Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 13:56

The Eden Project has opened its first wild rubber rainforest exhibit as part of a partnership with Sky Rainforest Rescue (SRR). 

Visitors will be given the opportunity to experience the traditional life of people in the Amazon and learn all about the wild rubber that comes from trees in the region. They will be taken on a journey through interactive games that  show how rubber is ‘tapped’ from rubber trees, using traditional methods, and how liquid latex is processed and transformed into rubber that can be used in every day products, from aeroplane tyres to the soles of your shoes.

Sky and WWF teamed up with the Eden Project to bring to life the story of Brazilian rubber tappers as part of their Sky Rainforest Rescue partnership which aims to help save one billion trees in Acre, north west Brazil.

Dr Jo Elworthy, the Eden Project’s Director of Interpretation, said: “We’re very pleased to have opened this major new wild rubber exhibit in our Rainforest Biome as part of our partnership with Sky and WWF.

“The new exhibit will play an integral part in Eden telling the story of the importance of the world’s rainforests and of people’s livelihoods within it. Sky and WWF are working to make the rainforest worth more alive than dead and are demonstrating ways in which this can be achieved. We’re delighted to be able to tell this story to a wide audience when they visit Eden and see the largest rainforest in captivity.”

Damian Fleming, Head of Brazil Programmes at WWF, said: “This virtual Amazon rainforest is a fantastic way to help bring to life the beauty and importance of the world’s largest rainforest. Through raising awareness with visitors in Cornwall and the UK, Sky Rainforest Rescue hopes to help even more local people in the Amazon to find ways to make a living without the need to cut down the trees. For example, Sky and WWF have provided 37 rubber units just like the one featured in the rainforest biome for rubber tappers in Acre, helping them to tap sustainably.” 

Despite increased demand for natural rubber, most of the supply is met by plantation rubber. Investing in sustainable rainforest products like rubber harvested from wild trees in the Amazon is one of the ways that Sky Rainforest Rescue is helping to encourage more economically viable ways for local farmers to live whilst keeping one billion trees standing.  

Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business and Sky Rainforest Rescue, said: “This is the first ever wild rubber exhibit in the UK and we hope that people will enjoy visiting Eden and learning more about the lives of people in the Amazon and the importance of wild rubber.

“Learning more about the Amazon and why it is important to protect it is just one small change we can all make. We hope that with more people visiting the Eden Project, they will not only have a great day out, but will go away with a deeper understanding of the importance of the Amazon rainforest and be inspired to support Sky Rainforest Rescue.”