Last Friday 6th of October, at the Centre de Recursos Pedagògics (CRP) in Figueres, a presentation session of the educational resources created within the framework of LIFE medCLIFFS took place. The presentation was given by Mariona Cots from the La Sorellona Association, the organisation in charge of the design and creation of these resources.
The session was aimed at the heads of the Educational Resource Centres (CRPs) of the three counties of the Costa Brava (Alt Empordà, Baix Empordà and La Selva), and was also attended by some of the heads of the promoting organisations: Cap de Creus Natural Park, CILMA of Girona Provincial Council and the Botanical Institute of Barcelona (a joint CSIC-Barcelona City Council centre).
The aim of the session was to raise awareness of the educational resources so that CRPs can promote their use by schools. These resources constited on four fascinating board games, each designed for a specific audience and with the aim of promoting environmental awareness, cooperation among participants and understanding of native flora and invasive species in the Costa Brava region.
Invasora a la Vista (Invader at sight) was the first game presented. Aimed at pre-school and early primary school children, this game invites young players to identify native and invasive plants, helping them to understand the importance of biodiversity. With a playing time of between 30 and 50 minutes, participants have to discover the origin of plants and place them on a world map, reinforcing their understanding of local flora.
The second game, Temps de medCLIFFS (medCLIFFS time), is designed for families and early and middle primary school children. This game encourages communication and understanding of important concepts related to conservation and biodiversity, and the definition and mime exercises add an element of entertainment and creativity to learning.
The third game, Penya-segats amenaçats (Threatened Cliffs), is aimed at a wider audience, middle and upper primary school students, as well as family audiences interested in conservation. This game encourages collaboration and problem solving. It is a cooperative game where players’ decisions affect habitat restoration and recovery, thus reflecting the complexity of local ecosystem conservation.
Finally, the fourth game, InvasoresCIDE, is aimed at students in compulsory secondary education (ESO). This more complex game allows players to choose characters, each with specific and complementary characteristics, and make strategic decisions to manage invasive plants and protect native ones. The game reflects the real challenges of ecosystem conservation.
During the session, participants had the opportunity to try out these games and experience them first-hand, noting how these resources effectively facilitate the identification of native and invasive flora, as well as the understanding of the complex challenge involved in the management of invasive plants on the Costa Brava.
Although the creation of these educational resources was not initially foreseen in the LIFE medCLIFFS project, it was deemed necessary to channel part of the budget to their creation in order to bring the younger public closer to the conservation of the biodiversity of the Costa Brava and to facilitate the understanding of the importance of preserving native species in a fun and entertaining way, thus contributing to greater awareness and respect for the environment.
With a limited budget, 15 units of the game Invasora a la vista, 25 units of the game Tiempo de medCLIFFS, 35 units of the game Acantilados amenazados and 30 units of the game InvasorasCIDE have been produced. In this way, both the CRPs and Girona Provincial Council and the Cap de Creus Natural Park have the necessary units and replacements of each game so that a group-class (25 pupils) can play independently.
All the games are available on loan for the use of schools, institutes and other entities that may be interested. In the case of organisations from the Costa Brava region, the loan will be made through the corresponding CRP. If the organisation is outside the Costa Brava area, the loan will be made through the CILMA of Girona Provincial Council. Finally, the Cap de Creus Natural Park has its own games so that these resources can be included on a regular basis in its programme of environmental education activities.
To promote the use of the LIFE medCLIFFS games, several training sessions will be held this autumn and until the end of the year for management teams and teachers, as well as activities with students for those schools that request them.
Text: Arnau Bosch Guiu