The MAP News
479th Edition Oct 12, 2019
Report on ASC Violations of its Own Shrimp Standards
GLOBAL - Giant shrimp, or Scampi, as they are called in Sweden, were first seen in Swedish stores in the early 1990s. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation's (SSNC) partners in Asia and Latin America brought our attention to devastation caused by export-oriented tropical shrimp farming — people lose their means of sustenance in the devastated mangrove forests; they lose the protection of mangroves against storms and tsunami; local fish stocks and biodiversity is depleted; jobs are lost; the local economy becomes one-dimensional, dependent upon shrimp production for export. Numerous academic studies and news reports over the previous thirty years show that in addition to and as a consequence of environmental and economic losses, the industry precipitates conflicts between local populations and shrimp farmers. READ MORE
Trees. A solution to the climate crisis
Environmental activists Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot have helped produce a short film highlighting the need to protect, restore and use nature to tackle the climate crisis. Living ecosystems like forests, mangroves, swamps and seabeds can pull enormous quantities of carbon from the air and store them safely, but natural climate solutions currently receive only 2% of the funding spent on cutting emissions. The film’s director, Tom Mustill of Gripping Films, said: 'We tried to make the film have the tiniest environmental impact possible. We took trains to Sweden to interview Greta, charged our hybrid car at George’s house, used green energy to power the edit and recycled archive footage rather than shooting new.' View Video
Testing Shrimp for Superbugs
GLOBAL – How safe are supermarket shrimp? We test imported shrimp bought from supermarket chains across the country. While it's expected we'll find bacteria on raw shrimp, how many of those common bugs are resistant to antibiotics? Experts claim antibiotic resistance poses the biggest threat to modern medicine in the 21st century, so is the government doing enough to stop these superbugs from ending up in our kitchens? Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the ability of microorganisms to render human and veterinary medicines ineffective over time, is becoming one of the world’s biggest public health challenges. This has prompted a call to action for stewardship of antibiotic use in human health care and animal agriculture to reduce unnecessary use and extend the lifespan of these drugs. The Global Aquaculture Alliance fully supports these efforts through a range of programs. VIEW VIDEO
Mangrove ecosystems will be reinforced in seven West African countries
TOGO - Seven West African countries (Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Benin, and Togo) will benefit from a XOF6 billion project to reinforce mangrove ecosystems. According to Agence de Presse Sénégalaise which disclosed the information, the regional project was launched at the end of last week by the EU representation in Senegal. This is a 4-year project that will be executed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Wetlands International, an NGO that restores humid zones. These two actors will support civil society organizations engaged in the preservation of mangroves (especially in relation to the green economy and participative governance) in the seven above-mentioned countries. The European Union is fully committed to fostering the fight against climate change on all fronts, said Irène Mingasson, EU ambassador in Senegal. The new project was launched during the European week of climate diplomacy. In Togo, the event was marked by the provision of a XOF20 million financing to Africa Global Recycling for its "Moi jeu tri project". VIEW SOURCE
Mystery oil spills impacting mangroves & coral on over 130 Brazilian beaches
BRAZIL - The source of large blots of oil staining more than 130 beaches in northeastern Brazil remained a mystery Tuesday despite President Jair Bolsonaro’s assertions they came from outside the country and were possibly the work of criminals. Tamar, a group dedicated to the protection of sea turtles, said the oil spills were “the worst environmental tragedy” it has encountered since its formation in 1980. The patches of oil began appearing in early September and have now turned up along a 2,000 kilometer (1,200 mile) stretch of Atlantic coastline. “We are not in the presence of a constant leak. If it is the result of a shipwrecked oil tanker, the leaks will continue for the moment,” Bolsonaro told a news conference in Brasilia. “It appears to be criminal. This oil could have been dumped at sea.” The patches of oil have been detected in all nine states of northeastern Brazil, a poor region known for the beauty of its beaches and whose economy depends on tourism. “The coastal ecosystem of northeastern Brazil is very fragile, with mangroves, rocky coves and coral reefs,” Maria Christina Araujo, an oceanographer at Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, told AFP.READ MORE
Florida mangroves reveal complex relationship between climate and natural systems
U.S.A. - In the 1980s, a series of freezes caused the most recent major die-off of Floridian mangroves (and citrus crops, which also fare poorly in cold weather). Since then, previous research showed, mangroves have flourished and expanded further from the tropics. As global temperatures continue rising, noting where mangroves and similar trees and vegetation flourish can serve as a marker to monitor the effects of climate change. A new study led by UCLA’s Kyle Cavanaugh of how Florida’s mangroves and salt marshes are affected by changes in climate, both man-made and natural, illustrates the complex interplay between our changing climate and living natural systems. The paper, which was published in PNAS, found that decades-long, natural climate cycles have determined the northern extent of Florida mangroves for at least the past 250 years. Freeze events that took place approximately every 10 to 30 years caused die-offs, during which mangroves were replaced by salt marshes until warmer trends spurred regrowth. “We didn’t find evidence that climate change has altered this system to date,” said Cavanaugh, who is an assistant professor of geography and member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “But then we used climate model projections to look to the year 2100, and those suggest future warming will increase mangrove suitability.” READ MORE
An Environmental Artist Wants You To Plant Mangroves In Your Backyard. Here's Why.
