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Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre at LAC Climate Week

Dr Elon Cadogan and Mr Carlos Fuller of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre attended the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Climate Week in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil from 19 to 23 August 2019.

On Monday, Regional and International Liaison Officer, Carlos Fuller introduced the Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas System (IG3IS) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) at a side event on “Science-Based Greenhouse Gas Emission Estimates in Support of National and Sub-National Climate Change Mitigation”. This was followed by presentations on two pilot projects utilizing the system in Recifre, Brazil and Mexico City, Mexico. He then spoke on the need for enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) at a Regional Dialogue on NDCs.

On Wednesday, he was a panelist at the opening of the Climate Week and then moderated a panel discussion which included Ms Lisa Morris Julian, the Mayor of Arima, Trinidad and Tobago, on “Mitigation and Vulnerability Hotspots” as part of  a session on “Pathways to a Low-Carbon and Resilient Future in Latin America and the Caribbean Urban Areas and Settlements”.  He then delivered a presentation on adaptation on the coastal zone of Belize and facilitated a panel discussion which followed.

Dr Elon Cadogan, the National Project Coordinator for the GCF-funded “Water Sector Resilience Nexus for Sustainability in Barbados Project” delivered a presentation on the project at the Technical Expert Meeting – Mitigation (TEM-M) on “Circular Economy Solutions and Innovations in Water and Energy Management for the Agri-Food Chain”.

The Centre’s team utilized the opportunity to engage with CARICOM representatives attending the LAC Climate Week including officials from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago and other regional experts.

The 2020 Lac Climate Week will be held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

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.

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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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SKN To Receive CDB Grant For Climate Change Project

Image result for CDB WINN FM

St Kitts and Nevis is getting a climate-related Caribbean Development Bank grant of $538,000 euros.

The CDB says the funds will facilitate the conducting of a climate risk and vulnerability assessment of the federation’s coastal road infrastructure.

The CDB grant will also be used to prepare designs for the rehabilitation of two high-priority sites, according to a release from the regional Bank.

The bank’s board of directors has approved millions in loans and grants for ten borrowing member countries, including the grant to St Kitts and Nevis.

In the case of Dominica the CDB has approved a US$12 million line of credit to support education and housing.

The loan to the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development Bank is intended to assist in providing finance for student loans, and low and lower-middle income housing that, combined, is expected to benefit 400 people.

Haiti is being given a significant CDB grant to improve climate resilience, and disaster risk management.

The CDB says the grant of US$5.5 million to the Government of Haiti is to improve climate resilience and disaster risk management on an island off the country’s southern peninsula.

St Vincent and the Grenadines is meanwhile being allocated five million US dollars in loans and grants in additional support for the transformation of the country’s energy sector.

Other projects have been approved in The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Credit: WinnFM

Caribbean Youth Ready to Lead on Climate Issues

Members of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CEYN) clean debris from a river in Trinidad. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Members of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CEYN) clean debris from a river in Trinidad. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

At 24 years old, Stefan Knights has never been on the side of those who are sceptical about the reality and severity of climate change.

A Guyana native who moved to Trinidad in September 2013 to pursue his law degree at the Hugh Wooding Law School, Knights told IPS that his first-hand experience of extreme weather has strengthened his resolve to educate his peers about climate change “so that they do certain things that would reduce emissions.”

“Notwithstanding our minor contribution to this global problem we are taking a proactive approach, guided by the recognition of our vulnerability and the tremendous responsibility to safeguard the future of our people.” – Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran.

Knights recalled his first week in Trinidad, when he returned to his apartment to find “the television was floating, the refrigerator was floating and all my clothes were soaked” after intense rainfall which did not last more than an hour.

“When we have the floods, the droughts or even the hurricanes, water supply is affected, people lose jobs, people lose their houses and the corollary of that is that the right to water is affected, the right to housing, the right to employment and even sometimes the right to life,” Knights told IPS.

