Richmond Vale

Water security

Water security
This blog will give an overview about water security, how the situation is for the poor , and water pollution . With the current level of modern technology, knowledge, and information which is spreading every day, we would think it will not be a problem.   The world’s population is estimated to grow to 9 billion people by 2050. For this reason, it is vital that there is enough clean and safe water for the world’s consumption. Water security is the ability to access sufficient quantities of clean drinking water to maintain adequate standards of food production, proper sanitation, and sustainable health care. The majority of water in the world is used for agriculture and irrigation systems. Worldwide, the demand for water for agriculture is increasing. It is estimated that it will continue to increase as much as 70% over the next few years. The World Bank and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) are in collaboration to improve agricultural water productivity. This is especially in irrigated areas, where water supply is becoming less and less reliable (World Bank, 2014). Regions that are already under pressure from lack of water are Egypt, South Asia, Australia and the US. In countries like Morocco one of the major issues is that the demand for water is increasing while the availability of water is decreasing to crisis levels. Worldwide...
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Cleanup Day At The Petitbourdel Beach.

The two main sources of marine pollution are garbage and sewage water from industrial and commercial use in cities. Preventing Pollution. Johnny from Colombia. Through the cleanup day organized by Richmond Vale Academy in Petitbourdel beach where we collect several hundred kilos of garbage. Comes to my mind the following thought: How far can human unconsciousness? I really do not know. Anyone would think that the people who defend nature are the pure tree hugging hippies, nothing further from reality the ocean is alien to many people. However, it is the one to make it all work from the weather to the life of the species; the problem is that the oceans have become huge garbage dumps. All this because of widespread mismanagement of urban waste. A study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has quantified in million tons the garbage that accumulates in the funds the water column, the sea surface, and shoreline. Garbage in the sea is the symptom of a serious disease: constant misuse and mismanagement of natural resources; the amount of plastic bags, bottles and other debris in the ocean. Can be drastically reduced by improving the management of waste, reducing the amount and recycling, all these are solutions that can be implemented from the beginning, from our homes and daily lives the serious impact on our huge seas. According to...
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Richmond Vale

The Importance of Wetlands.

Wetland and Importance to Protect Them. By Vanessa from Spain. The wetland is a land area full of water, either permanently or seasonally. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapting to a unique soil. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. Wetlands are the most diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Here at Richmond Vale, we count with the only extension of wetland in the whole island,  this area is in devastation  by the flood in 2013. That happen because the vegetation is burned and turn around contaminated with a large amount of waste. Flooding along with the fact of sea level rise, he has compromised the area and part of the island. That is why the restoration of the zone starts in 2015. In order to prevent the erosion continue, Richmond Vale Academy with the Ministry of Tourism has been working. Many actions as tree planting and cleanings up have taken place in the last years. The area is partially salt due to the type of vegetation. The action consisted of planting various trees like, neem, mangroves, coconut trees the "penguin" and plants that have been mounting in this...
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Richmond Vale

This Is How We Celebrated Earth Day at RVA

[caption id="attachment_6041" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you know about our committment to making of St. Vincent a Climate Compliant Country. Consequently, we make the most of any occasion to show people how they can prepare better for the effects of climate change ; and what better chance to do this than Earth Day? So we strapped on our boots and we took upon the task of celebrating Earth Day at RVA. Keep reading to see what we got up to. What is Earth Day? [caption id="attachment_6039" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo Credit: Plus Quotes Celebrated every year on the 22nd of April, Earth Day marks the birth of the modern environmental movement, all the way back in 1970. Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, started it with the idea of a day to focus on the environment. He sought to draw in the energy of the student anti-war movement into the discussion of environmental pollution; with the hopes of eventually bringing environmental protection into the national political agenda. Afterwards, Nelson and his colaborators focused on promoting a series of nationwide events on the 22nd of April. On that day, 20 million Americans took to the streets and other public spaces to protest against the deterioration of the environment. The result was the creation of the United Stated...
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Richmond Vale

