An ecological theme park in France, DéfiPlanet, is an educational playground for children and adults to learn about climate change and sustainable development and to inspire them to take action in their lives.
The park, located in Dienné in western France, which is spread across both forest and farmland is organised into two main sections – the past and the future – in order to showcase how life on this planet has changed.
Five recreated villages with their gardens and animals – from rabbits, chickens, and horses to a camel and donkey – aim to illustrate how ancestors lived in harmony with nature. These villages focus on indigenous communities including Mongolians and Berbers.
The Mongolian village at DéfiPlanet features a large yurt filled with colorful furniture and blankets. Signs there detail the villagers’ nomadic lifestyle organised around the seasons, as well as how that lifestyle is being threatened by climate change.
The second area is set in the woods, where elves and goblins tell stories and sing songs to teach visitors how to protect natural resources. Focused on saving the planet, visitors stop at various stations to answer questions or sing songs, or listen to the lament of creatures endangered by environmental crisis.
Along the way, there are “touchstones,” or small white structures with built-in computer screens. The animation and interactive stations feature “Petit Sabot,” a mascot guide who compares those lives to how humans live today and how much that’s changed in the past 50 years – along with the climate crisis.
The touchstones also quiz visitors about whether they drink bottled water or travel to school by car in order to determine their carbon footprint. Guests can improve their score by correctly answering environmental trivia.
Throughout the 62-acre park, DéfiPlanet aims to show how behaviours contribute to human carbon footprints, and what changes can help to reduce climate impacts.
While there are no rides at DéfiPlanet, there’s a ropes course, swimming pool, mountain bike rides, swimming, archery and an equestrian centre among the activities that celebrate the natural world. The park is also home to a range of accommodations including treehouses, yurts, cabins shaped like a rabbit or snail, and huts designed for elves, where visitors can enjoy an overnight stay.
DéfiPlanet, which welcomes around 130,000 guests per year, is built on the values of a circular economy, waste management, resource management for water and energy, and corporate responsibility. In addition to being fun for families and children, it’s also used a destination for company retreats, conferences and workshops.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com