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UP, Toyota To Make A Philippine Marine Biodiversity Game | Toyota Moto

As part of UPMSI's continuing partnership with TMPF, a

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UP, Toyota To Make A Philippine Marine Biodiversity Game

UP, Toyota To Make A Philippine Marine Biodiversity Game

A new share screen game featuring our country's rich marine biodiversity is coming this September.

As part of the University’s continuing partnership with Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation, Inc. (TMPF), a share screen game about different marine species of the Philippines will be developed.

The global center of marine biodiversity is located in the Philippines. A group of scientists found that the Verde Island Passage (VIP), the body of water between Batangas and Mindoro, has the highest concentration of coastal fishes, corals, crustaceans, molluscs, seagrasses, and mangroves. Scientists from the California Academy of Science make it a point to schedule an expedition to the VIP every year (even during the pandemic) because they discover new species each and every time. The VIP is also home to endangered and threatened species including the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, whale sharks, manta rays, dugongs, humphead wrasses, giant groupers, and giant clams. This makes it an ideal site for globally strengthening conservation of endangered species.

UP’s soon to be finished Puerto Galera Biodiversity Center will have a program focused on science communication and environmental education to protect the VIP, the world’s center of marine biodiversity. As one of its first projects, UP, in partnership with TMPF and local game design studio Balangay Entertainment, will be designing a screenshare game to introduce our iconic marine species to Filipinos.
 

L-R: Aletta Yñiguez, Ronald Gaspar, Education and Outreach Program Officer Aya Cariño-Valdez


“We all know the animals from African safari, but most of us have not been introduced to the species who live in our own oceans. Hopefully, through this game, people will get to know the animals and plants who live in our waters and discover pride in the beauty and richness of our biodiversity,” says Aletta Yñiguez, Chair of the UP Puerto Galera Center Committee and Associate Professor at the UP Marine Science Institute.

“Our partnership with UP fulfills mutual objectives of promoting harmony with nature towards biodiversity conservation. Awareness is the first step towards protection and conservation of our endangered species,” says Ronald Gaspar, TMPF Assistant Vice President and Operations Manager.
 


“Because of the pandemic, it has been harder for us to connect with our loved ones. Through this screen share game, we want to create fun shared experiences among friends and family. Through this game, we hope that the players will get to know more about themselves, about each other, but most importantly, about our neighbors who live in the Philippine seas,” says Nico Valdez, game designer and president of Balangay Entertainment.

Design and development of the game is currently underway. The game is set to launch in September 2021.