World Environment Day 2016

We celebrate World Enviroment Day every year on June 5th. This event, which is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), seeks to raise global awareness and positive environmental actions to protect planet Earth. Such is its impact that the United Nations consider it the most important day to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. A little peek at history World Environment Day came to be on June 5th, 1974. Since then, it has become a global platform for public outreach which spans over 100 countries. Furthermore, WED serves as a catalyst for progress towards an environmentally sound society. It is the "People's Day" for doing something to help the planet; as well as becoming an agent of change. Finally, the World Environment Day fosters millions of different initiatives at the national and global level; as well as solo and group actions —everyone is free to choose. WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY IN SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES For this World Environment Day, we chose to plant trees to combat climate change and protect the environment. On June 5th the members of Richmond Vale Academy hopped on the school truck and took a ride to Petit Borden. A local rugby group had invited us to partake in a Tree Planting activity they had organized. Once at the event, we planted around 50...
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BioChar: RVA's Green Project

Our Climate Change Activist program focuses on making of St. Vincent a Climate Compliant Country. This entails working shoulder to shoulder with Vincentians to build sustainable food and energy production systems; as well as leading an overall sustainable lifestyle . Consequently, the March Team for the program is working on a BioChar project that seeks to introduce a sustainable production of this resource in St. Vincent. As you will see, the production of BioChar requires a kiln. Our team is currently in the stage of building the pilot at the Academy; however, the plan is to build as many as 100 kilns throughout St. Vincent by 2017, thus instilling a BioChar culture among Vincentians. But what exactly is BioChar? How and most importantly, why should we use it? We answer all these questions below. WHAT IS BIOCHAR? BioChar is a type of charcoal which comes from biomass (e.g. plant matter and agricultural waste, etc.). Its primary use lies in soil improvement, which is vital in agribusiness because it protects plants against some foliar and soil-borne diseases. Once created, BioChar can endure in soils for thousands of years; consequently boosting food security, increasing soil biodiversity and discouraging deforestation. [caption id="attachment_5830" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia As other types of charcoal, BioChar is created by heating the biomass in a low-oxygen —or hypoxic— environment. The ensuing chemical reaction...
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NEWS: 'Mobility as a service' will take over Helsinki by 2025

Helsinki's government is working on the development of a public integrated system which focuses on "mobility as a service". Consequently, the need for privately-owned cars might be non-existent in ten years. [caption id="attachment_5808" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Helsinki is pursuing an ambitious public and private transport project that focuses on mobility as a service - Photo Credit: Wikipedia The government of Finland's capital city is hard at work with a "seamless and integrated private and public transportation system" . The project would mostly use the transport infrastructure already at hand, as well as the cell phones and other digital devices we all carry nowadays. As a result, Helsinki's citizens would be able to pay for kilometer-based packages, rather than multiple tickets for individual rides; and they would also be able to arrange their rides. The city would have dynamic bus routes and "private operators" from whom one could purchase "mobility packages" based on weather, time of the day, etc. Read the full article by Bikocity below: RESIDENTS OF HELSINKI, FINLAND, MAY NOT NEED TO OWN THEIR OWN CARS BY 2025 In at least one Scandinavian city, owning your own car may not be necessary a decade from now, thanks to the forward-looking plans of the government of Helsinki, Finland. While the goal of eliminating the need for private car ownership in that capital city within 10 years may...
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9 Signs that Global Warming is no longer a debate

Global warming is real No, that was not a wacky idea from a self-proclaimed alarmist. It is a fact with which the vast majority of the scientific community agrees. Still, so many people around the world are nitpicking at best —and flat-out disbelieving at worst —the scientific evidence on the matter. There are a number of reasons why a person could choose to believe that global warming is not happening at all. Two of the main ones are misinformation and disinformation. Which end up being the same, really. So, if you are a frequent reader, or a new one (Welcome!), looking to be convinced, here are 9 signs that global warming is real . 1. ECOSYSTEMS ARE GOING CRAZY Sources: Ecological Impact of Climate Change (NOAA), Climate Impact on Ecosystems (EPA) If you are cheering for longer summers, you may want to think twice. Changes in climate, soil and other factors caused by global warming are disrupting ecosystems. Animals —and in general, all forms of life— are very closely related to the space they inhabit, hence why even small changes in it can wreak havoc in any bionetwork. In this post we cited the up-hill migration of Andean tree species to find cooler areas that support their existence. One of the main effects of global warming on ecosystems is the disruption of their habitat ranges —the...
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Richmond Vale

