UNEP chief hails Shanghai EXPO's theme of "Better City, Better Life"

Updated: 2010-02-14 09:42
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NAIROBI: Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Achim Steiner said Friday the theme of "Better City, Better Life" for the 2010 Shanghai EXPO has shown the organizer's keen sense on environmental protection.

He said that the theme of "Better City, Better Life" has put the quality of life, which is so closely related with environment management, at the heart of this grand international event.

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"Having been a very close partner and looking how the Olympic Games in Beijing not only provided many examples of innovation technology but also environmental management initiatives. I think the Shanghai EXPO will stand in the same tradition," the UNEP chief said.

He noted that these big events allow countries to showcase themselves but also experiment with policies, technologies and new ways of management.

"Quality of life in many of the world's cities has not improved in the last 50 years. In fact we spend a lot of time sitting in traffic jams. We have many problems related to water resources management and waste management," he said.

He mentioned the sophisticated underground railway system Shanghai is building, saying that would shift transport onto public transport systems, thus reducing the impact of individual traffic pollution.

"We are going to be presented in Shanghai later this year in the UN Pavilion. I think this will be a wonderful moment for Shanghai, and it may also demonstrate that as one of the biggest cities in the world, it is also among the most dynamic ones in terms of environmental protection," he said

A total of 200 participating countries and international organizations, as well as 70 million visitors will join the upcoming EXPO from May 1 to October 31 this year.

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