A major new exhibit has been installed in the Eden Project’s tropical Rainforest Biome.
The Costa Rica Eco Lodge can be found high up in the rainforest canopy, next to the Biome’s waterfall, surrounded by vibrant tropical plantings of Heliconia, Brugmansia and Anthurium.
The timber for the structure has been supplied by a sawmill based in Bodmin, Cornwall, where at least 95% of its UK-grown timber is sourced within a three-mile radius of the mill.
Eden has partnered with the Costa Rica Tourism Board to showcase the country’s leading conservation and ecotourism credentials and create a Costa Rican sanctuary within Eden – more than 5,000 miles away from the Central American country.
Made up of impressive volcanoes, vast national parks, rainforest and long stretches of beach, Costa Rica is five times smaller than the UK, yet home to 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity, with more than 50% of the country covered in forests. It is ranked as one of the world’s happiest places.
Visitors are invited to commit to the Pura Vida Pledge – a four-step plan for sustainable travel involving booking with sustainable tour operators, offsetting carbon, taking part in volunteering projects and respecting the local community and land by not leaving a trace.
To celebrate the partnership, the Eden Project and Costa Rica Tourism Board are hosting a launch event on June 25 and 26, including chocolate tastings, demonstrations and tours delving into Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity, trade and ecotourism.
An exclusive evening on Sunday, June 26 will include Costa Rican-inspired cocktails and canapés by Adam Handling’s Ugly Butterfly and Costa Rican chocolate tastings by Cornwall’s Chocolarder, which is transporting cacao from a group of Costa Rican farmers by sailboat especially for the event. A bespoke bar of this special chocolate will be available for each attendee to take home.
Eden is also working with the Matambú Forest Nature Reserve and the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy to help restore a “biological corridor” of dry tropical forest on the Nicoya Peninsula.
The Matambú reserve is more than 8,500 acres in size – roughly equivalent to 10 Central Parks in New York, while the “biological corridor” is 150,000 acres – the size of the whole of New York. It is hoped that by working together with the local communities, this “biological corridor” can be increased to 3.2 million acres in size (the equivalent of New York, London, Paris, Moscow, Cairo, Lagos, Mexico City and Tokyo combined).
Eden’s Chief Global Growth Officer David Harland said: “The Eden Project is delighted to be working in partnership with the Costa Rica Tourism Board. Costa Rica is a world-leader in conservation and ecotourism supports this.
“The Pura Vida Pledge is a great way for visitors to Costa Rica to make a positive contribution and we’re proud to share this message with our visitors. Ecotourism is also a crucial industry that will support the symbiotic economic growth that Eden is looking to develop through our work with the Matambú Forest Reserve in Costa Rica.”
Eden Project Costa Rica’s ambition is to support local communities by creating an environmentally and economically sustainable region 20 times its current size. Through training and education programmes, it will create businesses and employment opportunities that are symbiotic with the forest. A key industry to support this is sustainable tourism.
Ireth Rodriguez, Chief of Promotion Department at the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT), said: “After our successful partnership with Eden Project in 2019, we are delighted to be working with them once again, as both of us share the same values in terms of sustainability and conservation.
“We encourage visitors to pop by Eden this weekend to learn a bit more about Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity and ecotourism credentials – a great first step to inspire a future visit to the country.”
The daytime tours on June 25 and 26 will take place between 11am and 4pm and are included within normal admission.
The evening event on Sunday, June 26 is ticketed at £44 per person or £33 for Members and takes place 6:30pm – 8:30pm.