FRAMEWORK FOR NATURE CONSERVATION AND PROTECTED AREAS 2021-2025 FEEDBACK

Thank you for taking the time to give feedback on the draft Pacific Islands Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas 2021-2025. To complete this form you will need to be on a desktop or laptop.

This feedback form primarily focuses on the six Strategic Objectives and the 21 Action Tracks of the new Framework, although we also welcome general feedback on the Framework as a whole.  The full draft text, including details of prior consultation rounds throughout 2020, can be viewed here.

Following the Conference, the draft Framework will be updated to reflect feedback received in this survey, as well as the key messages emerging in the Conference sessions for each Action Track.  The text will be finalised in early 2021.

All responses will be treated confidentially and no organisation or individual contributing to this survey will be identified in any publication or presentation.

About the Strategic Objectives

The Strategic Objectives are broad priorities for nature conservation action in the Pacific.  Work done within the areas of the Strategic Objectives, in a manner reflecting the Principles for Conservation Implementation, will contribute to progress towards the 30-year Vision and Goals of the Framework.

The purpose of the Strategic Objectives is to provide a coordinated strategic approach to conservation across jurisdictions in the Pacific region.  Decisions around national goals, targets and indicators for their implementation are the responsibility of Pacific governments, supported by their partners.

Each Strategic Objective is accompanied by Action Tracks, representing the priority areas for implementation; summaries of Key Conservation Challenges for each Action Track; and Overviews of Best Practice for work undertaken within each Action Track.  This best practice guidance applies the Principles for Conservation Implementation to the achievement of the Strategic Objectives.

Personal details

Strategic Objective 1
Empower our people to take action for nature conservation, based on understanding of its importance for our cultures, economies, and communities.
Priority action tracks
Key challenges
Overview of best practice
Our people at the centre of conservation action
  • Actively uphold the rights of Pacific communities to make and implement informed decisions about the sustainable use of their environments, as full participants of conservation initiatives from design to implementation.  This includes the right to utilise traditional, indigenous, and local knowledge, and the right to access other forms of knowledge, data, or information.

  • Invest in long-lasting engagement with communities on an equal and mutually beneficial basis, rather than short term relationships based around project cycles.

  • Ensure that all place-based conservation programmes build the knowledge and capacity of Pacific communities, especially women, youth, and people living with disabilities, to design and undertake such programmes themselves.

  • Ensure that conservation initiatives build the capacity of organisations and governments to learn from and engage with Pacific communities.

  • Ensure that monetary, livelihood, or other benefits flow directly to communities through the comprehensive implementation of access and benefit-sharing policies.

  • Lack of recognized and enforced community rights over territories and resources.

  • Insufficient capacity to engage and negotiate positive outcomes in decision making about environmental management, even when community rights do exist.

  • Community exclusion from, or under-representation in, decision making processes.

Behaviour change for nature conservation
  • Ensure that Pacific peoples are allowed and supported to determine how they value biodiversity and natural ecosystems, based on wellbeing, identity, connection to place, and traditional, indigenous, and local knowledge.

  • Ensure that organisations and governments share environmental information with communities, in ways that respect local values and are relevant to livelihood decisions. Organisations must respect locally owned or community-derived information, and utilise this appropriately through mutual agreement and dialogue.

  • Awareness-raising initiatives should share relevant tools that have been successful in other communities.  Members of Pacific communities are often the best people to share their information and experiences with other communities.

  • Education-for-conservation and art-for-conservation initiatives must value and celebrate Pacific cultural expressions by cultivating partnerships with our elders, educators, artists, athletes and community role models, as well as with our youth, women’s, faith-based and cultural organisations.

  • Challenge in improving collective Pacific capacity to share successful initiatives in appropriate formats and with all relevant stakeholders.

  • Lack of monitoring and evaluation on the effectiveness of awareness campaigns and other behaviour change interventions.

  • People and interests that benefit from environmentally degrading activities are often more powerful than those that are harmed, and lack incentive for voluntary behaviour change.

