Science and Environment

Memory game teaches kids, adults about Philippine native trees

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines — Funny Cow Games released an educational game that allows children and kids at heart to learn more about native trees in the Philippines.

ForesTree: A Memory Match-Up Game teaches players about Philippine native trees such as Almaciga, Bignay, Ilang-Ilang, Kamagong, Molave, Narra and Salingbobog while testing and improving their memory.

Players learn by matching illustrations of native trees with their leaves, fruits and flowers. There are two levels: easy and hard.

A learning mode also provides important and interesting information about each type of tree such as their conservation status. 

The Philippines had approximately 7.014 million hectares of forests as of 2015. Ninety percent of the country was believed to be covered by forests in the 16th century but it decreased to about 70% in the early 1900s. Between 1934 and the mid-1980s, around 10 million hectares of forests were lost. 

In 2011, the government launched the country's most ambitious reforestation effort—the National Greening Program—to increase forest cover in one of the most severely deforested countries in the tropics. It aims to plant indigenous, endemic and native forest tree species in protection areas.

So far, 1.7 billion seedlings have been planted in over 2 million hectares, according to the Forest Management Bureau, an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The reforestation program has been extended until 2028. 

Tribute to dad

Gabby Lacuesta of Funny Cow Games said making ForesTree was personal as it closes the loop on his father’s 30-year-old idea.

“One idea that he planted early, and which I suspect he truly never let go of, was a game that promoted environmental awareness and activism. He had always been in love with nature, having grown up in the boondocks and fishponds of Davao; the foyer of our house had an enormous painting of a Philippine Eagle staring at you straight on,” Lacuesta said in a blog

“ForestTree is probably less dramatic than the environmental game Dad envisioned. But with the educational aspect, classic game format, and the all-age appeal, I hope that the game will be much more impactful, while being ever more relevant now that it was in the 80s,” he added.

The game features handmade illustrations of graphic designer Cynthia Bauzon-Arre. It was produced by Forest Cow Games, Bauzon-Arre and the Forest Foundation Philippines.

ForesTree: A Memory Match-Up Game can be downloaded on both iOS and Android.

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