Brazil seeks help from Chinese for its natural wonders

Brazil seeks help from Chinese for its natural wonders

In its pavilion at the Shanghai Universal Exposition, Brazil presented its two finalists in the ‘Seven new wonders of nature’ competition – the Foz do Iguaçu Waterfalls and the Amazon Rainforest – yesterday, with the aim of bringing on board the Chinese and persuading them to vote for them.

The Swiss millionaire Bernard Weber, the project’s founder, was at the Brazilian Pavilion, where he declared that “The Amazon Rainforest and the Iguaçu Waterfalls have histories that evoke emotions in visitors to those destinations”.

Pedro Wendler, the director of the Pavilion, said “if the Chinese vote for our attractions, there is no doubt that both of them will be among the seven wonders”.

Bernard Weber made a presentation of the all the candidates to the people present and showed a video about the competition and its 28 finalists: The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Dead Sea in the Middle East, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Jeita Grotto in the Lebanon, the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean, among other places of exuberant natural beauty.

Although he did not disclose the number of votes the candidacies have received so far, the director of the Brazilian pavilion guarantees that the two South American attractions are among those receiving the most votes.

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A group of six analysts headed by the former Director-General of Unesco, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, chose in July 2009 the 28 finalists of the competition from among the 77 candidates preselected by millions of web surfers. The process of public internet voting is now open (www.new7wonders.com) and will continue until 2011.

The campaign began in 2007, when 440 places of natural beauty in 220 countries were candidates for the title. The winners will be chosen online by the public.