Kruparna kids club option 1

An invitation into the light

The garden at Krupárna, A Rocha Czech Republic’s centre in north Bohemia, is an oasis of green: Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus flit through the planted native bushes, while Grey Wagtails Motacilla cinerea hunt near the seven ponds, where they feed on aquatic-type insects and invertebrates. You may catch a flash of a Kingfisher Alcedo atthis or a Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa along the brook which borders the garden. Badgers have set up house alongside wood and brush piles for reptiles, while solitary bees reside in the five-star insect hotel. Two-legged visitors are welcome too: children learn about plants and animals on their weekly club visit, including what plants are edible and which ones really aren’t! All who walk past on the forest trail are invited to stop and enjoy the garden – a wordless testimony of God’s love.  

Recently the garden rang with the excitement of students and their teachers as seven schools took part in an ‘Ecology Olympics’, a two-day environmental contest organized by A Rocha Czech Republic at the request of the local government. Jana and Filip, two of A Rocha’s environmental educators, put the teams through their paces on identification skills in botany, birds, mammals, insects, biodiversity and species protection.  

When evening came, the ‘Olympians’ were invited to join a candlelight vigil of hope for the healing of our broken world. Starting in darkness, people read Bible passages and environmental texts, accompanied by the music of Taizé. Gradually, candles were lit, shining brightly as Jesus’ words were read: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5).  

On the second day, the students created habitats specifically designed as nesting or refuge areas for birds, reptiles and insects, having researched the appropriate style and materials to choose. These amazing structures are now part of the garden, a reminder of God calling us into the light and to work together towards a healed world. 


Celebrating 40 years!

Issue 67 of the Field notes newsletter commemorates A Rocha’s 40 years of nature conservation. Including a look at the big changes in the environmental landscape over the last four decades, snapshots of 40 of the species we’ve cared for, environmental education highlights and what we plan to do next, this is a celebration of goodness, hope and the difference we can make by working together over the long haul. Enjoy! 

Project output in Ghana

Mobilising data for action


A Rocha’s two-year GBIF project with 11 partners across four African countries came to a close in April 2023, embedding data in conservation action in four forested African landscapes. And that’s just the beginning! 

In Ghana, the biodiversity data digitized for the Atewa Forest contributes to the body of evidence available, informing the legal court case led by A Rocha Ghana for the protection of Atewa as well as possible future livelihood opportunities (e.g. mushroom farming). 

In Nigeria, this project is directly building the foundations for the conservation of the relatively unknown and undocumented remnant Kwande Obanliku forests, even if the pre and post-election turmoil disrupted dissemination hopes. Publishing the data on GBIF has substantially raised the profile of these forests and highlighted the need for further research within them. 

In Uganda, the real frustration of not having access to the seminal 1990 forest reports to inform current conservation work around West Bugwe was relieved by this digital access, informing the current restoration of this degraded forest. 

And in Kenya, the case to protect the Dakatcha landscape (a Key Biodiversity Area classified by Birdlife International as ‘in danger’) has been further reinforced with the publication of important biodiversity information which highlights the little-known presence of Endangered species in this landscape to global audiences and policy makers (e.g. BirdLife partnership, KBA Secretariat and the CEPF). 

A Rocha International was a key player in coordinating this project. Organizationally, we all learned to work together under the African Forest Programme – five A Rocha Organizations working together under a funded project is perhaps a first! We learned more about the landscapes we are trying to conserve and renewed our commitment to collecting high-quality data. The project allowed a substantial amount of data – previously buried and unavailable to the conservation, science and decision-making communities – to be properly organized, cleaned and made publicly available on the GBIF platform, strengthening the case for the conservation of these landscapes and our role in supporting this. This is going to be critical for the conservation of several of these sites going forward.