“I am a big advocate where human rights are concerned and I see climate change as having a significant impact on Caribbean people where human rights are concerned,” he said.

Knights laments that young people from the Caribbean and Latin America are not given adequate opportunities to participate in the major international meetings, several of which are held each year, to deal with climate change.

“These people are affected more than anybody else but when such meetings are held, in terms of youth representation, you find very few young people from these areas,” he said.

Youth climate activist Stefan Knights. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Youth climate activist Stefan Knights. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

 

“Also, the countries that are not independent within Latin America and the Caribbean, like Puerto Rico which is still a territory of the United States, Montserrat, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, the voices of those people are not heard in those rooms because they are still colonies.”

Knights, who is also an active member of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), said young people are ready to lead.

“They are taking the lead around the world in providing solutions to challenges in the field of sustainable development,” he explained.

“For instance, CYEN has been conducting research and educating society on integrated water resources management, focusing particularly on the linkages between climate change, biodiversity loss and unregulated waste disposal.”

CYEN has been formally recognised by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) as one of its Most Outstanding Partners in the Caribbean.

As recently as December 2014, several members of CYEN from across the Caribbean participated in a Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) Media Workshop on Water Security and Climate Resilience held here.

CYEN has been actively involved in policy meetings on water resources management and has conducted practical community-based activities in collaboration with local authorities.

CYEN National Coordinator Rianna Gonzales told IPS that one way in which young people in Trinidad and Tobago are getting involved in helping to combat climate change and build resilience is through the Adopt a River (AAR) Programme, administered by the National Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA).

“This is an initiative to involve the community and corporate entities in the improvement of watersheds in Trinidad and Tobago in a sustainable, holistic and coordinated manner,” Gonzales said.

“The aim of the AAR programme is to build awareness on local watershed issues and to facilitate the participation of public and private sector entities in sustainable and holistic projects aimed at improving the status of rivers and watersheds in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Most of Trinidad and Tobago’s potable water supply (60 per cent) comes from surface water sources such as rivers and streams, and total water demand is expected to almost double between 1997 and 2025.

With climate change predictions indicating that Trinidad and Tobago will become hotter and drier, in 2010, the estimated water availability for the country was 1477 m3 per year, which is a decrease of 1000 m3 per year from 1998.

Deforestation for housing, agriculture, quarrying and road-building has also increased the incidence of siltation of rivers and severe flooding.

“The challenge of water in Trinidad and Tobago is one of both quality and quantity,” Gonzales said.

“Our vital water supply is being threatened by industrial, agricultural and residential activities. Indiscriminate discharge of industrial waste into waterways, over-pumping of groundwater sources and pollution of rivers by domestic and commercial waste are adversely affecting the sustainability of our water resources.

“There is therefore an urgent need for a more coordinated approach to protecting and managing our most critical and finite resource – water,” she added.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran said there is an urgent need to protect human dignity and alleviate the sufferings of people because of climate change.

“We know that the urgency is now. Business as usual is not enough. We are not on track to meet our agreed 2.0 or 1.5 degree Celsius objective for limiting the increase in average global temperatures, so urgent and ambitious actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere is absolutely necessary,” he told IPS.

Dookeran added that “there is no excuse not to act” since economically viable and technologically feasible options already exist to significantly enhance efforts to address climate change.

“Even with a less than two degrees increase in average global temperatures above pre-industrial levels, small island states like Trinidad and Tobago are already experiencing more frequent and more intense weather events as a result of climate change,” Dookeran said.

The foreign affairs minister said residents can look forward to even more mitigation measures that will take place in the first quarter of this year with respect to the intended nationally determined contributions for mitigation.

“Notwithstanding our minor contribution to this global problem we are taking a proactive approach, guided by the recognition of our vulnerability and the tremendous responsibility to safeguard the future of our people,” he said.