Please give any feedback relevant to Strategic Objective 1 and its constituent Action Tracks, including the Key Challenges and Overviews of Best Practice:

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2
Integrate environmental and cultural considerations into the goals, processes, and trajectories of economic development in the Pacific.
Priority action tracks
Key challenges
Overview of best practice
Sustainable and resilient ocean economies
  • Strengthen environmental and cultural impact assessments, including assessment quality, compliance monitoring, enforcement capacity, and integration into planning processes.

  • Strengthen monitoring and enforcement of all marine and maritime industrial and commercial activities.

  • Develop, strengthen, implement and enforce national ocean policies that reflect regional and international agreements on ocean governance and conservation, and uphold the interests of communities.

  • Strengthen existing legal frameworks and mainstream environmental considerations across national legislation.

  • Ensure that all ocean-based economic development and conservation initiatives have robust processes for seeking free, prior and informed consent from communities and uphold their interests and values.

  • Provide guidance to redirect finance to secure the protection, restoration and resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems, as well as the communities dependent on them.

[In development]

Sustainable and resilient island economies
  • Strengthen environmental and cultural impact assessments, including assessment quality, compliance monitoring, enforcement capacity, and integration into planning processes.

  • Ensure that all island-based economic development and conservation initiatives have robust processes for seeking free, prior and informed consent from communities and uphold their interests and values.

  • Facilitate opportunities for local communities to participate actively in island based sustainable economic activities ensuring fair and just economic returns.

  • Support businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, to establish resilient practices, including building transparent and sustainable supply chains that foster community wellbeing.

  • Strengthen existing legal frameworks and mainstream environmental considerations across national legislation.

[In development]

Nature-based solutions to sustain our social-ecological systems
  • Ensure that all nature-based solutions are designed and implemented with demonstrable benefits for human and ecological wellbeing, where possible at multiple scales.

  • Utilise scenario-planning tools that offer alternative and sustainable economic pathways adapted to local, national and regional contexts.

  • Promote and strengthen tools that provide environmental and social-cultural safeguards for economic projects, such as impact assessments and spatial planning.

  • Design nature-based solutions to address community-level challenges as identified by resource users, with environmental and social-cultural co-benefits documented and communicated.

[In development]

Environmentally and culturally sensitive tourism
  • Encourage tourism operators to proactively improve their efficiency of resource use and disposal, including best practices related to electricity, water, and waste.  Strengthen regulation, monitoring and enforcement related to these practices.

  • Mainstream environmental and cultural considerations as part of national and regional tourism development planning, and prioritise forms of tourism that enhance environmental and social-cultural wellbeing.

  • Engage the tourism industry and relevant partners to participate in national or regional initiatives reduce environmental threats, particularly those directly related to tourism practices.

  • Engage the tourism sector as an economic contributor to efforts to preserve the natural heritage that the industry relies upon.

  • Explore and encourage opportunities for local communities to establish small-scale sustainable tourism activities.

[In development]

Please give any feedback relevant to Strategic Objective 2 and its constituent Action Tracks, including the Key Challenges and Overviews of Best Practice:

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3
Identify, conserve, sustainably manage and restore ecosystems, habitats, and priority natural and cultural sites.
Priority action tracks
Key challenges
Overview of best practice
Effective marine protected areas
  • Uphold the customary rights of communities to their locally managed marine areas and fisheries.  When effectively managed and monitored, these should be included in registers of natural and cultural protected areas.  Customary rights must not be eroded through protected areas or spatial planning processes.

  • Ensure that all Pacific communities have support to establish locally managed or conserved marine areas if they wish to do so, including support to undertake or participate in appropriate marine spatial planning processes.  This might include investing in capacity building networks and learning hubs to advance effective and lasting implementation.

  • Measure the spatial extent, habitat type, species presence/abundance, and health of protected areas over time, including through traditional, indigenous and local knowledge.  Community members should be supported to take part in or lead monitoring of protected areas, as appropriate.

  • Ensure that sufficient long-term resourcing is available for assessment, monitoring, enforcement, and other management actions in MPAs.  This includes resourcing for government agencies, sustainable financing mechanisms to support the long-term role of local communities. 

  • Ensure that identification and management planning of priority sites takes account of their changing role in seascape-level ecological functioning and connectivity, including across political jurisdictions and on the high seas.

  • High seas / Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ).

  • Assessment, monitoring, and enforcement of MPAs at all scales.