U.S.A. - South Florida artist Xavier Cortada is very concerned about sea-level rise and needs your help. For more than 15 years, Cortada has been painting colorful murals of mangroves all over Miami-Dade County to raise awareness about the threat of climate change to South Florida. There's the Miami Mangrove Forest located in downtown Miami on the Interstate-95 underpass and the Reclamation Project located on store fronts of Lincoln Road on Miami Beach. In his newest project, “Plan(T)” Cortada is once again mixing his artistic talent and the science of mangroves by providing free, saltwater-tolerant mangrove seedlings to residents across the county to plant in their backyards. He thinks these mangroves are the first step to protecting the environment from saltwater intrusion. Cortada sat down with Sundial host Luis Hernandez to talk about how he is teaching about the changes in the environment to other South Florida residents and motivating them to get involved in sustainability efforts. Here are some highlights: READ MORE
Global Cimate Strike sparks action across Maldives
MALDIVES - Several climate protests were staged across Maldives recently as part of the Global Climate Strike. Citizens from the southernmost atoll of Addu commenced their protest at 0745 hrs with the participation of Junior Chamber International (JCI) Addu and Addu Nature Park. Before the event concluded at 1000 hrs, Addu's Deputy Mayor Mohamed Yasrif and Councillor Jamsheedha Mohamed briefly visited the strike along with some council staff. In Kulhudhufushi, Haa Dhaal Atoll, a strike began at 1000 hrs in front of the premises of the island council. The protestors called for immediate implementation of measures to protect the island's mangrove. Over 16 hectares of the prized wetland were reclaimed for a controversial airport development project. Following the strike, protesters held discussions with the Kulhudhuffushi Council concerning their demands.READ MORE
In the rice-rich Mekong region, will husk briquettes take hold?
