The Eden Project announced plans to open its first South American site at an event held on the first day of the COP26 global summit yesterday (Nov 1).

The Eden Project International team will work alongside the Colombian Ministry of the Environment and the Humboldt Institute to establish how an Eden Project in the Meta region of Colombia might look, ensuring that it continues to embody the Eden ethos of highlighting the importance of the natural world.

The process will include the early stages of site investigation and vision development, with the first phase expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Announcing the launch of what would become the first Eden Project in South America, Eden Project International chief executive, David Harland said: “We are excited to start this journey of discovery together to explore the creation of an Eden Project for Colombia, and the high level attendees at today’s event reflects just how important this is for both countries.

“Colombia is a country of huge natural world riches and is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, as well as having varied cultures and a rich history. We relish the opportunity to work in such an incredible environment and look forward to working with our partners to bring the Eden message to South America for the first time at scale.”

President Iván Duque of Colombia said: “The opportunity to bring such an influential and iconic institution as Eden Project to Colombia is testament to the work we have done to better understand and promote our outstanding biodiversity and sustainability, including pledging some of the most ambitious net zero carbon emission and net zero deforestation targets in the region.

“Today’s announcement is also a reflection of the powerful partnership that exists between the UK and Colombia, and we hope that this new project will foster stronger ties between our two countries, including around ecotourism, research, environmental education and orange economy. We look forward to welcoming Colombian, British and other international visitors to the department of Meta so that they can discover the megadiversity of this special corner of Colombia and throughout the rest of the country.”

Eden Project Colombia is part of a growing portfolio of new Eden Projects being developed around the world. Eden’s ambition is to build a new Eden on every inhabited continent.