Friday, April 13, 2012 - 16:00

George Alagiah, presenter of the BBC’s News at Six, will host a panel of experts at the Eden Project as they discuss the plight of the world’s rainforests and solutions to protect them.

Are the Rainforests for Sale? is set against the backdrop of Eden’s own Rainforest Biome and will be a topical, thought-provoking event aimed at both experts and those keen to learn more about the subject.

It takes place from 7-9pm on Friday, April 20, in the Gallery, at Eden’s Visitor Centre.

Topics for the debate will include:

•    Innovative financial mechanisms that could help ensure that rainforests are worth more standing than they are logged

•    Whether there is a moral obligation for the global community to help protect rainforest resources in other countries

•    The issue of palm oil, a substance found in products from margarine to lipstick, and often cultivated in former forested areas

•    The views and experiences of indigenous people who live in rainforests.

Speakers on the panel are Simon Counsell, Chief Executive of the Rainforest Foundation, Andrew Mitchell, Executive Director of the Global Canopy Programme, Dr Benjamin Beck, Director of Conservation at the Great Ape Trust, and Eden Trustee and plant specialist Professor Sir Ghillean Prance.

The evening will begin with a welcome speech by Eden’s Chief Executive and Co-founder, Tim Smit.

Simon Dickson, Eden’s Director of Fundraising, said: “An area of rainforest the size of our 15,590-square metre Rainforest Biome is destroyed every 10 seconds.

“We hope this will be a unique evening in which our speakers can give a new personal perspective on the subject of rainforests and how we can protect them.

“It’ll also be a celebration of rainforests as we embark on our next rainforest adventure with our plans for taking people up into the tree tops in the tropical Biome.”

There is an opportunity to put forward a question to the panel beforehand by emailing Those interested should state their question, name and whether or not they will be attending the debate. If their question is selected, they will be notified in advance and have a chance to read it out at the debate.
Tickets for Are the Rainforests for Sale? are £10, and include admission to the Eden site from 3pm. Students can attend the debate for free, by presenting a valid student ID, but should book beforehand.

Contact the Eden box office on 01726 811972 or for all bookings.

Earlier on the same day there is a free event at Eden called Earthquake which is a celebration of sustainable thinking and practice with exhibits and musical performances by college and university students from across the South West. All are welcome to this with no bookings necessary.