The A Rocha Blog

Peter and Miranda moved to Portugal in 1983 to establish and run A Rocha’s first field study centre. Together with their four children they lived at the centre for twelve years until 1995 when the work was given over to national leadership. They then moved to establish A Rocha France’s first centre near Arles, and lived there until 2010, providing coordination and giving leadership to the rapidly growing global movement. They are now back in the UK from where they work to support the A Rocha family around the world while being closer to their own, and not least their grandchildren. Their story is told in Under the Bright Wings (1993) and Kingfisher’s Fire (2008).

15th August 2014 | Peter Harris | 0 comments

Fishing for funds – are there any rules?

It is funny what people say when you tell them you work in conservation. Their reactions are very varied, depending on how you describe it. But if you say you work for a charity (true), surprisingly often people think you are going to ask them for money (false). So as we charity workers actually depend upon people’s generosity, is there a good way to go fishing?

Categories: Reflections
21st March 2014 | Peter Harris | 4 comments

A fatwa for nature

The news that Indonesia’s senior Muslim clerical body has issued a fatwa against illegal hunting and the poaching of endangered species has caused considerable media interest. The story serves to illustrate that it is now mainstream for conservation organizations to understand that religious groups can play a central role in achieving conservation goals.

Categories: Reflections
9th December 2013 | Peter Harris | 3 comments

Slavish arguments

I have just returned from visiting the remarkable A Rocha Ghana team, and they took us to two world-famous and entirely different sites in one afternoon: the Kakum Forest with its canopy walkway, and the slaving fort at nearby Cape Coast.

Categories: Stories
15th April 2013 | Peter Harris | 2 comments

The Correspondent, the Conservationist and the Chinese Dolphins

Michael McCarthy’s poignant valedictory piece as Environment Editor of The Independent makes sad reading for Christians. But for Samuel Hung of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, it’s only because of his own Christian faith that he has been able to keep going on the difficult and painful road as one of the region’s most respected conservation leaders and campaigners.

Categories: Reflections
18th September 2012 | Peter Harris | 11 comments

Smelling a Stradivarius (or how to value 100 endangered species)

“The ‘what can nature do for us’ approach has made it increasingly difficult for conservationists to protect the most threatened species on the planet. We have an important moral and ethical decision to make: Do these species have a right to survive or do we have a right to drive them to extinction?”

Categories: Reflections
20th February 2012 | Peter Harris | 4 comments

Conservation for life

I’m just back from Hong Kong. It was an encouraging trip for all our small team from the region, but I was also able to fulfil a long-held dream when I finally got to visit Mai Po. This important wetland is one of the very few remaining on the south China coast, and the numbers of shorebirds are increasing because other places where birds can feed and roost undisturbed are disappearing so fast.

Categories: Reflections