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“THE WORST HAS HAPPENED! The Amazon, the most biodiverse place on the planet, is exploited by unscrupulous corporations and could become a dead desert. Is there any hope? Join forces with indigenous groups to give back life in its habitat. But beware: the desire for profit is a constant threat! What can we do?“
The educational and collaborative Serious Game “Guardians of the Amazon” is an educational tool that aims at raising awareness and enhancing action for the protection and conservation of the Amazonian social and ecological diversity.
Initiated by a group of environmental and social scientists and educators, it was further developed with the technical support from the Faculty of Digital Media, Furtwangen University, Germany, and supported by IUCN/CEM Ecohealth Alliance together with the Gaia Foundation. The Peruvian NGO, Red de Acción en Agricultura Alternativa, will now distribute “Guardians of the Amazon” to all nine Amazonian countries.
The game consists of 7 biotopes that need to be completed with 49 Species cards.
But 10 Threat cards that depict the drivers of the current environmental degradation and biodiversity loss currently affecting the Amazon rainforest, complicate this task. Luckily, the 20 Solutions cards help neutralize specific Threats by proposing alternatives for a rational and sustainable use of natural resources. And, the 7 Indigenous Wisdom cards, the most powerful in the game, can defuse any Threat card.
A set consists of a 9×12 cm box with 102 cards, a triptych on the rules, another on biome data, and a dice.
Players deepen their knowledge of how the Amazon biome, the planet`s largest and most biodiverse forest system, works. They learn about the intricate and, at times, incredibly subtle functional dependencies that characterize the connections between people, animals, and plants that inhabit this mega region.
Examples of these relationships include the understanding that increased wildlife encounters and illegal wildlife trade are interactions that potentially increase the risk of disease and pandemics.
“Guardians of the Amazon” provides science-based knowledge and suggests methods to safeguard biodiversity and promote the wise use of natural resources.
With the use of the game, players in different sectors, municipal officials, public officials, businesspeople, and socio-environmental and educational organizations can exchange ideas across sectors to solve complicated problems and spot opportunities to safeguard this exceptional ecosystem.
By integrating biodiversity conservation across all sectors at the local, national, and regional level, the engaging board game “Guardians of the Amazon” can undoubtedly help raise the social acceptance for biodiversity protection and sustainable environmental management in the Amazon biome.
In the second part of 2023, 100 pilot versions of “Guardians of the Amazon” will be shared with 35 partners working in the biome. Among the partners are Indigenous Peoples organizations, socio environmental NGOs, universities and public institutions, in particular Ministries of Education and of Public Health. After incorporating their feedback, the final version of the game will be printed in five languages.
Partnerships to join the second phase of the project are welcome!