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IPCC Releases 1.5 Report with dire warning for the Caribbean and the World

Belmopan, Belize; October 10, 2018 – The highly anticipated 1.5 degrees’ report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been released, and the news is dire. But while Scientists ‘sound the alarm about complacency’, they’ve given hope that it is still possible to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The report clearly outlines the risks of exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels; this is the upper limit of warming that small islands states have advocated for many years.

“This report is a wake-up call for governments and the world, that we no longer have time for playing-around. It is time for hard-work to avert climate change and  the small islands states need significant financial help to make it happen” said Science Advisor and deputy executive director at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) Dr Ulric Trotz.

In the Special Report on Global Warming at 1.5 Degrees released on Monday, October 8, 2018, the IPCC warned that the global leaders need to quickly cut carbon emissions over the next decade. The landmark report by the world’s top scientists studying climate change noted, that to avoid going past 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels, the world needs to adopt “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.

“From the small island perspective, this is probably the most important report the IPCC has done, not only because it was in part called for by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) but also because every important message we have been requesting over the years is now backed up by scientific assessment in this report,” said Dr Michael Taylor one of the Caribbean’s leading climate scientists and a contributor to the report.

Dr Taylor noted that the Caribbean science underpins the assessments and supports the urgency of the messages that highlight not only the expected impacts on the region at 1.5 degrees”, but also “the enormous risks of 2 degrees, to the synergies with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), to adaptation needs, deficits and costs, to the necessity for more mitigation”.

The report outlines the considerable risks now being faced by SIDS to the escalating impacts of extreme events, from sea level rise to slowed economic growth, biodiversity loss and significant global risks, should global warming exceed 1.5°C.

For SIDS, the difference between warming at 1.5°C and 2°C is critical, resulting in increased water stress, more intense rainfall during tropical cyclones, and increased exposure to irreversible sea level rise. Some coral reefs would be able to adapt at 1.5°C, at 2°C their chances of survival are next-to-none, irrecoverably damaging the fisheries and livelihoods that depend on them.

Here in the Caribbean, the changes are already happening. The region is experiencing hotter days and nights, more intense rainfall as well as more and longer periods of drought, putting lives, livelihoods and economies at risk.

Significant data from the Caribbean and SIDS have featured prominently in this IPCC reports which provides a clear picture of the level of devastation that would occur at 2 degrees. The inclusion of regional data sets has been hailed a success by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) the agency designated by CARICOM to lead the Caribbean’s response to Climate Change.

“We set out to have the Caribbean situation reflected in the report and we have accomplished that,” Trotz said.

The Centre has been working with regional and international organisations to pull together institutions such as Cuba’s Institute of Meteorology, the Caribbean’s own CIMH, the Universities of the West Indies and Suriname and others to coordinate the production of Caribbean-specific models and information which provided critical information to the special report.

The 1.5 report was released during the 48th Session of the IPCC in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

— END —

Link to the Special Report on Global Warming at 1.5 Degrees: http://ipcc.ch/report/sr15/.

_______________________________________________________________________­_

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change. We maintain the Caribbean’s most extensive repository of information and data on climate change specific to the region, which in part enables us to provide climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to CARICOM member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. The Centre is also a United Nations Institute for Training and Research recognised Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. Learn more about how we’re working to make the Caribbean more climate resilient by perusing The Implementation Plan.

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Invitation to Bid – Promotional Items

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has received funds from the KfW German Development Bank, toward the cost of the project titled “Coastal Protection for Climate Change Adaptation in the Small Island States in the Caribbean and intends to apply a part of the proceeds towards payments for the Contract “Supply of Promotional Items, Contract#63/2018 /KFW/CCCCC”.

Peruse the official Invitation to Bid – Supply of Promotional Items.

Interested eligible bidders may obtain further information from:
Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
Attention: Ms. Allison William. Procurement Officer
Email: procurement@caribbeanclimate.bz

Deadline for the submission of proposals on or before 2:00 pm on Friday, 19 October 2018.

Vacancies – Sustainable Energy Finance Advisor and Capacity Development Expert

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to implement the project “Climate Resilient and Sustainable Energy Supply in the Caribbean (Cli-RES)”. The BMZ funded project has an additional financial allocation (co-funding) for the “Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC)” from the European Union, funded under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). TAPSEC will support the strategies under the respective Caribbean‑EU partnerships. It is directly related to Focal Area 2 of the Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP), which focuses on Climate Change, Disaster Management, Environment, and Sustainable Energy, and addresses the sustainable development of the countries.

