Story highlightsUK’s Eden Project was built to educate people about sustainability and the environmentNow it’s announced it will open new sites around the world
(CNN)It calls itself the home of the world’s biggest indoor rainforest, and it has attracted 19 million tourists since it opened. Now, the UK’s Eden Project is set to open up to eight new sites around the world.
The Eden Project is built on a disused clay pit the size of 30 football pitches and consists of two massive transparent domes — known as biomes — which house more than 3,000 species of plants. The eco-park, in Cornwall, south-west England, was opened 16 years ago to educate people about sustainability and the environment. Growing from its UK success, its creators have announced plans for more sites. One of the first will be in the coastal city of Qingdao, China. A drawing of the proposed Qingdao site.Scheduled to open in 2020, the Chinese site will be built on environmentally damaged land originally used for salt production and prawn breeding. “In Qingdao we are going to focus on water and people. The story of water is clearly one of the global issues for the 21st and probably 22nd century,” says David Harland, CEO of Eden Project International. “It’s only by telling those stories that focus on water abundance, water scarcity, and water quality that we can actually get people to think about these global issues.”Read MoreWatch the video to learn more. Photos: The Eden Project in Cornwall is a popular UK tourist attraction. Opened in March 2001, it claims to be home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest. Hide Caption 1 of 8 Photos: The site covers over 13 hectares and has two massive transparent dome enclaves, known as biomes.Hide Caption 2 of 8 Photos: The two large biomes house close to 3,000 species of plants from all over the world.Hide Caption 3 of 8 Photos: Each biome has plants from a particular region of the world. One is called the Mediterranean Biome and the other is the Rainforest Biome. There is also a large outdoor garden, restaurants and cafes and an education center. Hide Caption 4 of 8 Photos: The main ethos of the attraction revolves around connectivity and transformation. It aims to explore the relationship between plants and people.Hide Caption 5 of 8 Photos: The site is open all year round, featuring ice rinks and winter attractions during the colder months.Hide Caption 6 of 8 Photos: The Eden Project recently revealed that it would be opening similar attractions over the world.Hide Caption 7 of 8 Photos: One of the first will be located in Qingdao, China, shown in this rendering.Hide Caption 8 of 8