Environmental protection experts from Beijing and Italy are hoping to work together to help Beijing control sandstorms and have a "Green Olympics" in 2008.
A delegation of 18 officials from Beijing will also discuss with their counterparts how to strengthen three ongoing projects during their visit in Italy between March 10 and next March 20.
According to Andrea de Angelis with the Italian Ministry for Environment and Territory, the experts will look over Italy's Vehicle Emission Testing Laboratory in the Zhongguancun Technological Park, an integrated Intelligent Transportation/Traffic Management system and a medical waste incinerator.
In recent years, Beijing has been challenged by environmental pollution problems.
Sandstorms, frequent in March and April in Beijing, have been growing in numbers in the last decade.
In addition to hiding blue sky and affecting people's health, sandstorms also cause huge economic losses.
Increasing vehicle emissions is another problem. Since the city sent polluting industries out of town, vehicle emissions have become the top pollutant.
And the vehicle emissions have multiplied as traffic jams became more frequent in the past couple of years.
Though Beijing has adopted the European Union's Euro II emission standard, and requires new vehicles to meet the Euro III standard, the problems of vehicle emission and transportation management has yet to be solved.
Beijing and the Italian Ministry for Environment and Territory started working together in July 2002, on projects that address Sustainable Mobility in view of 2008 Green Olympics Games.
The partnership is one of the pillars of the Sino-Italian Co-operation Program for Environmental Protection.
During this visit, the two parts will finalize documents to start bids on sustainable mobility and medical wastes treatment in Beijing.
(China Daily March 15, 2004)