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’s vision for the good stewardship of God’s world requires an adequate understanding of organisms, their interrelationships and environments. A Rocha’s scientific programmes aim to provide the foundation needed for informed protection and management of examples of the world’s most precious natural areas.
A Rocha is active in a number of practical conservation projects around the world. These projects focus on resolving issues that threaten ecosystems and their biodiversity.
As Christians, we believe that, ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,’ and aim to help communities around the world – whether or not they share our faith – to understand their environment better and live in ways which enable them and wildlife to flourish. Our programmes are designed for the different faith groups and secular organizations that we serve.
A Rocha resources Christians for environmental action in countless ways, including hands-on conservation projects, written materials, teaching in churches, seminaries and conferences and by involvement in global networks.
Climate change affects every living thing: species distribution on land and sea; migration patterns of birds, insects and other animals; and the timing of plant growing seasons, including, of course, our crops. It has an overwhelmingly negative impact on human health and hits the world’s poorest communities first and worst.
Climate change, therefore, affects every sphere of A Rocha’s work.