“Trinidad and Tobago has made important inroads in dealing with the problem as we attempt to ensure that climate change is central to our development. As we prepare our economy for the transition to low carbon development and as we commit ourselves to carbon neutrality, the government of Trinidad and Tobago is working assiduously towards expanding the use of renewable energy in the national energy mix,” he added.

Credit: Inter Press Service News Agency

Caribbean seeks to take full advantage of new U.N. climate fund

Dr Kenrick Leslie, CBE; Credit: Earl Green

Dr Kenrick Leslie, CBE; Credit: Earl Green

The South Korea-based Green Climate Fund (GCF) is open for business, and Caribbean countries are hoping that it will prove to be much more beneficial than other global initiatives established to deal with the impact of climate change.

“Despite our region’s well-known, high vulnerability and exposure to climate change, Caribbean countries have not accessed or mobilised international climate finance at levels commensurate with our needs,” said Dr. Warren Smith, the president of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

The CDB, which ended its annual board of governors meeting here on Thursday, May 29, had the opportunity for a first-hand dialogue on the operations on the GCF, through its executive director, Hela Cheikhrouhou, who delivered the 15th annual William Demas Memorial lecture.

But even as she addressed the topic “The Green Climate Fund; Great Expectations,” Smith reminded his audience that on a daily basis the Caribbean was becoming more aware of the severe threat posed by climate change.

“Seven Caribbean countries…are among the top 10 countries, which, relative to their GDP, suffered the highest average economic losses from climate-related disasters during the period 1993-2012.

“It is estimated that annual losses could be between five and 30 percent of GDP within the next few decades,” he added.

According to a Tufts University report, published after the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study and comparing an optimistic rapid stabilisation case with a pessimistic business-as-usual case, the cost of inaction in the Caribbean will have dramatic consequences in three key categories. Namely hurricane damages, loss of tourism revenue and infrastructure damage due to sea-level rise.

The costs of inaction would amount to 22 percent of GDP for the Caribbean as a whole by 2100 and would reach an astonishing 75 percent or more of GDP by 2100 in Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Turks and Caicos.

“In the Caribbean, the concern of Small Island Developing States is all too familiar – the devastating effects of hurricanes have been witnessed by many. Although Caribbean nations have contributed little to the release of the greenhouse gases that drive climate change, they will pay a heavy price for global inaction in reducing emissions,” Cheikhrouhou warned.

Executive director of the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Dr. Kenrick Leslie told IPS that regional countries were now putting their project proposals together to make sure they could take full advantage of the GCF.

“The CARICOM [Caribbean Community] heads of government, for instance have asked the centre to help in putting together what they consider bankable projects and we are in the process of going to each member state to ensure that we have projects that as soon as the GCF comes on line we would be among the first to be able to present these projects for consideration.”

Leslie said that in the past, Caribbean countries had been faced with various obstacles in order to access funds from the various global initiatives to deal with climate change.

“For instance if we mention the Clean Development Mechanism [CDM], the cost was prohibitive because our programmes were so small that the monies you would need upfront to do it were not attractive to the investors.”

He said the Caribbean also suffered a similar fate from the Adaptation Fund, noting “we have moved to another level where they said we will have greater access, but again the process was much more difficult than we had anticipated.”

The GCF was agreed at the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Cancun, Mexico.  Its purpose is to make a significant contribution to the global efforts to limit warming to 2°C by providing financial support to developing countries to help limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. There are hopes that the fund could top 100 billion dollars per annum by 2020.

“Our vision is to devise new paradigms for climate finance, maximise the impact of public finance in a creative way, and attract new sources of public and private finance to catalyse investment in adaptation and mitigation projects in the developing world,” the Tunisian-born Cheikhrouhou told IPS.

She said that by catalysing public and private funding at the international, regional, and national levels through dedicated programming in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and as a driver of climate resilient development, the GCF is poised to play a relevant and timely role in climate action globally.

Cheikhrohou said that it would be most advisable if Caribbean countries “can think of programmatic approaches to submit proposals that are aggregating a series of projects or a project in a series of countries.”

