To the rescue of the Mangrove Horseshoe Crab

On 17 September, Friends of A Rocha in Singapore joined in with the A Rocha family for International Coastal Cleanup Day and World Cleanup Day! 16 volunteers gathered at the beach of Sembawang Park – one of the few natural beaches remaining on the island – located in the north of Singapore, facing the Straits of Johor and overlooking Malaysia. The A Rocha team was encouraged to see several other groups already cleaning the beach, so they walked to a more secluded part of the beach at Eagles Point and piqued the interest of Long-tailed Macaques Macaca fascicularis! The team stood on the sandflats covered with sand balls of Sand Bubbler Crabs Dotillidae and began the day with the 2022 Season of Creation Prayer, adapted to include ocean ecology. 

As they started cleaning up, they found food wrappers, single-use food containers, plastic bags and films, clothes, glass, polystyrene, a fluorescent tube and diapers still intact – in less than an hour, the team collected 29 kg / 64 lbs of rubbish. But the highlight of the day was freeing a foot-long Mangrove Horseshoe Crab Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda caught in a giant knot of fishing nets! Alongside a second individual that was already dead, the crab was covered in barnacles and was probably stuck for a long time. Using scissors, the team worked on disentangling the trapped crab and finally, it was free! They released it back into the sea with a great sense of relief and joy. Even though beach cleanups do not solve the systemic issue of plastic pollution, they can save lives! What an encouragement to continue working in faithful hope that creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21). 

You can see a video of the Mangrove Horseshoe Crab rescue on Instagram here 


Elephant traffic lights, India

In 2021, A Rocha India developed an early warning detection device to alert motorists of elephant movement on public thoroughfares and installed ‘smart’ laser fences at three points along the Kaggalipura Road within a protected area of Bannerghatta National Park. When an elephant crosses the road and triggers the laser, signal boards begin to flash to indicate the presence of elephants – an innovative traffic light!   

Due to the system’s success in Bannerghatta, the Kodagu Circle (Karnataka Forest Department – about four hours away) asked A Rocha India for a demonstration of the fences. With 80% of its land covered by trees, Kodagu is one of India’s most densely forested districts and the smallest of all Karnataka State districts. Humans accidentally encountering elephants in the area is a significant issue, often resulting in human and elephant casualties. A Rocha India was able to share with Kodagu forest staff about the importance of addressing elephant-vehicle collisions and how this can contribute to the conservation of Asian elephants in South India.  

There is further interest from other parts of the state to use the system. A Rocha India welcomes the opportunity to promote elephant conservation work and replicate it in other Indian landscapes.  

Want to support elephant conservation for Christmas? Through Gifts with a Difference, you can purchase an Elephant Crossing to help ensure the safety of people commuting on these roads and of elephants as they move between their habitats. 

Nigeria Eden - Berom Community Secondary

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is open!

The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022 is now open! This means that until noon on 6 December any donation you make through our campaign page on the Christmas Challenge website* will be doubled (while match funds last).

Campaign target: £34,000

Your gifts to support A Rocha’s environmental education (EE) through last year’s Big Give made a difference: thanks to your generosity, teachers, church leaders and A Rocha staff gathered in May at Kira Farm in Uganda for an A Rocha EE conference and workshops. Together we strengthened capacity for EE and built on the excellent work already being carried out by A Rocha organizations across Africa. Participants explored the role of EE to reconnect people and nature and inspire action for a sustainable world. Teachers and church leaders went home enthused and equipped with new ideas and a stronger commitment to caring for creation in their work and communities.

This year, A Rocha International hopes to raise £34,000 to continue supporting and coordinating A Rocha’s global EE – ensuring they operate effectively to meet local needs. In 2023, this will include training webinars and a week-long EE conference, contextual material and digital resources, and facilitating EE officers to visit other A Rocha organizations to learn best practices and generate new ideas to apply in their local contexts.

With donations doubled, your gift will have twice the impact. Thank you for joining in with us!

* Please note that only donations made through our campaign page on the Christmas Challenge website between 29 November and 6 December are eligible to be doubled.