Who we are

Who we are

A Rocha is a global family of Christian organizations which, inspired by God’s love, engages in scientific research, environmental education and community-based conservation projects in more than 20 countries and across six continents.

We respond to the global crisis of biodiversity loss by carrying out community-based conservation projects, through

  • ecological monitoring and research in areas of high value for wildlife;
  • practical measures for conserving and restoring habitats and their fauna and flora;
  • participation in nature conservation, through environmental education and community outreach;
  • providing a forum for understanding the relevance of the Christian faith to environmental issues.

Our name means ‘The Rock’ in Portuguese (as our first initiative was a field study centre in Portugal). We are present in more than 20 countries around the world.

How does A Rocha work?

A Rocha projects are frequently cross-cultural in character, and share a community emphasis, with a focus on science and research, practical conservation and environmental education, through residential field study centres, site-based projects and wider advocacy.

What is the vision?

A Rocha is working for a world transformed by the love of Christ, where Christians in every nation…

    1. recognize that following Christ requires us to care for all of his creation
    2. seek to live sustainably both in community and personally
    3. work with all people to protect and restore natural habitats and their wildlife

A Rocha's five core commitments

In all the countries where we work, A Rocha is identified by five distinctive commitments:

  • Christian – Underlying all we do is our biblical faith in the living God, who made the world, loves it and entrusts it to the care of human society.
  • Conservation – We carry out research for the conservation and restoration of the natural world and run environmental education programmes for people of all ages.
  • Community – Through our commitment to God, each other and the wider creation, we aim to develop good relationships both within the A Rocha family and in our local communities.
  • Cross-cultural – We draw on the insights and skills of people from diverse cultures, both locally and around the world.
  • Cooperation – We work in partnership with a wide variety of organizations and individuals who share our concerns for a sustainable world.

How is A Rocha different?

We are Christian.
A Rocha’s work is a response to God’s love for the whole creation, revealed in the Bible and personally in Jesus Christ. As people we share a common Christian cultural heritage and interest in conservation, and do this out of the conviction that Christ is Lord. This makes both grateful and hopeful. We believe we are called by Christ to the work, reflected in the methods we use. We pray for each other, encourage each other using the Bible, and the main objective of all our work is to give glory to God.
We speak beyond the Church.
We are credible advocates for conservation beyond the Church. While A Rocha is distinctively Christian, we choose not to speak exclusively to Christian audiences. We are working to show God’s love for ALL creation, including all people. Worldwide we work in many local contexts, so our projects reflect a great diversity of cultures, communities, ecosystems and approaches. Our aim is that they are all characterized by good science and good biblical theology, by healthy involvement in local communities and local churches, and by being prepared to work alongside others who may not always share our beliefs. We work with nature, live out our convictions, and seek to communicate the significance of this to many audiences.
We are diverse.
In the context of the emerging realities of globalization and exclusion, A Rocha celebrates mutual relationships within a large number of A Rocha National Organizations. We work not only with a diversity of local habitats and a diversity of species, but also with a diversity of cultures. Our trustees and professional employees have a diversity of languages, and national and ethnic backgrounds that is important to the effectiveness of our work. Our emphasis on community leads us to value both our exchange of worldwide perspectives and our learning from one another.
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A Rocha has been working in nature conservation since 1983. One of our distinctives in the environmental world is our firm hold on hope. We are not naive. We are not refusing to face facts or attempting to live in an alternate reality. But we choose to behave today as if tomorrow is coming. We live in a world loved by its creator God who is committed to its redemption, doing what obedience and worship requires us to do – care for all he has made.

How is A Rocha funded?

A Rocha organizations are funded by a wide variety of sources: governmental and intergovernmental grants, trust funds, individual donors and churches. You can see our most recent annual review here. A Rocha International is the body that supports the A Rocha organizations, publicizing the work at an international level and fostering the emergence of new initiatives. Each one is a separate, independent, legal entity.

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Dave Bookless

Director of Churches and Theology

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