Sustainable Development: Everything you need to know

[caption id="attachment_5389" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Pixabay As an increasingly obvious need for change fixes itself at the forefront of people’s minds, sustainable development is becoming the hot topic of the global community. The concept itself is not new: the most widely used definition for sustainable development dates from 1987, when Norway’s then Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland spoke of it as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” . However, the hype surrounding the consolidation of the sustainability defined by Brundtland as the path to follow in global development is fairly recent. According to Werbach (2009), until the 1980s the word sustainability was seen as a company’s ability to increase its earnings steadily. After Brundtland and in the face of factors such as widespread conflict, poverty and climate change , it has become evident that it is not sufficient to ensure a growing flow of income, but that true sustainability tackles social, economic, environmental and cultural issues, in hope of shifting the world “onto a path of inclusive, sustainable and resilient development” ( Clark , 2015). Currently, there are heaps of information regarding sustainable development on the internet. And while this information is precious in understanding how and why sustainability should be the common north of the human race in all fronts,...
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Richmond Vale

SVG’s ‘Treelympics’ win International Award

“ Treelympics SVG ”, the local arm of a worldwide tree planting competition has won the Austria-based Energy Globe National Award 2016 for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). The project, implemented by Richmond Vale Academy , resulted in 1,500 trees being planted in SVG since 2014. Treelympics SVG was among 1,700 submissions from countries across the world. The Energy Globe Award was founded in 1999 by the Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann and is one of today’s most prestigious environmental awards. The award aims to present successful sustainable projects to a broad audience. Projects that conserve and protect natural resources or that employ renewable energy can participate. National (country) Energy Globe Awards distinguish the best project submission from a country. National winners receive an Energy Globe certificate, which is presented by partner organisation (if available) in the respective countries. SVG Treelympics formed part of the broader Environment Online (ENO) pledge at the Rio+20 Summit to plant 100 million trees by 2017. As a part of their pledge, ENO launched the Treelympics campaign, a worldwide competition in tree planting for schools and community organisations. More than 100 countries have participated. In 2014, Richmond Vale Academy mobilised 99 per cent of the schools in SVG to plant trees, making St. Vincent the winners of the Golden Medal for the world’s most active country. In the fall of...
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El Niño & La Niña For Dummies

News outlets over the last few months have been overflowing with reports on the impact of this year’s El Niño. The meteorological phenomenon, the strongest in 35 years, lasted 18 months and caused long droughts, unusually and unbearably high temperatures, along with water shortages and flooding around the world. In its wake, nearly 100 million people are enduring hunger and diseases, half of which are in Southern Africa. Now that El Niño is over —as sea surface temperatures have gone back to normal, with very little chance of rising again this year— the jury is out on whether the temperatures will stay neutral or continue to drop until the reverse effect —La Niña— is reached.  Standing in El Niño’s aftermath, the answer to this question is a particularly relevant one for the global community. Although it cannot be answered without uncertainty, there is a high change that the world will see La Niña this fall. So what is in it for us? We’ll try to answer that in this post. Keep reading for handy information on El Niño and La Niña WHAT ARE EL NIÑO AND LA NIÑA? As described by the NOAA , “El Niño and La Niña are complex weather patterns resulting from variations in ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific” . These meteorological events are opposite phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)...
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Top 10 Environmental Celebrity Activists

1.Leonardo DiCaprio [caption id="attachment_4826" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr The Oscar-winning actor and one of the most notorious  environmental activists , created the Leonard DiCaprio Foundation in 1998 “to support organizations and initiatives dedicated to securing a sustainable future for our planet”  ( WWF , W/D) . Ever since, DiCaprio has been engaged with pressing environmental issues, such as access to clean water , disaster relief, preservation of biodiversity and the Earth’s oceans , among others. DiCaprio currently sits at the board of important environmental organizations, like the World Wildlife Fund, NDRC, Global Green USA and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. In addition to this, the actor has produced two short movies (Water Planet and Global Warming) to raise awareness on environmental topics. DiCaprio also used his production company, Appian Way, to write, narrate and produce his critically acclaimed documentary: The 11 th hour. The film was four years in the making and provides the public with an overview of Earth’s problems, as well as exciting solutions for them. 2.Robert Redford [caption id="attachment_4827" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr Undoubtedly, Robert Redford is one of the –if not the sole- pioneer in celebrity environmentalism. Without Redford and a small group of other people, the United States would have surrendered the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to commercial hands. Redford’s advocacy kept the 1.7 million-acre out of the...
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What Is An Environmental Activist?

