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 17 Friends around the world:
Centro Gênesis was organized in 2000 with the purpose of involving people and institutions in the process of building sustainability through education. It is a private initiative, located in an urban fragment of Atlantic Forest with 40,000 m² of green area, in the municipality of São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro. Its facilities offer accommodation for small groups amidst exuberant vegetation, as well as affectively-oriented site visits and workshops and courses on socio-environmental issues. The Centre also has a portfolio of projects and workshops that can be offered in churches, companies or NGOs.
Centro Gênesis is also active in the field of conservation, restoring the forest cover where it is located, with an emphasis on more than a thousand specimens of Brazilwood Paubrasilia echinata. The results have already been published in Brazil and Mexico.
Find Centro Gênesis at www.centrogenesis.com.br and on Instagram.
In São Francisco island, Paraná River, a large hydroelectric dam and the introduction of invasive species has caused a scarcity of fish; the impoverished local subsistence fishing community had been turning to illegal fishing, competition with Giant Otter Pteronura brasiliensis (Endangered), poaching, and deforestation.
Building upon years of previous relationship with the river and its people, in 2020 Camila and Bruno Landim started EcoVila Teshuvah. The eco-friendly church building is made of bamboo and other local materials. Permaculture and literacy are taught as part of Christian discipleship. They’re looking at ecotourism and agroforestry to relieve the pressure on the river’s ecosystem, and host volunteers and Mission school interns who leave with a deeper understanding of integral mission.
For part of the year, the Landim family are back in the city, where they preach in traditional churches on the theology of creation care.
Follow EcoVila Teshuvah on Instagram.
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
SHINE is directly addressing SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy) and SDG 13 (Climate Action) in small rural communities in Burundi. Their wholistic approach involves establishing savings and loans groups, and allowing the groups to purchase solar power systems, at cost price, in 12-month installments. The solar systems have better light and lower CO2 emissions than the kerosene lighting they are replacing, and the purchase system brings confidence, dignity, and mutual trust to war-torn communities. They are also looking for ways of addressing food and water security issues in ways that have a low impact on creation.
SHINE was founded in 2002.
Light For Nature started in 2016 among several Geography students at the University of Buea, Cameroon, passionate about environmental sustainability and conservation in their local community. This led them to engage in several community voluntary activities in order to serve with their skills and talents. Their actions raised awareness about the importance of mangrove ecosystems.
They are currently engaged with a mangrove replanting project in several communities in the Maberta–Bimbia creek, and in clean up from plastic waste in rivers, beaches, and other coastal ecosystems. They regularly collect plastic from rivers which pass through the Limbé Botanical Garden, considered the second largest garden in Africa.
Although headquartered in the English-speaking Southwest Region of Cameroon, Light For Nature’s members speak both English and French. They aim to be an instrument of peace within the country by acting towards nature conservation both in the Anglophone and the Francophone regions, particularly in the Douala region.
You may find them on www.lightfornature.org and on Facebook.
Casa Adobe is an intentional Christian community and a legally incorporated association, 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 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 organized and hosted an international creation care conference in June 2022, and are planning coastal and river clean-ups and a Christian organic farming community, as well as looking at a practical project for children’s Sunday school education.
Find them on Instagram or Facebook, and sign up for their emails.
Created in 2003, TRAFFED carries out work in the areas of gender equality in sustainable natural resource management; environmental education with a biblical focus; poverty alleviation and reduction of gender inequalities; climate change and climate justice; support in humanitarian emergencies; and the creation of environmentally friendly jobs including women, youth, children and marginalized and vulnerable communities.
TRAFFED’s work to protect the rich forests of the Itombwe Massif has taken many forms, such as establishing the Institut Supérieur d’Ecologie pour la Conservation de la Nature (ISEC Katana), a higher learning institute with a Department of Environmental Theology and Human Ecology; conducting biodiversity assessments, mapping, data collection, and community awareness in existing and planned protected areas (e.g. Itombwe Nature Reserve, Ngandja Wildlife Reserve, Luama-Kivu Hunting Area, Lumbwe-Lulenge Community Reserve); and assisting indigenous forest-dwelling communities in acquiring land title for more than 150,000 ha of customary forests.
They regularly advocate for biodiversity conservation and creation care on a national level with the 25-million member Église du Christ au Congo.
You may find them on traffed.org.
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.
YAPPENDA (Yayasan Pelayanan Papua Nenda, ‘Foundation for the love and service of Papua’) is a conservation and sustainable development focused NGO based in Papua, founded in January 2022. They are currently funded by the International Conservation Fund of Canada and expanding their relationship with Re:Wild. YAPPENDA is working in the Heluk valley (Yahukimo Regency) and the Cyclops Mountain range (Jayapura Regency), mainly in two project areas:
Find them at yappenda.org and on Instagram.
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.
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.
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.
The Zambian Institute of Agriculture’s objective is to mobilize local leaders and train them in sustainable farming systems. Since its founding in 2007, ZIA has trained thousands of people in climate smart and environmentally friendly agriculture, both locally and in neighbouring countries. Through a partnership with the Zambia College of Agriculture – Monze, they have begun a formal, three-year training programme, and have already seen their first graduates. ZIA also has a focus on mobilizing women involved in poultry farming, vegetable gardening, small businesses and village savings; this work with women has even led ZIA to be the founder of a girls’ soccer programme.
ZIA is making a real difference in people’s lives and in nature, as we need to realize ways of feeding the world while not damaging biodiversity, but improving it.
Find them at zambianinstituteagriculture.wordpress.com and on Facebook.
Christian Camping International (CCI Worldwide) has been in operation for over 50 years as the global connector of Christian camping, retreat and conference ministries around the globe. With over 2,500 campsites and venues across more than 60 countries, CCI is a large mission organisation which touches the lives of more than 11 million guests and campers every year. Our mission is to promote and support Christian camping as a means of helping the church fulfil the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.
As Christians doing ministry largely in the outdoors, CCI members have significant opportunities to connect with God’s creation. CCI EcoCare has been established to encourage care of creation amongst our members – including care of the land our members are responsible for, as well as the ways camps are run – through a series of seminars, an EcoCare Assessment Tool, and appointing EcoCare Reps.
Find CCI at cciworldwide.org and on Faceoook, Instagram, and Twitter.
SIL is committed to applying their expertise and experience in languages (currently in 98 countries) in ways that strengthen healthy relationships with the world we share.
For example, their Faith and Farming programme helps those working on the land to engage with the Bible in the language that they use as they cultivate their land or work with their animals. They learn in the Bible from the many stories of farmers, herders, fishermen, hunters, and God Himself, who planted the Garden of Eden. They also learn from their own farming experience and from talking to farmers in their own contexts. This helps them provide helpful resources for interpretation / translation into local languages to encourage all land users to work in ways that restore the soil and promote the abundant diversity that God has created.
Find SIL International at www.sil.org and on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, and YouTube.