MYANMAR - A study released in May 2019 found that energy potential from “major” biomass sources in Myanmar, including fuelwood, reached just over 17 million tons of oil equivalent in 2017. The authors also found that the biomass potential for the country could be as much as 50 percent more than projected energy outputs between 2015 and this year. While the potential for growth exists in Myanmar, the report found that the country needs to “develop more innovative solutions to the constraints and opportunities of biomass energy of the country,” as well as engaging the public and private sectors, investing more in research, and involving local leaders more. Co-author Maw Maw Tun, a researcher from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Myanmar’s Government Technical Institute, told Mongabay that fuelwood biomass is still the popular choice for most people. “People will still need to be incentivized toward non-forest related biomass, because biomass market for non-forest related biomass is only at an emerging stage in Myanmar,” he said. “And biomass project developers could not afford their own investment without subsidies and incentives from the government due to costly and less profitable kind of investments compared to others.” READ MORE
INDONESIA - The Technical Planning and Implementation Committee (JTPP) has organised Mangrove Tree Planting Programme on the national shoreline at Sulaman Wetland Sanctuary. The conservation programme aims to introduce the importance of the mangrove trees as a protection against the waves and prevents sand erosion to the local community. It involves the planting of 1300 seeds from five mangrove species, the highest record for one planting session in 2019 for the Sustainable Forest Management License (SFMLA) Borneo Sulaman Cove license area. Among the participants were Chief Forest Conservator, Director General of the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia, State Directors, government agencies, non-governmental organisation (NGO) and 23 primary school students for purpose of environmental education and care. Tasik Sulaman Mangrove Forest was gazetted as a Class V mangrove forest, managed by the Sabah Forestry Department. In 2007, part of the management of the Forest Reserve was granted to Borneo Sulaman Cove Sdn.Bhd as a Forest Management Unit (FMU) for 50 years, under the SFMLA 02/2007. The Forest Reserve is located in the Tuaran, covering 488 hectares comprising mangrove forests, Coastal Forest and large degraded areas that have been grown by non-native plants. Activities in the forest are limited to conservation, education and eco-tourism and known as Wetland Sanctuary (SWS). READ MORE
Commonwealth action group on mangroves meets in Sri Lanka
SRI LANKA - Commonwealth countries are meeting this week in Negombo, Sri Lanka to decide on a work plan to help save the world’s mangroves. The plan includes joint actions, projects and funding strategies for the short and medium term. The activity is part of the work carried out under the Commonwealth Blue Charter – an agreement by all 53 Commonwealth countries to actively co-operate to solve ocean-related challenges and meet global commitments on sustainable ocean development. The Blue Charter works through voluntary action groups led by ‘champion countries’, who rally around issues such as marine pollution and the sustainable blue economy. Home to over 19,000 hectares of mangroves, Sri Lanka champions the Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods Action Group (MELAG). To date, nine other Commonwealth countries have joined MELAG, including Australia, Bangladesh, Vanuatu, Bahamas, Nigeria, Jamaica, Kenya, United Kingdom, and Trinidad and Tobago. READ MORE
Die-off of mangroves continues in Gulf of Carpentaria
AUSTRALIA - A cascade of impacts including rising sea levels, heatwaves and back-to-back tropical cyclones has created 400km of dead and badly damaged mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria, a scientific monitoring trip has discovered. Prof Norman Duke, of James Cook University, spent 10 days monitoring 2,000km of coastline from a helicopter, as well as conducting land-based checks at 32 estuaries along the coastline between Weipa, Queensland, and Cape Barrow in the Northern Territory. In 2015, the remote area suffered what is thought to be the worst mass dieback of mangroves ever recorded. The cause, Duke said, was a combination of extreme heat, a temporary drop in sea level at the time caused by atmospheric pressure, and drought. Duke and colleagues returned for a second follow-up monitoring trip to find devastating impacts of two cyclones had created a 400km stretch of dead and damaged mangroves. Initial reports estimated the area damaged in 2015 to be about 1,000km in length, but Duke says subsequent visits put that number at more like 2,000km. About 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of mangroves had been affected. READ MORE
Mangrove migration mapped by 'historical detective work'
AUSTRALIA - A group of scientists have used historical detective work to piece together how mangroves have migrated towards the Earth’s poles due to steadily increasing temperatures over the past two-and-a-half centuries. The US-based research team focused on mangroves around the coastline of the state of Florida, trying to see whether climate change had impacted on mangrove habitats. Dr Matthew Hayes from Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute was part of the team, and said the researchers found there had been a steady poleward migration of mangroves in line with shifts in the climate. “The mangroves are able to move polewards because of the lack of extreme cold events,” Dr Hayes said. To get the data they needed the scientists had to rely on a range of contemporary sources, including personal journals, logbooks, photos and maps from the times in question. “Over the last few hundred years there wasn’t a lot of scientists going through this part of the world looking at mangroves specifically, but what there was was a lot of naturalists, a lot of people in ships keeping logs, and other people travelling and keeping notes of what they saw,” Dr Hayes said.
