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China, Italy showcase environmental initiatives at World Tourism Expo

(Xinhua)

10:02, September 26, 2012

(Photo/Xinhua)

ROME, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Environmental cooperation between Italy and China took center stage at the World Tourism Expo held in the Italian town of Assisi from Friday to Sunday.

The expo, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), provided the two countries with an opportunity to present details of the projects they have undertaken to protect environment over the past decade.

Claudio Ricci, mayor of Assisi and head of Italy's UNESCO heritage association, has been behind the expo since it was first held in the town in 2010.

"The initiative is being held exactly 40 years since the UNESCO World Heritage List was created," Ricci said. "The theme of the expo is harmonious tourism, of emotions and memories."

Li Pei, an official from the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection, introduced the efforts China has taken to protect environment and its rich cultural heritage in the past decade.

Li also noted that many joint initiatives between China and Italy have produced "concrete results" over the past 10 years. Cooperation between the two countries has resulted in investments of more than 1.35 million euros (1.75 million U.S. dollars).

With Italian support, China has carried out more than 200 projects to promote renewable resources, eliminate dangerous chemicals and develop technology and systems that favor lower emissions.

Thousands of travel agents, tour operators and government officials gathered in Assisi for the expo, which was held in the unique Medieval town for the third consecutive year.

The UNESCO recognizes more than 960 World Heritage sites that are considered an intrinsic part of the world's cultural, natural and intangible heritage.

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