  • Integrating seabed habitats into networks of MPAs.

  • Ensuring that MPAs are adequately designed and sited to achieve social, cultural, economic and ecological objectives.

  • Increasing impacts of climate change, loss and degradation of habitats, and other local and global environmental pressures.

Marine ecological integrity
  • Assess, map, and monitor threatened or significant ecosystems and habitats, such as coral reefs, seagrass beds and other Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) or Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).

  • Establish and implement comprehensive, inclusive and equitable strategic environmental assessment and marine spatial planning processes at national, sub-national and community levels.  These should plan to actively and adaptively manage marine ecosystems for multiple types of benefits, including biodiversity, food security, shoreline protection, and social and cultural values and functions.

  • Establish targeted and enforced protections, regulations, or other conservation measures in collaboration with local communities.  These should address multiple anthropogenic pressures in order to recover ecological resilience, integrity and functioning.

  • Partner for the restoration of coastal ecosystems, ensuring all partners understand and share the prioritisation of indigenous species.

  • Promote sustainable traditional ocean management, and defend the right of communities to exercise these practices.  Ensure fair and equitable economic returns to communities for their marine products.

  • Strengthen regional capacity to deliver effective and integrated ocean governance, including appropriate conservation measures for the high seas.

  • Increasing impacts of climate change, loss and degradation of habitats, and other local and global environmental pressures.

  • Increasing Pacific Island populations and resource use putting pressure on coastal marine ecosystems.

  • Limited scientific knowledge of Pacific marine habitats and ecosystems.

  • Few long-term monitoring programs or easily accessible databases.

Effective terrestrial protected areas
  • Uphold the customary rights of communities to their locally managed terrestrial areas, including agrobiodiversity systems.  When effectively managed and monitored, these should be included in registers of natural and cultural protected areas.  Customary rights must not be eroded through protected areas or spatial planning processes.

  • Ensure that all Pacific communities have support to establish locally managed or conserved terrestrial areas if they wish to do so, including support to undertake or participate in appropriate spatial planning processes.  This might include investing in capacity building networks and learning hubs to advance effective and lasting implementation.

  • Measure the spatial extent, habitat type, species presence/abundance, and health of protected areas over time, including through traditional, indigenous and local knowledge.  Community members should be supported to take part in or lead monitoring of protected areas, as appropriate.

  • Ensure that sufficient long-term resourcing is available for assessment, monitoring, enforcement, and other management actions in protected areas.  This includes resourcing for government agencies, and sustainable financing mechanisms to support the role of local communities.

  • Ensure that identification and management planning of priority sites takes account of their changing role in landscape-level ecological functioning and connectivity, and the values and interests of communities.

  • Challenges in the enforcement and monitoring of protected areas, and utilisation of evaluation protocols such as Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME).

  • Impacts of climate change, habitat degradation or loss, and invasive species.

  • Protected areas do not necessarily align to areas important for biological or habitat diversity.

Terrestrial ecological integrity 
  • Assess, map, and monitor threatened or significant ecosystems and habitats, such as native forests, in partnership with communities.

  • Establish and implement comprehensive, inclusive and equitable spatial planning processes at national, sub-national (island or catchment), and community levels, including through drawing on traditional knowledge as appropriate.  These should plan to actively and adaptively manage terrestrial ecosystems for multiple types of benefits, including biodiversity, food security, soil and water health, carbon capture, and social-cultural values and functions.

  • Establish targeted and enforced protections, regulations, or other conservation measures in collaboration with local communities.  These should address multiple anthropogenic pressures to recover ecological resilience, integrity and functioning.

  • Partner for the restoration of native forests, ensuring all partners understand and share the prioritisation of indigenous species.

  • Promote sustainable traditional land management, forest use and farming practices, and defend the right of communities to exercise these practices.  Ensure fair and equitable economic returns to communities for their forest and agricultural products.

  • Ensure that sustainable financing mechanisms are established to support place-based conservation and management, especially to support the role of landowners and local communities.

  • Direct threats to forests and their environmental and cultural values from logging, invasive species, agriculture, fires, and mining.

  • Conversion of diverse agroecological systems into monocultural cropping spaces.

