Yunnan forges closer ties with Italy in world heritage sites protection
On the morning of March 23, local time, witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces in southwest China’s Yunnan province inked an agreement in Rome with the Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato in northwest Italy.
The two sides will jointly carry out activities aiming to promote public understanding of heritage sites, serve the development and progress of social research and social relations, and support cooperation in culture, tourism, agriculture, economy, trade and sustainable development.
The Honghe Hani Rice Terraces and the Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato were inscribed into the UNESCO world heritage list in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The Honghe Hani Rice Terraces is located in southeast Yunnan’s Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture and covers a total area of 16,600 hectares. It is famous for spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Honghe River. Over the past 1,300 years, the Hani people have established a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces.
In recent years, an integrated farming system is created to support the sustainable production of ducks, fish and red rice in the terraces. This helps increase the yield per mu(0.067 hectare) from 2,000 yuan to about 10,000 yuan, benefiting more than 20,000 local farmers.
In the meantime, local government has taken measures to protect cultural heritages related to the Hani rice terraces. These include farming techniques, festivals and celebrations, songs and dances, costumes, delicacies and architectures. And the development of agriculture and tourism goes hand in hand with cultural protection.
The 87,000-hectare Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato covers five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the Castle of Cavour. It encompasses the whole range of technical and economic processes relating to the winegrowing and winemaking that has characterized the region for centuries. （Li Shufen）