Be Friends of A Rocha

Are you part of a group or organization that’s:

  • Acting towards biodiversity conservation?

  • Led by committed Christians?

  • Interested in sharing and learning together with other groups from around the world?

If you said ‘Yes’ to all of the above, then join the Friends of A Rocha Network!

As a member of the Network, your group will have the support of the Network Coordinator, Júlio Reis, and will be provided with learning and networking opportunities as well as access to A Rocha International’s expertise. Friends of A Rocha who become legally registered entities and have more formal plans may in time want to become Associated Projects.

Membership of the Friends of A Rocha Network is free. Please note that we cannot provide grants, or help your group access funds.

Contact us to learn more about how to become part of the Network, or to get in touch with a group near you.

The Network currently includes eight Friends, in four continents:

Brazil: Reserva Ecológica Verdes Pastos (Green Pastures Nature Reserve)

Established in 1978, the Green Pastures Nature Reserve is located in Brazil’s Northeast Region, and is dedicated to protecting and restoring a 122-hectare area in the heart of the Caatinga dry shrubland ecoregion. The reserve includes a small school, church and retreat centre. 

Green Pastures actively supports research by scientists and students from Campina Grande Federal University and runs regular guided trails for schools, churches and community groups. They monitor local wildlife using surveys and camera traps, and share the results on Facebook.

Find Verdes Pastos on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReservaVerdesPastos

Costa Rica: Casa Adobe

Casa Adobe is an intentional Christian community, rooted in Santa Rosa, Heredia Province, Costa Rica. It was born in 2013 when people from different contexts and cultures came together with a common goal: to be good neighbours. Casa Adobe seeks to promote integral human development, facilitate cultural interchange amongst people from different contexts, care for the environment and stimulate its protection.

Their current environmental activities include a local community composting project, and a plan to recover one of Casa Adobe’s most neglected ‘neighbours’: the Virilla River, which, coming down from its source in the cloud forests, flows through densely populated areas, where it is impacted by sewage, litter, and the degradation of riverine forest. To this end, Casa Adobe is reengaging the community with the river by promoting visits and liaising with other stakeholders.

Visit Casa Adobe at casaadobe.org and on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Croatia: Nada za ljude i prirodu (‘Hope for people and nature’ – HPN)

Croatia is a country with diverse ecosystems: from snowy mountains to plains and the Adriatic coast. HPN’s vision is to equip Christians in Croatia for their God-given role as stewards of creation and to engage in practical activities to protect and restore local environments and communities, contributing to the country’s ecological beauty and biodiversity.

They are organizing and hosting an international creation care conference in June 2022, planning coastal and river clean-ups and a Christian organic farming community, and will be looking at a practical project for children’s Sunday school education.

Find them on Instagram or Facebook, and sign up for their emails.

Germany: Hoffnung für Mensch und Natur (‘Hope for people and nature’)

This is a Germany-wide network of diverse people committed to protecting nature, biodiversity and the climate by initiating and implementing educational, research and conservation projects together with other stakeholders.

Hoffnung have been sending regular newsletters informing about Creation Care activities and events, and about A Rocha International, since 2015. They’ve been getting the word out in churches and Christian events, notably by participating in the Freakstock Festival since 2013, where they’ve been leading Creation Care workshops, field outings, and consulting for the festival on environmental issues such as the implementation of a reuse system for dishes and cutlery.

They are forming regional and thematic workgroups in several areas such as an ‘Exploring creation’ project, Creation Care Theology, Communications, Prayer, and Food and Agriculture.

Find them on Instagram and Facebook, and see their email contact details.

Nepal: The Christian Union of Gaumukhi and Dhorpatan (CUZ)

Founded in 2014, CUZ is an alliance of churches from 12 villages in Nepal’s Western Region, active in natural disaster relief, sustainable livelihoods, and nature conservation.

Their tree planting and nature conservation projects in one the most rural, remote, and deprived regions of Nepal help farmers and the local community by providing opportunities for diverse livelihoods and resilience, and caring for nature amid the damaging effects of climate change.

Panama: Huellas Panamá

Huellas (meaning ‘Footprints’) was born in 2018 as a project in Kuna Nega, an indigenous settlement heavily impacted by the operation of Cerro Patacón, one of the main landfills in Panama. The original project raised environmental awareness in the community through the community church and setting up a waste collection point.

Huellas Panamá is now setting up an online Virtual Academy to promote creation care theology and wiser consumption habits; supporting recycling as they can (there is no recycling collection in Panama!) and litter clean-ups; and developing an Eco Tours Programme to create opportunities for friendship, recreation and learning about caring for the earth.

Visit Huellas Panamá at huellaspty.org and on Instagram and YouTube.

Singapore: Friends of A Rocha in Singapore

Formed in 2009, Friends of A Rocha in Singapore grew out of an informal community of A Rocha volunteers and supporters. It offers a local expression of creation care inspired by A Rocha’s mission and values. In 2012, their proposal for transforming a disused rail corridor won them first prize in a national ideas competition for promoting community ownership, pride and wellbeing. In 2015, they conducted a two-year project documenting amphibian diversity in 25 urban parks across Singapore and they have published Singapore’s first creation care book, God’s Gardeners: Creation Care Stories from Singapore & Malaysia (Graceworks, 2020) co-edited by Melissa Ong and Prarthini Selveindran.

Post-COVID, they have restarted outdoor group activities such as an Earth Day backyard BioBlitz, and continue their work in engaging Christians to integrate faith and ecology.

Spain: Centro Evangélico Cascadas

The Cascadas Centre lies in Alameda del Valle, a small mountain village in the Community of Madrid, near the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park. Work here is focused around four thematic pillars: arts and creativity; study, reflection and discussion; hospitality; and care for creation. They are working on practical conservation activities such as cleaning up the local Lozoya River and developing an organic garden, but are also looking at integrating creation care more deeply into their other pillars. For example, they are hosting art competitions focused on themes related to the Lozoya Valley (water, forest, mountains, birds etc.), offering biblical perspectives of creation care and sustainable lifestyle workshops to church groups, and promoting the benefits of nature for the wellbeing of the Cascadas community and guests.

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