Please give any feedback relevant to Strategic Objective 3 and its constituent Action Tracks, including the Key Challenges and Overviews of Best Practice:

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 4
Protect and recover threatened species and preserve genetic diversity, focusing on those of particular ecological, cultural and economic significance.
Priority action tracks
Key challenges
Overview of best practice
Reducing threats to threatened and migratory marine species
  • Ensure that species-specific conservation and recovery plans are developed, resourced, and implemented in partnership with Pacific communities, and that these promote links between threatened marine species and cultural heritage.

  • Strengthen systems and build capacity for monitoring threatened marine and migratory species, including through close partnerships with communities where possible, and for sharing data between national and regional agencies and organisations.

  • Support Pacific Island scientists and knowledge keepers, including through training in taxonomy and biodiversity assessments, and ensure transmission of knowledge by developing and maintaining positions in these areas of expertise. Likewise, support non-Pacific Island scientists to understand the role of indigenous taxonomies in conservation monitoring.

  • Establish relevant social, cultural, and economic incentives for reducing direct overexploitation and trade of threatened marine species, in partnership with community leaders and stakeholders.

  • Ensure long-term financing to monitor and recover threatened and migratory marine species.

  • Increase regional cooperation to reduce threats and increase protection and enforcement across sub-national and national boundaries, reflecting the natural ranges of threatened migratory species.

  • Declining numbers of keystone species, and wider ecological impacts in the Pacific.

  • Migratory marine species are threatened by unsustainable fishing practices, illegal wildlife trade, unsustainable harvest, pollution and climate change.

  • Lack of data on the status, connectivity, and threats to IUCN Red List marine species in the Pacific.

Reducing threats to threatened and migratory terrestrial species
  • Ensure that species-specific conservation and recovery plans are developed, resourced, and implemented in partnership with Pacific communities, and that these promote links between threatened terrestrial species and cultural heritage.

  • Strengthen systems and build capacity for monitoring threatened terrestrial and migratory species, and for sharing data between national and regional agencies and organisations.

  • Support Pacific Island scientists and knowledge keepers, including through training in taxonomy and biodiversity assessments, and ensure transmission of knowledge by developing and maintaining positions in these areas of expertise.  Likewise, support non-Pacific Island scientists to understand the role of indigenous taxonomies in conservation monitoring.

  • Establish relevant social, cultural, and economic incentives for reducing direct overexploitation and trade of threatened terrestrial species, in partnership with community leaders and stakeholders.

  • Ensure long-term financing to monitor and recover threatened and migratory terrestrial species.

  • Partner for management of priority species, including essential partnerships between environmental managers and biosecurity.

  • Continued declines in most currently threatened Pacific species.

  • Invasive species and climate change are the most commonly identified threats.

  • Measures of the status of and threats to IUCN Red List Species in the Pacific islands are limited by a lack of research and available data, often due to high expense and technical expertise required for collecting data.

Please give any feedback relevant to Strategic Objective 4 and its constituent Action Tracks, including the Key Challenges and Overviews of Best Practice:

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 5
Manage and reduce threats to Pacific environments and drivers of biodiversity loss.
Priority action tracks
Key challenges
Overview of best practice
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 6
Manage and reduce threats to Pacific environments and drivers of biodiversity loss.
Priority action tracks
Key challenges
Overview of best practice

Please give any feedback relevant to Strategic Objective 6 and its constituent Action Tracks, including the Key Challenges and Overviews of Best Practice:

Please give any additional feedback you have about other parts of the draft Framework:

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Ending unsustainable fishing 
  • Supporting local and community-based fisheries management, especially practices based on traditional, indigenous and local knowledge.

  • Actively manage and reduce land-based impacts on coastal fisheries, such as those from logging and mining activities.  These are often not within the scope of communities to address and require coordinated action across multiple government agencies and other partners.

  • Continue to strengthen national and regional monitoring, control and surveillance systems and capacity, including in collaboration with local communities where applicable.

  • Strengthen catch monitoring, including through increased observer coverage, electronic and remote monitoring, and dockside compliance inspections.

  • Strengthen monitoring and regulation of transhipment activity, including utilising analytical identification and traceability techniques and enforcing stronger sanctions.

