Our values and our mission
A Rocha is a Christian nature conservation organization, our name coming from the Portuguese for ‘the Rock’, as the first initiative (started in 1983) was a field study centre in Portugal.
A Rocha is a Christian nature conservation organization, our name coming from the Portuguese for ‘the Rock’, as the first initiative (started in 1983) was a field study centre in Portugal. A Rocha projects are frequently cross-cultural in character, and share a community emphasis. From the start, they have emphasised:
- Active work in the field for the preservation and restoration of nature through scientific studies
- Carrying out awareness-raising activities (environmental education and among the Christian public), to bring about a change in human behaviour that leads to respect for the environment.
Our commitments: (the five “C”s of A Rocha)
Planted in 20 countries and five continents, A Rocha is identified by five core commitments and to a practical outworking of each:
- 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.
Why Christians in conservation?
The reasons for conserving nature and its biodiversity are not only utilitarian in nature: they are fundamentally ethical and moral, and point to values that transcend time and human interest. For Christians, they have their origin in biblical values that provide a solid foundation for environmental action. We highlight four:
Out of love: God created out of love, and God loves all his creation. Taking care of his work is an act of love towards God, but also towards our neighbour.
Out of obedience: God gave man a mandate to “cultivate and care for” the garden. As stewards of the land, we must preserve it and all that it contains.
Out of justice: The great injustice of our time is the environmental crisis, caused by the richest and affecting the poorest first. Taking action for the environment helps to reduce injustice and improve the future for all.
Out of hope: We can do something because God supports his creation and helps us in this task. Our actions reflect a God of hope and not fate.