The GIZ TAPSEC / Cli-RES project is hiring two regional experts based at CARICOM in Guyana, peruse the official Terms of References below:

Maya Farmers in South Belize Hold Strong to Their Climate Change Experiment

In one of Belize’s forest reserves in the Maya Golden Landscape, a group of farmers is working with non-governmental organisations to mitigate and build resilience to climate change with a unique agroforestry project.

Magnus Tut a member of the Trio Cacao Farmers Association cuts open a white cacao pod from one of several bearing treen in his plot. The group is hoping to find more buyers for their organic white cacao and vegetables. Credit: Zadie Neufville/IPS

BELMOPAN, Sep 5 2018 (IPS) – In one of Belize’s forest reserves in the Maya Golden Landscape, a group of farmers is working with non-governmental organisations to mitigate and build resilience to climate change with a unique agroforestry project.

The Ya’axché Conservation Trust helps farmers to establish traditional tree crops, like the cacao, that would provide them with long-term income opportunities through restoring the forest, protecting the natural environment, while building their livelihoods and opportunities. Experts say the farmers are building resilience to climate change in the eight rural communities they represent.

The agroforestry concession is situated in the Maya Mountain Reserve and is one of two agroforestry projects undertaken by the 5Cs, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), in its efforts to implement adaptation and mitigation strategies in communities across the Caribbean.

Close to 6,000 people both directly and indirectly benefit from the project which Dr. Ulric Trotz, science advisor and deputy executive director of the 5Cs, noted was established with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK DFID).

“It is easily one of our most successful and during my most recent visit this year, I’ve seen enough to believe that the concept can be successfully transferred to any community in Belize as well as to other parts of the Caribbean,” he told IPS.

The Trio Cacao Farmers Association and the Ya’axché Conservation Trust have been working together since 2015 to acquire and establish an agroforestry concession on 379 hectares of disturbed forest. The agroforestry project was given a much-need boost with USD250,000 in funding through the 5Cs.

According to Christina Garcia, Ya’axché’s executive director, the project provides extension services. It also provides training and public awareness to prepare the farmers on how to reduce deforestation, prevent degradation of their water supplies and reduce the occurrence of wildfires in the beneficiary communities and the concession area.

Since the start, more than 50,000 cacao trees have been planted on 67 hectares and many are already producing the white cacao, a traditional crop in this area. To supplement the farmers’ incomes approximately 41 hectares of ‘cash’ crops, including bananas, plantains, vegetable, corn and peppers, were also established along with grow-houses and composting heaps that would support the crops.

This unique project is on track to become one of the exemplary demonstrations of ecosystems-based adaptation in the region.

The 35 farming families here are native Maya. They live and work in an area that is part of what has been dubbed the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve, which connects the forests of the Maya Mountains to that of the coastal lowlands and is managed by Ya’axché.

Farmers here believe they are reclaiming their traditional ways of life on the four hectares which they each have been allocated. Many say they’ve improved their incomes while restoring the disturbed forests, and are doing this through using techniques that are protecting and preserving the remaining forests, the wildlife and water.

On tour of the Ya’axché Agroforestry Concession in the Maya Golden Landscape. From right: Dr Ulric Trotz, deputy executive director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC); Dr Mark Bynoe, head of project development at the 5Cs; Isabel Rash, chair of the Trios Cacao Farmers Association; Magnus Tut, farmer and ranger and behind him Christina Garcia, executive director Ya’axché Conservation Trust. Credit: Zadie Neufville/IPS

Other members of the communities, including school-age teenagers, were given the opportunity to start their own businesses through the provision of training and hives to start bee-keeping projects. Many of the women now involved in bee-keeping were given one box when they started their businesses.

The men and women who work the concession do not use chemicals and can, therefore, market their crops as chemical free, or organic products. They, however, say they need additional help to seek and establish those lucrative markets. In addition to the no-chemicals rule, the plots are cultivated by hand, using traditional tools. But farmer Magnus Tut said that this is used in conjunction with new techniques, adding that it has improved native farming methods.

“We are going back to the old ways, which my father told me about before chemicals were introduced to make things grow faster. The hardest part is maintaining the plot. It is challenging and hard work but it is good work, and there are health benefits,” Tut told IPS.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) supports the farmers’ beliefs, reporting that up to 11 percent of greenhouse gases are caused by deforestation and “between 24 and 30 percent of total mitigation potential” can be provided by halting and reversing deforestation in the tropics.