  • Address inshore IUU fishing in partnership with coastal communities, ensuring that programmes emphasise links to human rights, health, cultural and heritage values, and livelihoods.

  • Large size of Pacific EEZs and limited capacity for enforcement.

  • Unintentional harm to non-target species (bycatch).

  • Impacts of habitat loss, invasive species, and pollution on coastal fish stocks.

  • Direct and indirect effects of climate change and ocean acidification on coastal and pelagic fisheries.

  • Finding sustainable alternatives to depleted stocks, especially reef fishes, to allow for recovery.

Ecosystem-based approaches to climate change, pandemic and disaster response
  • Create and utilise learning exchanges and platforms for action to build regional capacity within, and linkages between, communities and programmes working on nature conservation, human health, and disaster and climate resilience.

  • Implement relevant agreements for climate change and disaster risk management, such as the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific, with priority given to ecosystem-based approaches and solutions.

  • Design synergistic linkages between programmes and projects to maximise the multiple benefits of ecosystem-based approaches for nature conservation, climate and disaster resilience, and human health.

  • Base pandemic and disaster preparedness and recovery planning on systems thinking that incorporates interactions between ecological, human, and animal health, within natural boundaries such as watersheds.

  • Lack of human and financial resources to support ecosystem-based approaches.

  • National legislation and planning, including that related to ecosystem-based approaches, sometimes does not sufficiently align with local livelihoods and customary law.

  • Poor-quality information about baseline conditions.

  • Economies heavily dependent on physical imports.

Deep-sea mining
  • Establish and enforce requirements for rigorous and independent environmental and cultural impact assessments, and Strategic Environmental Assessments, of all elements of proposed industrial activities impacting deep-sea or seabed environments.

  • Uphold the rights of Pacific communities and civil society organisations to meaningfully participate in decisions about prospecting or mining in deep-sea environments, and ensure that these activities include robust processes for seeking free, prior and informed consent from communities.

  • Take a precautionary approach to deep-sea mining and prospecting activity, including ensuring that the environmental, social and economic risks are comprehensively understood, and not proceeding until it can be clearly demonstrated that impacts can be managed to ensure the effective protection of ocean ecosystems.

  • Information available on potential or known impacts of deep-sea mining or prospecting is limited.

  • Vast areas of the deep sea and seabed have not been explored and the biodiversity of these ecosystems is yet to be understood.

  • There is a lack of awareness of the potential impacts of deep-sea mining among decision makers and other stakeholders including communities.

Battling invasive species
  • Measure and monitor the presence and impacts of invasive species, with attention to filling knowledge gaps on social, cultural and economic impacts and the results of management actions.

  • Plan to prevent movement of invasive species into and among islands, domestically and regionally.

  • Enforce protection of priority sites and species through partnerships with biosecurity, land-use planning, and communities, drawing on traditional, indigenous, and local knowledge relating to priority sites and species.

  • Restore native species and habitats, with long-term monitoring of cascading impacts and benefits.

  • Partner for biosecurity, knowledge sharing of best practices, and regional resourcing of invasive species management and native habitat restoration.

  • Pacific Islands are amenable to a wide range of potentially invasive species, requiring constant vigilance, partnerships with host and destination countries, and resourcing of biosecurity measures.

  • Invasion risks are increasing with increased travel and movement of goods.

  • Environmental pressures reduce the capacity of native species to compete with invasive species.

Preventing plastics pollution
  • Implement the Cleaner Pacific 2025 strategy and Pacific Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter.

  • Identify sources and trends of plastic waste using waste audits, citizen science, and landfill management tools such as weigh bridges.

  • Measure spending on plastic waste, including landfill management, cost of clean-ups, and habitat rehabilitation, and cost-savings due to plastic diversion from landfills.

  • Plan spending and actions for managing marine litter and its impacts, including preparedness such as disaster risk reduction and biosecurity.

  • Partner for reduced plastic pollution and more effective enforcement, across community organisations, development partners, commercial entities and government agencies.

  • Adopt policy and law frameworks prioritising prevention over waste management, with specific references to plastic pollution elimination within relevant policy frameworks.

  • Adopt importation and trade restrictions on problematic plastics and polymers, including single-use bioplastics.

