A new international company has been created to bring the Eden Project to China, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and North America.
Eden Project International Ltd (EPIL) has been created as a separate entity within the Eden Trust. Its aim is to join up with like-minded organisations to deliver its environmental and social message around the world.
Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder of the Eden Project has been appointed Executive Chairman of EPIL. David Harland, Executive Director of the Eden Project, will be Chief Executive of the international company.
The new Edens will focus on the specific global challenges that affect their individual location, such as water, food, biodiversity, soil. They will team up with a wide array of conservation and research groups and also with a range of organisations, companies and communities. EPIL will also offer consultancy for new and existing projects globally.
“Eden’s mission is to explore our dependence on the natural world, to use that understanding to excite people into delivering transformation where they live and to ask really serious questions about what a great future might look like for all of us,” said Sir Tim Smit.
The Eden Project first opened in 2001. It was created from a disused china clay quarry near St Austell in Cornwall. It has proved enormously popular: in its first 16 years, Eden attracted more than 19 million visitors. The attraction has also been a huge boom for the regional economy, generating £1.7 billion.
EPIL is currently working on three projects in China and others in Australia and New Zealand. Other overseas projects will be announced in the coming months, including projects in North America and the Middle East.
Grimshaw Architects designed the world-famous Biomes at the Eden Project. They are currently working on the China, Australia and New Zealand projects.
“We are delighted to support Eden Project International Ltd on a number of ventures around the world,” said Grimshaw partner Jolyon Brewis. “We are proud to help bring Eden’s ethos to new audiences through unique architecture, landscapes and immersive content; all delivered with characteristic joy.”
The major project in China is Eden Qingdao – a Chinese Eden with an emphasis on exploring the theme of water and its importance for life on earth. The second major project in China will be set in Yan’an. It will explore how vital land and soil is for life on earth. The project aims to restore a degraded site into a fertile valley. The third Chinese project is based in Beijing.
Another discarded site will be transformed – this time in Australia. The Macquarie Point Development Corporation (MPDC) of Hobart, Tasmania, approached Eden to help regenerate 15 hectares of environmentally-damaged land around the port area.
Meanwhile, in Christchurch, New Zealand, Eden is working alongside a local trust to develop a social enterprise and attraction in the earthquake-ravaged Red Zone. The plan includes restoration of native ecology along the River Avon shoreline.
“We need to green the desert of our mind,” said Sir Tim. “We need to fertilise our imagination and we need to believe that the future remains ours to make.”