“The hardest part of the work is getting some people to understand how/what they do impacts the climate, but each has their own story and they are experiencing the changes which make it easier for them to make the transition,” said Julio Chun, a farmer and the community liaison for the concession. He told IPS that in the past, the farmers frequently used fires to clear the land.

Chun explained that farmers are already seeing the return of wildlife, such as the jaguar, and are excited by the possibilities.

“We would like to develop eco-tourism and the value-added products that can support the industry. Some visitors are already coming for the organic products and the honey,” he said.

Ya’axché co-manages the Bladen Nature Reserve and the Maya Mountain North Forest Reserve, a combined 311,607 hectares of public and privately owned forest. Its name, pronounced yash-cheh, is the Mopan Maya word for the Kapoc or Ceiba tree (scientific name: Ceiba pentandra), which is sacred to the Maya peoples.

Of the project’s future, Garcia said: “My wish is to see the project address the economic needs of the farmers, to get them to recognise the value of what they are doing in the concession and that the decision-makers can use the model as an example to make decisions on how forest reserves can be made available to communities across Belize and the region to balance nature and livelihoods.”

Scientists believe that well-managed ecosystems can help countries adapt to both current climate hazards and future climate change through the provision of ecosystem services, so the 5Cs has implemented a similar project in Saint Lucia under a 42-month project funded by the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance (EU-GCCA+) to promote sustainable farming practices.

The cacao-based agroforestry project in Saint Lucia uses a mix-plantation model where farmers are allowed to continue using chemicals, but were taught to protect the environment. Like the Ya’axché project, Saint Lucia’s was designed to improve environmental conditions in the beneficiary areas; enhance livelihoods and build the community’s resilience to climate change.

In the next chapter, the Ya’axché farmers project is hoping that, among other things, a good samaritan will help them to add facilities for value-added products; acquire eco-friendly all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to move produce to access points; and replace a wooden bridge that leads to the main access road.

Tut and Chun both support the views of the group’s chair Isabel Rash, that farmers are already living through climate change, but that the hard work in manually “clearing and maintaining their plots and in chemical-free food production, saves them money”, supports a healthy working and living environment and should protect them against the impacts of climate change.

Credit: Inter Press Service News Agency

Vacancy – Executive Director, CCCCC

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) is seeking an Executive Director to chart a course for and oversees the continued development of the Centre, ensuring that the Centre continues to be recognized as a Centre of Excellence, building upon existing partnerships and creating new partnerships with similar institutions at all levels.

Peruse the official Vacancy Notice and Terms of Reference here.

Interested and eligible applicants must submit their applications supported by curriculum vitae and the names and addresses of three referees (two of which should be from past employers) as well as certified copies of certificates should be forwarded to:

HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATOR
Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC)
Lawrence Nicholas Building, Ring Road
P O Box 563, Belmopan, Belize, Central America
Tel: +(501)822-1104 or 1094
Email: hr@caribbeanclimate.bz

The closing date for application has been extended to October 15, 2018 (11:59pm -6 GMT).

Call for CVs- Procurement Planning Assistant (Part-time)

Institution: The University of the West Indies, Mona
Country: Jamaica
Project: Investment Plan for the Caribbean Regional Track of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience
Sector: Environment and Natural Disasters- Climate Change Adaptation Policy
Abstract: Procurement Planning Assistant (Part-time)
Grant No.: ATN/SX-14969-RG
Bid No.: IC07/C6.00-5
Deadline: 21st September 2018

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has provided grant funding in the amount of US$10.39 million to the Caribbean region to implement the Investment Plan for the Caribbean Regional Track of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) over a five-year period. The program is being executed by the University of the West Indies (UWI), through its Mona Office for Research and Innovation (MORI), and is also co-implemented by regional organizations working on climate change in the region.

The UWI now invites eligible Candidates to apply for the following consulting service: Procurement Planning Assistant (Part-time) by submitting their Curriculum Vitae (CV) in the format indicated to the address below. CVs must indicate the minimum qualifications required as per the Terms of Reference attached.

Peruse the official Call for Curriculum Vitae – Procurement Planning Assistant.

CCCCC Conducts Teacher Training Workshop for Climate Change Education

Group photo of attendees on Day 1.

Belmopan, Belize; August 22, 2018 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has relaunched its 1.5˚ to Stay Alive – An Educational Initiative’ with a Teachers’ Training workshop held at its offices in Belmopan, August 20 – 21, 2018.

Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, welcoming teachers to the training workshop.

This training workshop forms part of the Centre’s education and outreach work to embed climate change in the region’s education sector. The four-unit curriculum (The Warming Climate, Sea Level Rise, Pine Forest and Social Impacts of Global Warming), includes teaching and learning activities and a range of supporting materials such as worksheets, photographs, posters, suggestions for power point presentations, and videos.

Teachers conducted experiments that simulated some of the impacts of climate change using safe household items.

 

Teachers conducting an experiment on how the melting of ice caps and glaciers affect Sea Level Rise.

Through this means of engagement, they examined ways in which climate change can be incorporated in their syllabus, with the intent to:

  • Increase sensitisation and awareness of climate change impacts and community vulnerability;
  • Heighten ability to link personal actions to the broader climate change discussion;
  • Increase capacity to conduct vulnerability assessments of communities; and
  • Identify practical adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability.

The training workshop emphasised the need to educate children to build climate resilience through sustainable practices and development by utilising new-aged climate-smart technology and alternative energy sources.

Educators who completed the Training Workshop were provided with teaching materials, manuals and workbooks and will be awarded a certificate for eight Professional Development hours towards their licence by the Teacher Education & Development Services (TEDS) through the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture.

Attendees included teachers from the following schools:

  • Belmopan Comprehensive School
  • Belmopan Methodist High School
  • El Shaddai S.D.A Primary School
  • United Evergreen Primary School
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School
  • Ann’s Anglican
  • Martin’s Government School
  • Garden City Primary School
  • The Shepherd’s Academy
  • Kuxlin Ha Government School
  • Representative from the Ministry of Human Development for Sacred Heart R.C. School, Santa Elena Primary School and St. Ignatius High School

The Centre expects to roll-out the programme in schools across the region in 2019.

— END —

_______________________________________________________________________­_

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change. We maintain the Caribbean’s most extensive repository of information and data on climate change specific to the region, which in part enables us to provide climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to CARICOM member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. The Centre is also a United Nations Institute for Training and Research recognised Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. Learn more about how we’re working to make the Caribbean more climate resilient by perusing The Implementation Plan.

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Invitation for Consultants and Suppliers to Register

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has launched a continuous registration process for Individual Consultants, Consulting Firms and Suppliers desirous of being on the shortlist to receive Solicitation Invitations.

Interested Consultants / Suppliers are invited to submit a completed Registration Form to the email address procurement@caribbeanclimate.bz. Registration Forms may be obtained here:

Gary Allen | Climate-proofing media a priority for region

The following is an address from Gary Allen, president of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), delivered at the opening ceremony of the  CBU Annual General Assembly on Monday. 

Tomorrow (Tuesday), the CBU’s Assembly will take place under the theme:“Building Resilience to Climate Change: Business, Technology and Content Options for Caribbean Media.”

This theme resonates in our land of wood and water; which is often hit by drought, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes.

The CBU expresses thanks to our partner, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), with whom we have designed sessions in which we hope you will participate tomorrow.

The catastrophic hurricane season of September 2017 was an unwelcomed reminder of our vulnerabilities. The public interest media who are members of our Union have always recognised and shouldered our responsibility to provide life-saving information to mitigate and assist with recovery from natural and other hazards which may result in disaster.

But little attention has been paid to the media’s own vulnerability to the added risks of climate change. And as we believe you will be convinced during tomorrow’s session, climate-proofing our media must be a priority for the region.

I submit to you that, in the absence of indigenous media – which we as broadcasters are, committed to our peoples’ interest, if we fail, the region will suffer serious consequences without us.

We only have to think back to the fact that leaders of their countries had to turn to us/broadcasters to speak to their people and keep them calm before and after catastrophic events.

When it was social to be making fun of people’s adversity and confusing populations in distress, with incredulous content pulled from elsewhere in the World and labelled as being from one of our Caribbean territories in distress, with the shoe on our foot, we knew it was not funny.

We only have to recall that it was the indigenous, the credible and the reliable public interest broadcasters that were relied upon to restore credibility.

That is why we at the CBU were pleased last year to work with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the BBC in delivering broadcasting equipment to those affected in Anguilla, Dominica and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the wake of their hurricane impact – to restore reliable broadcasting.