She said that by adopting such a strategy, it would allow regional countries “to reach the scale that would simplify the transaction costs for each sub activity for the country” and that that she believes the GCF has “built on the lessons learnt from the other mechanisms and institutions in formulating our approach.

“To some extent there is embedded in the way of doing work this idea of following the lead of the countries making sure they are the ones to come forward with their strategic priorities and making sure we have the tools to accompany them through the cycle of activities, projects or programmes starting with the preparatory support for the development of projects,” she told IPS.

Selwin Hart, the climate change finance advisor with the CDB, said the GCF provides an important opportunity for regional countries to not only adapt to climate change but also to mitigate its effects. He is also convinced that it would assist the Caribbean move towards renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“The cost of energy in the Caribbean is the highest in the world. This represents a serious strike on competitiveness, economic growth and job creation and the GCF presents a once in a lifetime opportunity for countries to have a stable source to financing to address the vulnerabilities both as it relates to importing fossil fuels as well as the impacts of climate change,” he said.

Credit: Thomas Reuters Foundation; CMC/pr/ir/2014

Overview: The IPCC AR5 Report- Working Group II

Credit: CGIAR

Credit: CGIAR

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just published its latest Working Group II report detailing impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability associated with climate change. The highly anticipated report paints a bleak picture with respect to the consequences of continued climate change. The latest IPCC report predicts future food and water supply insecurities, and calls for both mitigation and adaptation.

“The latest IPCC Assessment Report should serve as a further wakeup call to our region,” ~5Cs

Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra K. Pachauri says he hopes the report on the rising threat of climate change will “jolt people into action”. The report found the strongest evidence of climate change in the thawing permafrost in the Arctic and in the destruction of coral reefs. It found many freshwater and marine species had shifted their geographical range due to climate change. But the report said climate change was growing more evident in human systems as well, where it posed a series of risks. Climate change was already beginning to affect crop yields, especially for wheat and maize, and the report says that yields could decline sharply towards the middle of the century.

The scientists found climate change was a driver of violent conflicts and migration, and was exacerbating inequality, making it harder for people to claw their way out of poverty. Climate change was also a factor in the rise of mega-disasters. The report said climate change was driving recent heatwaves and droughts, and was a risk factor for wildfires.

 The latest IPCC report: FIVE Key Points

1. Food threat

Climate change is already taking a sizeable chunk out of global food supply and it is going to get worse. Increases in crop yields – which are needed to sustain a growing population – have slowed over the last 40 years. Some studies now point to dramatic declines in some crops over the next 50 years – especially wheat, and to a lesser extent corn. Rice so far is unaffected. The shortages, and the threat of food price spikes, could lead to unrest.

2. Human security

Climate change poses a threat to human security, and could lead to increased migration. Potential shortages of food and water, because of climate change, could be drivers of future conflicts. These won't necessarily be wars between states, but conflicts between farmers and ranchers, or between cities and agriculture industry which wants water for food. On the flip side, those conflicts are going to get in the way of government's efforts to protect people from future climate change.

3. Inequality

Some are more vulnerable than others. Poor people in poor countries – and even the poor in rich countries – are going to bear an unfair burden of climate change, the report said. Climate change is going to exacerbate existing inequalities, and it is going to make it harder for people to claw their way out of poverty.

4. No-one is safe

As temperatures rise beyond 2 degrees to 4 degrees – our current trajectory – there are limits to how far society can adapt to climate change. The only way out is to cut emissions now – and buy some time by slowing warming – and at the same time make plans for sea walls, relocations, and other measures that can keep people out of harms' way.

5. Hard but not hopeless.

The report notes that research on the effects of climate change has doubled since the last report in 2007 – and so has understanding about what needs to done to insulate people from more severe consequences.