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The MAP News
478th Edition Sept 27, 2019
Winners announced in Mangrove Action Day Photographs
TITLE: Mangrove Crab Fisherman | Enrico Marone | Brazil
GLOBAL – Drumroll please … Our First Placewinner in the 2019 Mangrove Action Day Photography contest 'Mangrove Crab Fisherman'. Congratulations to Enrico Marone from Brazil for this stunning image of a community member in Bahia state using traditional methods of crab harvesting that have been used for generations, respecting fish stocks and maintaining their cultural heritage. 2nd Placeis 'Mangrove Fairies'. A magical long exposure shot of a group of mangrove trees covered in thousands of fireflies in Siargao Island. Congratulations to Janos Leo G. Andanar from Philippines for this beautiful scene. Our 3rd Placewinner is Stephanie Sargis from USA with her photo 'Vital Support'. Congratulations Stephanie for this intimate shot of a Great Egret sheltering from a passing storm in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge! Thank you to the more than 250 photographers who enter this year's contest. You made the judging extremely difficult by providing such excellent photos. We invite you to continue shooting, in anticipation of next year's contest. VIEW ALL PHOTOS
Cashing in on Kenya's mangroves
KENYA - About a third of the world's mangrove forests have been cut down in the past 40 years. That's dealt a huge blow to the environment, because mangroves are able to store up to five times more greenhouse gases than other trees. Communities in Kenya are now replanting mangroves. That's certainly good for the environment and it also helps them financially: They make money from selling carbon credits.LISTEN TO AUDIO
The Blue Crab, Guardian of the Mangroves of Esmeraldas
ECUADORE - Cardiosoma crassum, known in Spanish as cangrejo azul, the blue crab, and also in English as the giant land crab or mouthless crab, is a terrestrial crustacean that feeds on the leaves of mangrove trees and their surrounding vegetation. The crab is particularly concentrated in the north of the province of Esmeraldas, in northern Ecuador.Sadly their reproduction is being hindered by the impact of human activities on the mangroves: intensive exploitation, mass tourism and the chemical products (pesticides and antibiotics) used in shrimp farming. In 2018, the Esmeraldas Blue Crab was recognized as a Slow Food Presidium, within the framework of the project “Empowering indigenous youth and their communities to defend their food heritage” financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). READ MORE
Local homeowners asked to plant salt-tolerant mangrove seedlings
USA - Sea levels are rising and saltwater intrusion into our drinking water, septic tanks, landscape and agriculture is inevitable. Pinecrest Gardens-based environmental artist and University of Miami Professor of Practice Xavier Cortada wants residents to do something about it. In his new, socially charged “Plan(T)” project, Cortada is embarking on a public campaign to urge every resident across Miami-Dade County to plant a saltwater-tolerant mangrove seedling and white flag in their yard to start preparing for the future of sea level rise. “We need to start planting for the future,” Cortada said. “Our water’s edge is no longer at the coastline. It’s at your feet and at the aquifer, too. In the decades to come, much of our non-salt tolerant tree canopy will not survive the impacts of storm surge and saltwater intrusion, putting us at risk for significant loss of our green landscape, agriculture and shoreline in the Magic City.” READ MORE
Mangrove ecosystems must be protected
SRI LANKA - A recent attempt by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to acquire 9,197.8ha of mangroves from protected areas for aquaculture projects contradicts the Governments’ attempt to restore 10,000 ha of mangroves while destroying an important ecosystem, jeopardizing the livelihood of traditional fishing communities, the Young Zoologists’ Association said at a press conference recently. A Gazette Extraordinary issued under Clause 38 of the Fisheries and Aquatic Act on May 8, 2017 lists land to be released to the National Aquaculture Development Authority. These include 1300 hectares from Wedithalathivu, Mannar, 100 hectares from Kalamitiya, Hambantota, 8 hectares of Kirinda lagoon, over 40 hectares from Puttalam lagoon, 65 hectares from Talaimannar island, 28 hectares from Cod Bay, Trincomalee, 29 hectares from Powder Bay, 25 hectares from Galle Harbour, including reserved forests, conservation forests, national reserves and sanctuaries, and other stated forests, where the protected status will be removed. “Talaimannar has Venkalai Sanctuary on one side and Adam's Bridge Marine National Park on the other. It’s not clear as to where these lands will be taken from,” said Enviornmentalist and Attorney-at-Law Jagath Gunawardana speaking at the conference. The observations were attached from the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Development to a Cabinet Memorandum containing the President’s proposals. According to him, these observations, contradict each other. READ MORE
NO new coal power – protect local people and wildlife!