Strengthen crucial institutions like CaribVision

Over the past year, the challenges of our industry have affected all of us who are dependent on declining broadcast and print advertising revenues.  However, I must take time to note our ongoing concern for the challenges of CaribVision- the regional and Diaspora channel operated by our partially owned subsidiary company, the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

The channel continues to struggle, in spite of it having a strong contribution of regional content and being accessed in more than 30 territories in the region as well as in global Diaspora communities.

After a decade and a half of intensive efforts, it has not been able to find a viable and sustainable business model, largely we believe, because it has been treated as separate from the other regional integration institutions.

 In spite of its reach and the value of the North American, the Diaspora and the regional tourism markets, Caribvision still does not get even the rounding errors in the tens of millions of US Tourism dollars spent by our governments, to woo prospective visitors to our region…choosing instead to spend heavily with foreign media, ONLY.

It is our view that together we have to strengthen our crucial institutions, if as a region we are to be stronger.

We take note that our leaders of the Caribbean Community have again recommitted themselves to a more progressive and deliberate integration movement.

We remind our leaders, represented here by none other than the current Chairman of CARICOM, PM Andrew Holness that the disconnect and the challenges between policy determination, implementation and acceptance, in the integration movement, often have to do with little or no consistent communication being in place and the lack of information on which one has a basis to make proper decisions.

CaribVision is the closest we have to a regional public service broadcaster and it deserves better support.

We daresay Prime Minister, that without a healthy, reliable and credible media environment in the region, there is insufficient information, on which our people need to base their decisions and understanding of regional business, education, disaster management, national security, justice and other imperatives for the region.

Chairman, you all know that we are at a time of tremendous change for our industry from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting. Some of our members have started the process while others are struggling to start.

This will certainly be a matter discussed again in our Assembly. We again call on our regulators and policy makers to collaborate where we can in the region and to take deliberate steps to ensure that indigenous broadcasters are allowed to transition in a manner that retains their viability and competitiveness – one that allows them to enter the full range of media and communications services that the new broadcast technologies allow. Traditional broadcasters must be allowed to be licensed to use digital formats that will make them players in the Internet, cable, telephony and television services.

While that is done, we appeal for the authorities to ensure that all countries in our region take steps for the prevention of analogue television waste material being dumped on our markets and that our people are sufficiently informed and educated about the various aspects of this significant set of changes.

If you permit me, Chairman, we must also draw attention to the concern we have had in Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago with draft legislation aimed at putting necessary laws in place for Data Protection.

We will deliberate upon some of these issues in our conference, but must make it clear that (we) will not yield our editorial independence; we will not reveal sources to any source and we will not accept a law that will fine or imprison publishers for not meeting Data Protection Laws that breach the fundamentals of a free media and the right of the people to hold authorities accountable.

Credit: The Gleaner

Media must play bigger role in the climate-change dialogue – Expert

Ulric Trotz, deputy executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre

Governments across the region must use the media to disseminate information on climate change initiatives, according to Dr Ulric Trotz, Deputy Director and Science Adviser at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

He made the call during yesterday’s third day of the 49th Annual General Assembly of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

“The media has been reporting basically the big events, the big hurricanes and the massive damage as a result of these,” said Trotz. “But they have not been privy to the information about how countries right across the region have been putting in place the institutional arrangements to address climate change, by building capacity and the interventions that have been made to address the problem.”

He told The Gleaner that while there have been plenty of talk in the media about climate change and its impact on regional states, there remained a plethora of additional things that the media could do to further spread the message.

NEW DIALOGUE NEEDED

Trotz noted that the climate change centre had done some work in the past with regional media, but bemoaned the lack of what he called “structured dialogue” on the matter that has been brought even more to the fore after the many recent weather events.

“A few years ago, we actually did something on climate change for the media, which basically was to get them familiar with the terminology. But we have had so many events in the region since, and a different argument is now needed to drive home the importance of the phenomena,” he argued.

“Apart from that, the media certainly has a very important role to play in getting people sensitised to what their vulnerability is, and why they need to do certain things that the government has asked them to do in safeguarding themselves in relation to this fact,” Trotz added.

He said that the earlier interface with the media had only been with reporters and not the owners, reasoning that policy in the boardroom belongs to a different set of players.

“Now, however, we are hoping that through the CBU we will be able to reach into the boardrooms of the media houses in the Caribbean and basically get a commitment for us to work together, as this is important,” said Trotz.

Meanwhile, Education, Youth and Information Minister Ruel Reid said that he was confident that there existed among the peoples of the region the will and the technical capacity to chant a new way forward in becoming climate-change resilient.

Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner

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