Based on the definition of “environmental activism” that appears on TheFreeDictionary.com, one can define an environmental activist as a person who advocates for, or works towards, protecting the natural environment from destruction or pollution. But really, an environmental activist is not more than a responsible person with a conscience. [caption id="attachment_4820" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia Today, Earth is the only home we have. Humans, animals and plants — all of us — are bound to dwell on this planet for as long as it will have us. And that time might very well end soon. Human activities have damaged Earth so deeply that the planet might be inhospitable by the turn of next century . It is more disturbing yet that harm is still being done, despite numerous hints at what is to come. April 2016 was the seventh month in a record-breaking streak of the hottest months ever documented . All over the world, lakes and other water sources are drying up , maiming the water and food supply for countless people —while in other parts, precipitations have put entire cities under water . Places like the Death Valley in Arizona are inhospitable after a certain time of the day and China is importing fresh air from Canada as its own air becomes unbreathable. Yet, climate change deniers are having a field-day with allegations that...
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Global Goal 15: Conserve And Sustainably Use Life On Land

Humans have always exploited the resources available to them, whether for subsistence or for trade. Sadly, mankind has a history of doing so in unsustainable ways that can cause great harm to their surroundings. The impact of human activities on marine ecosystems was succinctly discussed in a previous post about Global Goal 14 –however, it doesn’t stay there. As you will see in this post, atrocious practices such as poaching, deforestation and the introduction of invasive alien species into land and water ecosystems have taken a massive toll on the planet. [caption id="attachment_4712" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Deforestation is closely linked to population growth and human activities such as development and agriculture - Photo Credit: Wikipedia According to the Population Reference Bureau ( 2004 ), human activities such as logging, development and agricultural expansion caused the deforestation of 12,000 kilometers in the two decades prior to their study. However, natural re-growth and reforestation could only regain 10% of the area. The study remarks that deforestation is closely related to population growth, which is backed up by a study Population Action International conducted in 2010 . Said growth does not necessarily have to be geographically close, says the PRB, as “external forces such as demand for timber or cattle in other parts of the country or world can lead to deforestation”. This is especially evident in zones of the...
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Global Goal 14: Conserve And Sustainably Use The Life Below Water

Oceans comprise three quarters, or 75%, of the Earth’s surface. They also contain 97% of the water in the planet and represent 99% of the living space on it. Furthermore, oceans absorb roughly 30% of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, which buffers the effects of climate change. There is no doubt that life on the planet is possible because oceans exist. The water cycle the planet relies on starts and ends in them; also, the weather, climate and coastlines are all directly affected by currents and temperatures in the oceans. Moreover, nearly half of the global population depends on the oceans for their daily protein intake and the fishing business employs more than 200 million people worldwide. They also serve as a way of communication, and for trade. [caption id="attachment_4706" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Shrimp fisheries generate 5.7 kg of bycatch per every kilogram of shrimp - Photo Credit: Wikipedia Despite the obvious importance of the oceans and the species that dwell in them, it is estimated that 40% of the oceans in the world are facing the impacts of direct or indirect human actions. Sea temperatures are rising because the oceans absorb heat from the atmosphere -as the ice-sheets melt, their reflective surface shrinks and the heat is absorbed by the dark waters. This, in addition to the acidification of the water is setting the...
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Global Goal 13: Urgent Climate Actions

Mankind has the potential to make of Earth a virtually inhospitable place. 50 animals and plants have already disappeared thanks to climate change and 1274 were listed as critically endangered by it as of March, 2016. The trees in the Andean region are trying to reach higher places to find cooler areas where they can exist -and the millenary trees in Tasmania’s Gondwana Forest have been turned to ashes by bushfires –once again- caused by climate change ( Richmond Vale , 2016). China is buying clean air because of the perpetual polluted fog over its cities and flashfloods, such as those in Houston , are becoming increasingly common. In other parts of the world, however, lakes are drying up and water is scarce. It is safe to say that climate actions until now have not been very effective. [caption id="attachment_4270" align="aligncenter" width="500"] A reduction of 80% on the surface area of Urmia Lake has threatened the food production and water supply of people who live in the area - Photo Credit: Wikipedia According to this article on the UN’s Chronicle, it took the global community seven years to implement the Kyoto Protocol, which is often called the most influential of climate actions so far. By signing it, industrialized countries were pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5% between 2008 and 2012. However, global emissions...
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Global Goal 12: Sustainable Consumption And Production Patterns

