We all know that combating climate change is one of the main priorities of mankind today. Last year the United Nations conference in Paris (COP21) ended with maybe the biggest agreement in the history of addressing climate change: urging all parties to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. This Paris Agreement requires all its signatory countries to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.
Our organization, Carpaterra Association, takes these challenges seriously, trying to combat climate change through all its actions. From the very beginning of our existence as an organization we pursued objectives such as: protecting nature and developing our natural areas in an environmental-friendly way. With these aims we completed various projects for sustainable development, we built strategies for natural protected areas, and we made efforts in support of community development. As custodians of 6 natural protected areas we carried out practical activities like planting trees, building touristic infrastructure, organizing greening sites and educational camps with children. We also conducted research on multiple species of birds, studying their life and how they are affected by human actions. After 6 years of activities in the field of environmental protection we felt the need to focus on educating young people; helping children to grow up with an environmental-friendly mindset would make it easier for us to achieve our goals.
In this context CUiB was born, one of my most beloved projects.
When Luana came with the idea of making a board-game about birds I was very excited. The idea of making people responsible in relation to others - whether they are other people or birds - captivated me from the beginning. It seemed to be suitable with all of Carpaterra`s activities and goals.
Through CUiB we are trying to encourage children to assume responsibility at an early age and to reflect about their actions in relation to the environment. Every movement on the World-map a CUiB-player makes in the game, allows him to see how a human action affects the Earth. He will see how over-exploitation of forests, extensive agriculture or even windmills affect the environment. Many of these human actions were progressive and well-intended, yet history shows us that humans were never too cautious with the environment.
Elementary needs of the birds like water, food and health are highlighted at every step in the game and always get you thinking about the need for aforethought and well-chosen actions.
Other key elements in the game are the 3 boards built on 3 world-map scenarios situated several decades apart and showing the distribution of resources on the globe now and in the long-term future. This element invites children to reflect and shows them clearly how climate change may affect the entire Earth.
I think this game opens children’s minds to think about important matters and helps them understand more clearly what climate change means.
If Americans had played CUiB at the beginning of XX century, maybe they would have commercialized Tesla cars earlier allowing transport to be cheaper and cleaner.
If Beijing residents had played CUiB half century ago, they might have been able to see clearer skies today and wouldn’t have been forced to wear the human street-mask.
If a Dutch had played CUiB at the begging of Industrialization, for sure this would have convinced the Queen to donate a game in every school for the country’s soil.
Photo credits Ed Hawkins