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Sino-Italian Joint Program for a Better Shanghai
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The staging of the World Expo 2010 provides Shanghai with an ideal opportunity for healthy growth. To fulfill the city's commitment to environmental improvement, the Shanghai municipal government and the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory have jointly designed a program for the sustainable development of Shanghai.

Key projects will focus on climate protection and the phasing out of dangerous chemical pollutants.

The World Expo will mark a milestone in cooperation between Italy and China, with the "Sino-Italian Cooperation Program for Environmental Protection" established in 2000.

The "Sino-Italian Cooperation Program for Environmental Protection" has been designed and implemented by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory, the Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the Ministry of Water Resources, the State Forest Administration, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the municipalities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Suzhou and Lanzhou.

In the framework of the program, 52 projects have been implemented in environmental monitoring and management, natural resources protection and conservation, water resources and waste management, energy efficiency and renewable energies development, sustainable urban planning, low emission transportation systems and technologies, sustainable agriculture, biological diversity protection and forest management.

A permanent Sino-Italian task force, based in Beijing and Shanghai, has been established.

The task force is supported by more than 60 experts from the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory, Chinese ministries and agencies, Italian and Chinese scientific institutions and universities.

According to an agreement between the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory and the Italian Trade Commission (ICE), the ICE Beijing office is the project manager of the cooperation program. The program so far includes projects worth 162 million euros (US$205.74 million).

In 2005, the Chinese Government indicated the program as a model for international cooperation, by awarding the prestigious International Science and Technology Prize to the Director-General of the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory, Corrado Clini.

Expo 2010 presents a unique opportunity to reach higher living standards in a metropolitan space.

In order to turn Shanghai into a sustainable city, since 2004, Italy has been supporting the extraordinary efforts of Shanghai in designing and implementing projects aimed at the improvement of the quality of the urban environment in cooperation with Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau; the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality and Tongji University.

Air quality

Italian scientific expertise and comprehensive know-how have been called on to help Shanghai authorities control air pollution in the urban areas from three important sources: construction activities, large boilers and traffic.

The overall goal of the project is the establishment of an effective decision support system to control air pollution and to improve air quality in the urban areas of Shanghai, with advanced technological and effective approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of control measures.

Energy efficiency

According to Shanghai municipal government's priorities, a project has been started, aimed at the promotion of energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies.

The project foresees the evaluation of the energy and environmental performances in a selected pilot plant in Shanghai for the promotion of management systems, energy efficiency and emission reduction technologies.

Clean energy

Following an agreement signed on September 2004, among the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory, Lombardy Region, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and Shanghai Municipality, a "Sino-Italian Hydrogen Research Centre" was established in May 2005.

A Feasibility Study of the Hydrogen Energy Cooperation Program in Shanghai has been funded and has five different projects covering key sectors of the hydrogen research and development fields, such as molten carbonate fuel cell system, carbon dioxide - reuse, integrated gasification combined cycle, hydrogen automotive infrastructure, and hydrogen in the building sector.

The studies are implemented with the involvement of several major Chinese and Italian institutions, from both private and public sectors, playing a leading role in the hydrogen technologies.

Chongming Island

The Chinese Government and Shanghai Municipality are planning to present Chongming Island as a model of urban development in view of the EXPO 2010.

Chinese and Italian experts have carried out an environmental analysis of the three islands of Chongming, Changxing and Hengsha, providing recommendations to support their sustainable development, with particular concern for environmental preservation and protection.

The Chongming Island's master plan has been reviewed in order to integrate urban and infrastructural planning with natural resource conservation, the compatibility of coastal and water bodies' management with fishery development, energy production from renewable sources, and the implementation of systems and technologies for "intelligent transportation".

The Sino-Italian cooperation activities on the island started in 2005 with a project on biological agriculture aimed at growing organic products "made in China."

The "green agriculture" project in Shanghai has been carried out by the University of Turin in collaboration with the Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences and SIIC Dongtan Ltd Co.

It aims to transfer technologies of organic farming which enables the reduction of the use of fertilizers and pesticides, the disposal of agricultural wastes, and the monitoring and analysis of non-point source pollutants.

Sino-Italian research center

In 2005 the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory and Tongji University of Shanghai established the "Sino-Italian Sustainable Urban Mobility Research Centre."

The centre is located at the campus of Tongji University with the purpose of studying and implementing environmentally friendly technologies. The matching of Chinese and Italian technologies will lead to high-efficiency and great performances in the co-generation project for the installation of the first micro-turbine based technology in Shanghai.

In 2006, the ongoing cooperation will be further strengthened through the enlargement of the activities and research.

The new projects will be co-financed with about 1 million euros (US$1.27 million) in the next three years, for activities related to training activities and the development of innovative hybrid two and four-wheel vehicles whose emissions are dramatically reduced.

The technology behind the production of the advanced two-wheel vehicles, to be integrated within the Chinese transportation network, will hopefully be tested within the Shanghai World Expo Park.

The Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory will provide up to 27 scholarships in the next three years covering travel costs of scholarship holders.

It will also cover Tongji University's visiting professors at Venice International University, for carrying out courses and seminars in environmental and sustainable development areas and for research projects of specific interest to the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory on sustainable development in China.

Training courses

The Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory supports the Advanced Training Program on Environmental Management and Sustainable Development for Chinese senior government officials, professors, managers and experts.

It is developed in cooperation with many Chinese institutions, including Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. The training program is organized and managed by Venice International University together with AGROINNOVA-University of Turin.

The training program is structured as a set of one-week or two-week sessions.

With each training course concentrating on a specific field of study, the program covers a broad and comprehensive spectrum of environmental-related topics.

So far, the advanced training program has involved more than 1,100 Chinese participants in 3 years.

During the Year of Italy in China, the successful cooperation between Italy and China will be celebrated on its 5th anniversary in Beijing from July 3-7, 2006 with several events, exhibitions and seminars and the opening ceremony of the Sino-Italian Pavilion within Tsinghua University, showcasing the Italian expertise on eco-efficient design and fine architecture.

Prominent experts in environmental protection from China and Italy will participate in these events.

(China Daily June 1, 2006)


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