Defensora Shihua: the videogame that protects the rainforest

In an effort to preserve the Amazon rainforests, the videogame “Defensora Shihua” was launched in commemoration of International day of Forests in the 26th of June. This game has caught the attention of young people, inviting them to join the mission of protecting our Amazon.

Developed by a group of students and teachers from the Toulouse Lautrec, in collaboration with the ARBIO team, the objective of “Defender Shihua” is to help protect the Amazon rainforest via the accumulation of square meters when playing.

The videogame that protects the rainforest and saves forest hectares

Videojuego Defensora Shihua

How can you help? Playing! Every square meter accumulated in the game is converted to a real quantity of Amazon rainforest that gets protected. In less than a month, the gaming community has managed to save 30,000 square meters – and we’re still hoping to reach the 40k mark! These areas will be managed and protected in the basin of the Las Piedras river, in Puerto Maldonado, a concrete and real action to ensure the preservation of this vital ecosystem.

The necessity of this initiative is made evident when knowing the alarming numbers of deforestation in Perú. In 2020, 203,000 hectares of rainforest were lost, and at least 504 trees are taken down daily (which is about 21 trees every hour). In the face of such a challenge, “Defensora Shihua” presents itself as a creative and innovative solution to combat this problem.

Defensora Shihua in the ARBIO rainforest

In the Amazon rainforest, an innumerable amount of wildlife live together in harmony, among which is the collared peccary (Dicotyles tajacu). These marvelous animals carry out a fundamental role as ecological “engineers”, giving the soil shape and opening up new paths as they tread the forest in groups of families. What’s more, they have a vital role as seed spreaders, contributing in the regeneration of the rainforest.

Some time ago, our park rangers found a little peccary who had lost her pack. They decided to nurse her back to health and give her a name – “Shihua” – in honor of the majestic Shihuahuaco trees that surrounded her. Shihua grew up and managed to go back to her pack, and she lives happy and free in the Amazon rainforest, being a vital part of the biodiversity around her. This moving story was the main source of inspiration for the development of the videogame.

Shihua en el bosque de ARBIO. ©Michael Tweddle

Shihua in ARBIO forest. ©Michael Tweddle

ARBIO Perú and Toulouse Lautrec

Renzo Guido, coordinator of digital careers in Toulouse Lautrec, recounts how this collaboration came about: “Being a NGO with a role as important as the protection and care of our rainforests, and who shares the social purpose of Toulouse Lautrec of protecting the Amazon, we decided to join forces and get to work on starting to develop the project.”

Tatiana Espinosa, CEO of ARBIO, is enthusiastic about this alliance with an educational institution like Toulouse Lautrec, which encourages innovation. She highlights that the videogame has a tangible impact, since each user that participates is accumulating real square meters of protection in the Amazon rainforest. This progress will be visible in ARBIO’s online platform, – real proof of what can be achieved while you play it!

“Defensora Shihua” has become a means of inspiring the younger generations to take action and protect our natural patrimony. Join us, download the game, and help save our Amazon rainforest!

a Arbio

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