From the 29th June to 17th October 2019, the River Guardian Freshwater board game that was created by our staff and volunteers specifically for freshwater education in coastal schools has gained the attention of a number of organizations to develop a national version for distribution across Guyana. These include educational organisations such as Bina Hill Institute, National Center of Educational Resources Development (NCERD), as well as the Government Ministries, e.g. Ministry of Natural Resources.
Thanks to the Shared Resources Joint Solutions Programme Policy Forum Guyana from April 1 to May 31, 2019, was able to adopt the Department of Conservation in New Zealand freshwater game in order to locally produce a board game which appealed to our grade 6 students as well as highlight Guyana’s freshwater sources.
This game is for 2-4 players, each player picks an animal (Jabiru, Arapaima, Black Caiman or Giant River Otter) and starts on the corresponding habitat corner. Each player has a wooden playing piece that represents their animal, as well as a face mask and a species card which provides a brief description of their chosen animal.
The game is slightly similar to monopoly since it has two stacks of cards, like the “Community Chest” and “Chance”. However, for this game, the cards are referred to as River Guardians (Positive Action cards) and Eco-loser (Negative Action cards). However, the first player that travels around the board and return safely to their habitat (starting point), wins the game. The game was then piloted as part of a freshwater educational programme from the 4th – 27th June 2019 in primary schools in administrative region 4. After this formal teaching programme was completed, that is from June to November 30th it was presented to Bina Hill, Conservation International, Ministry of Natural Resources, University of Guyana student societies, NCERD, Indigenous students from the Hinterland Scholarship Dormitory, Policy Forum Guyana Volunteers, Owner of a local game company and Maya A. Trotz, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa for feedback.