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Our work

What we do

The first A Rocha project began in Portugal in 1983. A field study centre and bird observatory was established near the Alvor estuary and it has now been visited by thousands of people from many countries. All over the world, Christians are realizing that important habitats and their wildlife urgently need protection and so new A Rocha projects have started in other parts of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America and Australasia. The international cross-cultural strength of the Christian community has been making a unique contribution, not least as communities struggle to reconcile the need to protect biodiversity with their hopes for sustainable development.

A Rocha projects have a community emphasis, bringing together people from widely differing backgrounds to work towards common goals.

Introducing A Rocha

This short video (45 seconds) provides a brief overview of what A Rocha is, what we do and why we do it. It also highlights the relationship between poverty and environmental degradation.

The film was produced and scripted by Melissa Ong and narrated by Miranda Harris.

Watch the full version (6:46 minutes)

How do A Rocha projects make a difference?

Scientific research

Over a three year period, scientists and bird experts from A Rocha Lebanon and SPNL (BirdLife’s national partner in Lebanon) conducted the most extensive bird research project ever undertaken in Lebanon. Over 30 sites were surveyed and 11 were found to satisfy BirdLife’s rigorous criteria for designation as ‘Important Bird Areas’.  This more than trebled the IBAs identified in the country from 4 to 15. More

A Rocha has been studying Asian Elephants in Bannerghatta National Park, South India, since 2004, in order to better understand why conflicts between the elephants and the farmers have been increasing. Research into the seasonal movements of the animals and the pattern of conflicts has led to interventions which are proving effective. See the video

Ringing a Storm Petrel
A Rocha Portugal has ringed more than 5,000 European Storm-petrels over 20 years as part of research into their survival strategies.

Community-based conservation

By providing eco-bursaries which enable local youngsters to have a secondary school education, and involving their families in conservation activities, A Rocha Kenya is persuading communities around the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest that this site of outstanding conservation importance is worth protecting for themselves and for future generations. 

Mangrove planting, Mida Creek - World Environment Day 04
Each year A Rocha Kenya organizes the planting of mangroves by community groups.

For the last ten years A Rocha France has been working with the communities around Vallée des Baux in Provence to change attitudes to wetlands. Half the valley has now changed from intensive farming to various forms of more environmentally sensitive management, including wetland restoration.

Environmental education

Many A Rocha teams work with the church: educating future leaders about the biblical mandate to care for creation, providing resources for church services (eg A Rocha UK’s environment resource pack, and in Brazil, running workshops which inspire churches to combine social action with environmental responsibility. See the video

Each year some 15,000 young people take part in A Rocha’s environmental education programmes, including a huge range of hands-on activities through regular wildlife clubs, summer camps and school visits to our centres.

In Lebanon, school groups visit the Aammiq Wetland to learn about local wildlife in activities
In Lebanon, school groups visit the Aammiq Wetland to learn about local wildlife in activities that tie in to the national curriculum.

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