 As the world digests the sobering findings of the latest installment of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a reminder of what the panel is designed to do: To inform policy decisions, including the negotiations towards the UN global climate change agreement in Paris in 2015. See this and other infographics at http://bit.ly/1ggttKT

Credit: UNFCCC

Credit: UNFCCC

Credit: The UK Guardian and The IPCC


5Cs Welcomes DFID Caribbean Evaluation Team

Exec Team and DFID Caribbean Team

(L-R) Lennox Johnson, Finance Administrator; Dr Ulric Trotz, Deputy Director; Dr Mark Bynoe, Sr Resource Economist; Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer; Rosanne Kadis, Programme Officer, DFID Caribbean; Dr Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director; Alex Harvey, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team Leader, DFID Caribbean; Sharon Lindo, International and Regional Cooperation Officer; Keith Nichols, Sr Programme Development Specialist; and Clay Hope, Project Officer

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre welcomed Caribbean representatives from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK-DFID) to its offices yesterday. The team, which is conducting an annual project evaluation, includes Alex Harvey, climate change and disaster risk reduction team leader, and Rosanne Kadir, programme officer.

The UK-DFID is providing up to £4.9 million from the International Climate Fund, between October 2011 and March 2015, to support a programme of priority actions in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change Implementation Plan (IP). This support strengthens the Centre’s ability to support national level adaptation, as well as Caribbean participation in global negotiations. It will also help some of the most vulnerable communities to withstand the impacts of climate change and variability

DFID Visit

CCCCC staff with UK DFID Caribbean representatives Rosanne Kadir and Alex Harvey

“Pooling renewable energy projects across the Caribbean might have catalytic effect on investment” ~Dr. Ulric Trotz

(L-R) Dr. Trotz, Deputy Director, CCCCC; Sylvester Clauzel, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Saint Lucia;  Keith Nichols, Project Development Specialist, CCCCC; Dr. Bynoe, Sr. Environmental  & Resource Economist, CCCCC;  Dr. Fletcher, Minister of the Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Saint Lucia; and Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Philip J. Pierre

(L-R) Dr. Trotz, Deputy Director, CCCCC; Sylvester Clauzel, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Saint Lucia; Keith Nichols, Project Development Specialist, CCCCC; Dr. Bynoe, Sr. Environmental & Resource Economist, CCCCC; Dr. Fletcher, Minister of the Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Saint Lucia; and Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Philip J. Pierre

Extreme weather events (often associated with climate change) have caused significant damage to the region. For example, Hurricane Ivan in Grenada wiped out approximately 200 percent of her GDP in 2004. Similarly, a one in 100-year flood in Guyana in 2005 wiped out more than 60 percent of that country’s GDP in that year, moving it from a positive growth position to a negative real growth ~ Dr. Ulric Trotz, deputy director and science adviser of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre

Caribbean governments have begun taking a more proactive approach to promoting the development of renewable energy (RE), establishing an Energy Unit at the CARICOM Secretariat which works in conjunction with the Centre.

Dr. Trotz said promoting renewable energy is important:

By diverting costs away from the importation of fossil fuels, [Caribbean] countries will have additional resources from the savings to put towards building resilience to the impacts of Climate Change and Climate Vulnerability. It is not just the conversion to renewable energy but energy efficiency [that the region is focusing on]. [So] Pooling RE projects across the region might have a catalytic effect of encouraging investment as this may significantly lower transaction costs and make investment more attractive.

The region has also sought the assistance of European Union partners, and launched the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme with the major objective of strengthening the ability of Caribbean countries to mobilise investors to make the shift from conventional energy investment to renewable energy investment.

According to Thomas Scheutzlich, principal advisor of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Program (CREDP) since 2003, lack of an enabling legal policy framework and lack of well-defined bankable project proposals have been major barriers to the development of RE projects in the Caribbean region.

Scheutzlich has overall responsibility for implementation of the CREDP programme on behalf of the German consultancy company Projekt-Consult GmbH, which is charged by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) with the implementation of CREDP. Germany is responsible for 80 percent of CREDP’s funding.

Read more via IPS News Net.


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