Archive for the Western Visayas Category

Learn the lesson from Estancia, Iloilo Oil Spill

Posted in Clean Blue Asia, Good Governance, Sustainable Development, Travel, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , on December 14, 2013 by Sustainability Guru

Foreword. Estancia, Iloilo suffered not only devastation on a massive scale but also man-made disaster of oil spill from the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. This is a re-post from our SSTDI Guest Resource Person, Sustainable Lifestyle Designer PJ Aranador’s blog about his hometown Estancia and the destruction brought by the super typhoon. The tourism and hospitality industry should learn the lesson of Estancia, Iloilo oil spill: NO to bunker fuel, YES to clean energy! Read our SSTDI blog post on ways hotels and tourism industry can use renewable energy.   

Don’t miss

Register now for the next TCI-CB Series IV-Green Leaders Conference Workshop:Climate Proofing for Sustainability & Resilience‘ in Coron, Palawan. March 13-14, 2014. Email/contact us for details.

 

 

Estancia, Iloilo: Our beautiful town spilled by oil and shattered it into a night mare

Estancia Iloilo is home to NAPOCOR power barge to supply the electricity of Northern Iloilo. This barge is just a few meters away from the coastline of the town near its old commercial port. It carries 2 million liters of fossil oil. Yolanda’s wrath was so strong it leaked 2,000 litters of dangerous fossil oil to the area. About 150,000 liters were washed on the shoreline while 50 liters afloat the water. 1It may still leak another 1.2  million liters of  oil if something goes wrong, let alone another super tyhoon come soon. The barge was slammed right into Barangay Botongon killing people and forced 5,000 people to evacuate.
The town folks are in agony as the cleaning has been snail pace. I asked the contractor representative how long it will take to totally clean it, he said, it depends. OMG, it depends on what?  Their own sweet little time.?
Let these pictures tell the sufferings of Estancia—now somehow lost and forgotten. The chemical gaseous stink is so strong, with half and hour visit I had on the site, two days after until now I am still very sick. I have a splitting headache and my eyes are teary.  I can imagine the survivors whose respiratory systems and skin may already have been damaged.
We need help to rebuild our coastline, much more, help our folks go back to their homes.
 

Contractor representative touring us at the site of the spill.

The extent of oil spill along the coastline.

The oil spill evacuation center called the Tent City where close to 5,000 locals are relocated while the area is not yet cleaned up for human safety.

Learn the lesson from Estancia, Iloilo Oil Spill: NO to Bunker Fuel, Coal Mining & Fossels Fuels! Yes, to Renewable, Clean, Efficient Energy!

Green Reconstruction for Sustainability & Resilience” is a Sustainable Re-build & Renewable Energy project by the Coron Sustainable Tourism Cooperative, The Coron Initiative,  & Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc.-SSTDI. SSTDI can help you with short-and long-term renewable energy solutions in your community, city or destination. For more info, please email us or click HERE
Support Green Reconstruction for Coron

Disaster Preparedness: Before a calamity occurs

Posted in Coron, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Sustainable Living, Western Visayas with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by Sustainability Guru
Philippine Disaster Hazards and corresponding agency-in-charge

Philippine Disaster Hazards and corresponding agency-in-charge

“Do we have to wait until a disaster overwhelms us before we make the radical changes necessary to protect our world for future generations? If we act now there is much that can be saved which will otherwise disappear forever.” ~ John Gummer

In these times of global warming and climate change, one is never prepared enough for the mighty forces of nature or in some cases, man-made disasters, such as the Fukushima Nuclear Plant or in Southern Philippines’ Cagayan de Oro flash flood tragedy caused by illegal logging. For those especially in vulnerable and hazard zones like Japan & Philippines, every one must be aware and be prepared.

Here are the six basic disaster preparedness at home that you must ensure:

1. Check safety around your house

  • Organize flowerpots and propane tanks to prevent toppling, and check the intensity of block walls and roof tiles.Before disaster occurs: Check your house for safety measures!

Before a disaster occurs: Check your house for safety measures!

The DOST- PHIVOLCS call for compliance to building code after the earthquakes in the Philippines. Read article here. 