BANGLADESH - The Sundarban mangrove forests are the largest and most biodiverse in the world. The ecosystem is home to Bengal tigers, chital deer, dolphins and critically endangered northern river terrapins. UNESCO declared the mangrove forest a World Heritage Site in 1997. Yet the government of Bangladesh is pushing ahead with building a massive coal-fired power plant just a few kilometers away in Rampal. Exim Bank of India has already granted a loan of of 1.6 billion US dollars for its construction. The construction work would destroy mangroves, and thus tiger habitat. The operation of the plant would heat and pollute the water of the Passur river, and many fish and dolphins would not survive in those conditions. Accidents involving coal barges could cause untold damage. The coal-fired power plant would exacerbate the climate crisis and its grave impact on Bangladesh in the form of floods, sea level rise and cyclones. READ MORE
For one Indonesian village, mangrove restoration has been all upside
INDONESIA - Harniati keeps her youngest daughter close as the pair walk along the footpath from this village to the southeast coast of Lombok Island. For years, the people of Paremas have walked down to the beach to scoop up fish and other sea life left behind in pools by the falling tide. “It’s easier to search around here now,” she says, dressed in a fern-colored hijab and clutching an old paint bucket to collect the catch of the day. “Even for the kids.” Until relatively recently, Harniati’s coastline was shielded from storm surges and deposits of plastic trash by a large mangrove forest. But demand for firewood in the community meant the Paremas mangrove was slowly depleted. Around a decade ago, the local government and environmental NGOs began work on building a consensus in the community: that the mangrove needed restoring. Everyone came around to the idea; then they got to work replanting the Paremas mangrove. The result has brought surprising changes. READ MORE
Sri Lanka wields mangroves, its tsunami shield, against climate change
SRI LANKA - About 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, lies the coastal town of Koggala. Koggala and neighboring Unawatuna, one of Sri Lanka’s most popular tourist destinations, had for decades experienced significant environmental destruction: from sand extraction to mangrove clearance to reef destruction — all resources on which the local communities were highly dependent. Then the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 struck, destroying lives and property on a scale that the Indian Ocean island had never before experienced. As part of the post-tsunami recovery, new mangrove regeneration and conservation efforts were carried out along the more ravaged areas of the southern coast. In Galle district, where Koggala and Unawatuna are located, a multi-stakeholder approach was adopted with public-private partnerships to drive replanting efforts. Long after the NGOs and the government moved on, however, it’s the local community that’s responsible for the success of the “mangrove green belt” that’s sprouted up along the southern coast today, locals say. READ MORE
Massacre of the Mangroves
INDIA - For decades, the 4,265 sq. km mangrove belt, spread over the Sundarbans delta and the reserve forests of South 24 Parganas in West Bengal, has acted as a line of defence for its 2.5 million people against coastal erosion, tidal onslaughts and natural calamities. While the scars of an expanding human footprint over the years are indisputable, environment watchdogs have spotted and put a stop to fresh violations in this ecologically sensitive region-it seems just in the nick of time. Hundreds of acres of the Sundarbans mangroves-one of the world's largest such forests-are feared to have been lost due to illegal felling carried out for government schemes aimed at providing housing and farmland to the poor. This has happened under the patronage of the local administration, allegedly to benefit Trinamool Congress (TMC) loyalists. READ MORE
A decade dedicated to mangroves
INDIA - While the State witnessed a rapid decline in mangroves in recent decades, there are a few who still care for the lush green trees with tangled roots, which can help mitigate climate change by storing huge amounts of carbon dioxide and form the first line of defence for coastal communities. When Anil Kumar M.R. retired as an executive engineer from the Agriculture Department in 2011, he wanted to do something different. After mulling over a few ideas, he finally decided to develop a mangrove-based integrated farming project in the family-owned five acres of ‘wasteland’ at Devikulangara, near Kayamkulam. After spending almost a decade planting and conserving, Mr. Kumar and his wife Mini K. Rajan, former additional director, Agriculture Department, are now proud owners of a unique ‘model mangrove forest’, spread over 2.5 acres housing a large number of mangrove trees belonging to nine different species, including Rhizophora mucronata, Bruguiera cylindrica, and Ceriops tagal. READ MORE
