The Cattle Game was developed to transfer the concept of payments for ecosystem services to cattle ranchers in the Tocantins Case Study. The game simulates a typical large cattle ranch as they re found in the North of Tocantins. The players need to make money from their land by raising cattle. But the land degrades over time, so it is necessary to make investments. They can restore degraded land, intensify land to avoid degradation or expand their pasture by deforesting. Without any payments, deforestation is the most profitable alternative, which is why there is so much deforestation in Tocantins. But what happens when the forest also has a value? When playing with payments for ecosystem services, the dynamic of the game changes.
The players can learn interactively how important and powerful such payments for ecosystem services can be to change the land use patterns in Tocantins. At the same time, the game allows the researchers to test different types of payment designs against each other, giving valuable input to the policy makers in Tocantins who are currently in the process of reforming the state’s forest legislation. Click here to play the game. The game is available in English and Portuguese.
We recommend playing the game using Google Chrome or Safari as internet browser. It generally works with other browsers, too, but may have issues such as malfunctioning sound effects.