha invests its efforts in local communities, engaging in conservation that benefits both the species and the people who live there, often through effective partnerships with other organizations, and in cross-cultural situations. A Rocha also explains how biblical faith naturally flows into relevant, practical and effective care for all of creation.” – A Rocha
A Rocha provides ecological advice and education that increases environmental awareness and can even help fuel eco-tourism for local communities.
Portuguese for “the Rock”, A Rocha is a nonprofit Christian nature conservation organization whose reach extends to many areas across the globe, including Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They bring not only the love and knowledge of God, but education in conservation to communities around the world. It started as a bird observatory and field study center in Portugal in 1983, A Rocha has become a global group of passionate people desiring to see the natural world preserved and sustainability achieved. Mobilizing the cooperation and strength of the international Christian community, A Rocha is focused on cross-cultural and community building, bringing together people from all walks of life to join in global efforts of conservation and caring for God’s green earth.
Director Peter Harris wrote in the October 2003 edition of A Rocha International News, “We describe A Rocha as a CHRISTIAN charity, committed to CONSERVATION, to CAMPAIGNING for the care of God’s world, to drawing on the CROSS-CULTURAL strength of the world-wide church, and to each project having a distinctive COMMUNITY emphasis. The yeast in the bread of this Christian conservation movement was the commitment to being a cross-cultural organization, and it is this commitment, more than any other, that has caused A Rocha to grow so fast, and if we can be allowed to say so, to take such unique and innovative directions.”
A Rocha provides ecological advice and education that increases environmental awareness and can even help fuel eco-tourism for local communities. Each location of involvement has resident teams working to undo biodiversity loss and reverse the decline of the natural habitat. Not only are their programs rooted in faith, they are also rooted in science. According to their website, they believe that “good stewardship of God’s world requires an adequate understanding of organisms, their interrelationships and environments. A Rocha’s scientific programs aim to provide the foundation needed for informed protection and management of examples of the world’s most precious natural areas.”
In addition to being well-researched, A Rocha takes into account the communities they are involved in. To maintain ecosystems, it’s important to maintain the relationships God values; to nurture the connection of God’s love and care of the environment to the love and care of His people. Education is a top priority at A Rocha, and the organization aims to do so through summer camps for kids, training for science teachers and passing on knowledge of environmental conservation.
Director Miranda Harris says on their website, “Many of us agree that we already have a relationship with God, with each other and with the natural world. Part of A Rocha’s task, whatever our various starting points, is to work together towards making these relationships reflect more clearly God’s love for all creation, human and non-human.”
Find out more at www.arocha.org