Not too long ago, The Lorax, a book by Dr. Seuss, warned the world about the dangers of unsustainable production and consumption patterns. The colorful children’s book tells the story about a boy who, living in a walled town where people pay for clean air, goes on a quest for answers on how his town’s demise came to be. What little Ted found is not too different from what is happening today: natural resources are being used at a higher pace than they can be restored and mankind is producing more things than it can possibly consume. Sustainable consumption and production patterns are in order to, if not fix, at least diminish the adverse effects mankind’s toxic practices have had on the environment. [embed]https://youtu.be/akG_50JwUJQ[/embed] The implementation of sustainable consumption and production promotes resource and energy efficiency, as well as the development of resilient, sustainable infrastructure, access to basic services and the creation of quality jobs that do not harm the environment. Sustainable consumption and production are also about battling the consumerism ingrained in current-day society. As put by this UN post, it’s about “doing more and better with less”. Global Goal 12, cited below, encompasses a series of targets that comprise a sustainable consumption and production plan for the world, set to be achieved by 2030. GLOBAL GOAL 12: ENSURE SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION PATTERNS Source:...
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Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Half the world’s population —or 3.5 billion people— currently lives in cities. These urban settlements bring people closer and open up a window for many opportunities, such as commerce, social interaction and development; and close contact with innovation, science and culture ( UN , 2015). But the cities people dwell in today are not sustainable cities, which are direly needed if the world wants to keep moving forward. Let’s see why. Currently, 828 million people live in slums —overcrowded urban areas inhabited by the chronically poor—. Taking into consideration that 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban settlements by 2030; on a business-as-usual mindset, the number of people living in slums is set to increase as well. The adverse effects on society of the expansion of slums are obvious, but the solution is even more so. [embed]
[/embed] Sustainable cities are needed to harbor rapidly-growing masses of people with minimum impact on the pre-existing society and the environment. Current cities occupy only 3% of the world’s surface, but they make up 60-80% of the global energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions. Moreover, their rapid growth is putting a strain on existing basic services and the resources available to them. The development of sustainable cities takes this into account and incorporates strategic planning so the needs of all citizens can be met while making...
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March Against Monsanto

[caption id="attachment_4624" align="aligncenter" width="370"] Supporter drawing a banner for the March Against Monsanto - Photo Credit: Flickr The 2016 March Against Monsanto is set to take place on May 21, 2016. This event, held annually since 2013, was conceived by Tami Canal as a response to the fallout of California Proposition 37 , a regional legislation that would have required genetically modified foods to be labeled as such. The protest was also fueled by President Obama’s signing of the Farmers Assurance Provision in March 26, 2013, which authorizes the United States Department of Agriculture to allow the planting of genetically modified foods while environmental reviews are being completed, even if there is a legal ruling against their approval. Despite starting in the United States, the March Against Monsanto movement has had a tremendous success worldwide. The first march saw hundreds of thousands of people in over 400 cities show up to protest against the biotechnology giant Monsanto, which supplies 90% of genetically modified seeds worldwide. It is expected that a similar amount of people will show up this year. If you are interested in partaking or are curious about the March Against Monsanto movement, this article is an all-you-must-know on the topic. WHO IS MONSANTO ? Source: Modern Farmer [caption id="attachment_4617" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Monsanto is a biotechnology company, linked to the manufacturing of harmful chemicals in...
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Global Warming Facts

[caption id="attachment_4209" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Pixabay In previous articles, causes and effects of both climate change and global warming have been discussed. While this provides the reader with a good insight of the problem, perhaps it doesn't show how urgent it is. Read below to find a compilation of global warming facts: a series of things that are happening right now related to climate, sea extent, ecosystems and more. GLOBAL WARMING FACTS: TEMPERATURE [caption id="attachment_4198" align="aligncenter" width="500"] December 2015–February 2016 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius - Photo Credit: NOAA 2015 was the hottest year on record. According to a press release from the World Meteorological Organization, the global average surface temperature ranked at 0.76±0.1ºC above the 1961-1990 average, marking the first time global surface temperatures are above 1ºC from those of the pre-industrial era. Source: World Meteorological Organization The same press release states that the period between 2011 and 2015 is the warmest five-year period on record and that 15 of the 16 hottest years on records have happened this century. February 2016 broke the temperature monthly record by the widest ever margin, ranking at 1.23ºC above 20 th century average, according to NOAA. Source: NOAA [caption id="attachment_4197" align="aligncenter" width="500"] February 2016 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius - Photo Credit: NOAA The December 2015-February 2016...
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