2. Discuss with your family and household member about disaster measures:

Discuss disaster preparedness with your family. Seriously.

Discuss disaster preparedness with your family. Seriously.

Prepare a pinch, saw, scoop, jack, flashlight, etc. (These may be  expensive to purchase all on you own, but you can discuss and share with your neighbors to prepare these. At least you have a set of equipments ready!)

3. Prevent injuries caused by broken glasses.

Prepare slippers and sneakers close at hand

Prepare slippers and sneakers close at hand. For a blackout at night, keep them in place.

Be ready with rescue equipments

4. Prepare rescue equipments. Prepare a pinch, saw, scoop, jack, flashlight, etc. These might be expensive, so share with your neighbors the cost and the use.

5. Prepare an emergency packAfter a disaster, supply of essentials may stop for a few days. Plan for quantity of stockpiles and storage for essentials to be taken out in case of emergency.

Essential emergency supplies list

  • Food and water (roughly 3 days of food for entire family and 3 liters
    Each family MUST HAVE: Survival Pack.

    Each family MUST HAVE: Survival Pack.

    of water per person a day)

  • First-aid kit, medicine, etc.
  • Portable radio, flashlight, batteries
  • Cash and valuables
  • Clothes

6.  Join Disaster Prevention drills

Ain't done the drill yet? Just DO IT.

Ain’t done the drill yet? Just DO IT.

In preparation for an emergency, create a cooperative structure with neighborhoods on a routine basis.

  1. Discussion
  2. Join disaster prevention resident groups
  3. Join disaster prevention drills

If you don’t have, organize one with your neighborhood or community pronto!

“We are now running out of time, and the question now is not what is happening to the climate, but how bad will it be before the world starts doing enough?”  ~ Jonathon Porritt

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Disater Prevention Information.

“First, climate change is the greatest long-term threat faced by humanity… All countries will be affected, but the poorest countries will be hit hardest. Secondly, the costs of inaction far outweigh the costs of action.” ~ David Miliband

The Philippines is situated along two major tectonic plates of the world – the EURASIAN and PACIFIC Plates. Aside from this, it has 300 volcanoes – 22 as active, an average of 20 quakes per day, 20 typhoons a year, five (5) of these destructive and 36,289 kilometers of coastline vulnerable to tsunami.  The responsibility for leadership rests on the provincial governor, city and town mayors and Barangay chairmen in their respective areas.

Know more about the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Center and how it should work for you and your community!

Philippine disaster profile. Learn the lessons

Philippine disaster profile. Learn the lessons.

Learn the lessons of past disasters. The Philippines is not short of earlier numerous grants, programs and initiatives in disaster education and management. Share the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Framework and how it should serve your community better. Be mindful and demand from your public officials on the information and skills. Seek the mass media support and use social media in raising awareness, care and vigilance.

The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative  are Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks being implemented in Coron, Calamianes Islands & Western Visayas with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for cities, communities and destinations  include Good Governance and Disaster Prevention and Management. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Green Travel Tips

Posted in Agri Tourism, Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Coron, Ecotourism, Green Hotels, Negros Occidental, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Travel, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Isla Dibatoc, Coron, Palawan

How to travel GREEN! Build lasting memories while protecting the communities/regions you’ve traveled to! These green travel tips will enhance your trip—and help you make a positive difference in the places you visit.

Before you travel

Find out as much as possible. The more you know about a World Heritage Site or Marine Protected Area, the more the site will come alive. Look into the site’s history, culture, natural environment, customs, legends, advisory notices, and more.

Learn a few words in the local language. Make an effort to speak the local language. Simple words like “Hello,” “Please,” and “Thank you” can go a long way to help you communicate with the people who know the site best—they’ll appreciate your efforts and your interest in learning.

Pack light. It’s tempting to pack everything you think you might need, but remember to be smart about your necessities.Packaging items like the plastic wrapping of your new toothbrush simply consume space in your bag and can create excess trash for the fragile sites.

Shangrila Hotel Boracay with CSR & green initiatives

Shangrila Hotel Boracay with CSR & green initiatives

Choose lodging thoughtfully. Look for hotels that have written procedures for environmental impact, employment, and cultural policies.