How bio-restoration is helping revive degraded mangroves in Sunderbans
INDIA - A new technology developed by Indian scientists for ecological restoration is helping in a revival of mangroves degraded due to rising sea levels, climate change and human intrusion in the Sunderbans in West Bengal. Ecological restoration means reviving native ecosystem in degraded areas while maintaining the diversity of original flora and fauna through regeneration but bringing down the regeneration period to 4 to 5 years. Natural recovery takes a longer time. The restoration technology, developed by Krishna Ray (West Bengal State University, Kolkata) and Sandip Kumar Basak (Sarat Centenary College, Dhaniakhali), consists of plantation of native salt-tolerant grasses and a diverse set of carefully identified mangrove species in different zones of degraded mangrove patches. It also involves the use of growth-promoting bacteria. READ MORE
Breathing new life into the mangroves
INDIA - A Mangrove Genetic Resources Conservation Centre has been developed in the core area of the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) in the Godavari estuary with 25 species collected from various places across the country, including the Sundarbans, Bitarkanika in Odisha, and the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary and Coringa in Andhra Pradesh. Scientists of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) spared no effort to make it happen. A portion of the area (around one acre) has been set aside for the CWS for the centre, which is being funded by the United Nations Development Programme (Global Environmental Finance). The East Godavari River Estuarian Ecosystem Foundation (EGREE) of the State Forest Department has been roped in to help the MSSRF develop the centre. READ MORE
Newly Discovered Corals In Mangrove Lagoons Can Withstand Extremes
AUSTRALIA - The Great Barrier Reef has undergone a progressive decline since the 1980s, including its worst-ever mass bleaching in 2016. Up until now, lots of research on the Great Barrier Reef has focused on areas where extreme conditions, such as excessive heat, are dampened. Corals cannot typically withstand sudden increases in temperature, so protected 'pockets' of corals that do not receive the full effects of a heat wave could help repopulate devastated reefs nearby. However, these 'pockets' will not be a permanent savior to Great Barrier Reef corals once the heat waves become excessive within them, too. "...even the ‘robust reefs’ might be wiped out in the not-too-distant future – unless we really get serious right now about mitigating global warming," explains Dr. John Alroy, Professor at Macquarie University in Sydney. READ MORE
My name is Jayantha Wijesingha, the convener of Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka and the coordinator of Rainforest protectors Trust, a volunteer organization committed to preserve our rainforests since 2012 of its inception.
We later diversified in to protecting various other ecosystems including Wetlands and mangroves. Currently we are trying to protect "Muthurajawela" which has both Freshwater and salt water mangroves but are fast loosing grounds due to high commercial value of the lands nearby.
Disappointed to say we don't have any committed organization in Sri Lanka dedicated to protecting mangroves. We on the other hand have been the leader in getting Oil Palm expansion banned recently and have achieved numerous milestones in conservation. Our action have saved nearly 10K acres of forests and lands during the last 1 year that were to be deforested.
Since we got involved with Muthurajawela 2 years ago, we are closely working with Department of Wildlife Conservation and other stakeholders to prevent mangrove deforestation, encroachment and illegal filling of wetland & lagoon. However, our task is very challenging with absolutely no support coming currently.
Wedithalathivu is a yet another mangorve forest that is under threat which we need to pay attention to. We have lost most of our mangrove forests already and we need o act now. As a volunteer movement this is impossible right now unless we get some significant support coming from an organization like yours to deal with it and make it more sustainable. We have protected Most of Muthurajawela with our activism work during the last two years but unable to protect the whole system without support.
Below are some recent videos we did in Muthurajawela
Please do get in touch if you think you can help this tiny island preserve its remaining mangrove forests.
Thanks & Regards,
PETITION - NO new coal power – protect local people and wildlife!
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