  • Promote prevention, return, recycling, and traditional and innovative alternatives to plastic, with the engagement of local communities and businesses.  Ensure that traditional knowledge holders and craftspeople are fairly compensated and acknowledged through FPIC processes. 

  • Commit to engaging in a circular plastics economy and engage with proponents driving upstream changes at international, regional, national and local levels.

  • Advocate internationally for the elimination of plastic pollution, especially by Pacific Rim countries, and for a global treaty on plastic pollution.

  • High proportions of plastic in waste streams, as marine litter, and as microplastics present throughout Pacific marine ecosystems.

  • The transboundary nature of marine plastic pollution. Pacific ecosystems will continue to receive plastic waste independent of production rates, due to marine plastics circulating into the Pacific region, and plastics being regularly lost from landfills into the ocean.

  • A waste burden from fishing exists with the illegal dumping of non-biodegradable wastes at sea, in addition to abandoned, lost, or derelict fishing gear.

  • High costs hinder Pacific recycling either in-country or for transporting off-shore.

Preventing terrestrial, freshwater and marine pollution (non-plastic)
  • Development or expansion of routine monitoring and reporting, for example for waste, chemicals and pollution (WCP) management activities and the receiving environment.

  • Development or finalisation of national WCP strategies and action plans aligned with the Cleaner Pacific 2025 strategy.

  • Development and implementation of practical and enforceable WCP legislation.

  • implement integrated, cost-effective, technically appropriate and culturally acceptable practices and technologies that minimise and manage WCP from various sources.

  • Management of hazardous waste, including development of inventories.

  • Challenges ensuring effective enforcement of existing regulations.

Science and traditional knowledge for target-setting and monitoring
  • Support the development of domestic and community-level monitoring capacity, including monitoring based on cultural indicators and traditional, indigenous and local knowledge.  Where appropriate this data should feed into national and regional knowledge management systems.

  • Safeguard the rights of Pacific communities to make informed decisions about when and how target-setting and monitoring will occur.  Uphold indigenous sovereignty over locally derived environmental and cultural information.

  • Utilise centralised data services to assist with monitoring and evaluation of conservation and management activities and to provide accessible data for environmental management.

  • Collaborate through regional learning for information collection and analysis, reporting, and open and timely sharing of environmental information.

  • Plan for sustained environmental reporting in changing conditions, including preparedness and disaster risk management.

  • Capacity to collect, analyse, interpret and share data for diverse audiences and decision making.

  • Focusing on relevant regional indicators that can be used to inform real time decision making for adaptive management.

Governance that works for nature conservation
  • Strengthen existing national and regional legal frameworks, and give due weight to the enforcement of environmental considerations across ministries and regional agencies.  Where appropriate, strengthen the influence of environmental ministries in government decision making.

  • Facilitate transparency and accountability by establishing systems for free access to information on decision making, and by resourcing independent regulatory bodies where appropriate.

  • Ensure that conservation partnerships enhance the implementation of local, regional, and international laws and agreements as well as new and existing programme linkages.

  • Build accountable, transparent and courageous political leadership for addressing ultimate and proximate threats to biodiversity: both domestically, within our region, and as a strong Blue Pacific voice in global negotiations.

  • Lack of accountability and transparency

  • Jurisdiction issues for transboundary hazards or species that rely on both land and sea habitats.

Sustainable financing for nature conservation
  • Embrace a regional, collective, Blue Pacific approach to conservation partnerships and financing.

  • Establish and enforce licence fees for environmentally impactful activities and fines for breaches, to be invested in resource management, regulation and enforcement.

  • Emphasise the co-benefits of nature conservation initiatives to access novel areas of financing; for instance, co-benefits for areas such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, economic and community development, human health, and human rights.

  • Encourage local conservation initiatives to be self-sustaining where possible.

  • Encourage the redirection of public and private sector finance to support the delivery of equitable and sustainable conservation.

  • Competing interests within national budget allocations.

  • Sometimes limited opportunities to directly generate sustainable income for conservation initiatives.

Please give any feedback relevant to Strategic Objective 5 and its constituent Action Tracks, including the Key Challenges and Overviews of Best Practice:

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