Explore transportation options. Traveling affects the environment. Wherever possible, try to minimize your impact by looking to alternative transportation and off-setting your carbon emissions.

Calamianes Group of Islands Palawan

Calamianes Group of Islands Palawan

During your trip

Engage in local culture. The saying, “When in Rome do as the Romans” still applies today. Your trip provides a unique opportunity to explore a new culture and to see the world through a different perspective. Enjoying local foods, shopping in local markets, and attending local festivals are all part of experiencing the culture.

Buy local products and services. Choosing to support locally-owned businesses, community tour operators, and artisans means that you’ll have a one-of-a-kind experience and your money will go directly to the community. Before purchasing goods, ask about their origin. Avoid buying products made from threatened natural resources and report poaching and other illegal activities to the local authorities.

Mercado Indio, Lima -Peruvian Arts & Crafts

Mercado Indio, Lima -Peruvian Arts & Crafts

Refrain from aggressive bargaining. It’s often difficult to know your limits in bargaining, so if you’re not sure, ask your hotel for tips. Remember that the purchases you make directly affect vendors’ livelihoods, so decide if you really need to hang onto that extra dollar.

Hire local guides. Enrich your experience by choosing local guides who are knowledgeable about the destination. Ask local tour operators and hotels for recommendations.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Tread lightly. These destinations are World Heritage sites because of their exceptional natural or cultural splendor. Do your part to keep them that way by following designated trails, respecting caretakers, and not removing archaeological or biological treasures from sites.

Respect the natural environment. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Even though you are just visiting and not paying the utility bill, disposing of your garbage properly and minimizing your consumption of water and energy will benefit the overall destination.

Think of the Big Picture. While it is important to support local economy, certain tourist activities and souvenirs can damage a fragile World Heritage site. Say “no” to a souvenir that’s a piece of the site itself, and to tourist activities that may be harmful to a site’s longevity.

Say “no” to a souvenir that's a piece of the site itself!

Say “no” to a souvenir that’s a piece of the site itself!

After returning home

Share tips about responsible travel. In addition to telling family and friends about the wonderful memories you made, also consider sharing tips on how they too can positively impact these destinations while having an amazing journey.

Explore more. Travel is just the start of learning. Once you return home, continue exploring and being involved with the issues or region that captured your attention. Build your knowledge.

Give back. Traveling often opens our eyes and our hearts. Help to preserve these inspirational destinations for generations to come by making a donation to programs that give back and benefit the local community.

Adopted_a_village_Coron Ecotours

Adopt a village by Coron Ecotours

Source: http://www.expedia.com/daily/sustainable_travel/world_heritage/tips.asp

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE is taking its toll on the planet, wrecking havoc and destruction to our natural environment, rural communities and even big cities! We have to do our part in leaving less impact to the environment. The message is RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL: let us protect the environment, care about local communities and respect their culture as we explore, experience and enjoy.

Zero Carbon Resorts, helping SMEs in the Tourism Industry to reduce carbon footprint

 The Coron Initiative, The Negros Initiative & The Boracay Initiative are Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks being implemented in Coron, Negros Occidental & Boracay with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for cities, communities and destinations include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Preparedness and Management. Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Photos of Coron by Al Linsangan of Al3Photography.

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Sustainable beaches, green economy in a blue world

Posted in Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Coron, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Tourism, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , on February 11, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Boracay's White Beach circa 80s and in 2009

I have been working for “beaches”, most of my tourism career for almost three decades in various resorts in the Philippines. I pioneered in Boracay Island managing a small resort when there was only a handful then. Then, rapid, unsustainable development and environmental degradation just burgeoned. It was fate that brought me back full circle to the eco-depleted island after twenty years and I decided to do my part to form The Boracay Initiative, if only to enlighten public and private stakeholders to preserve their invaluable source of tourism livelihood!

The Coron Initiative, towards Sustainable Coron & Calamianes in the next millenium

The Coron Initiative, towards Sustainable Coron & Calamianes in the next millenium

I also had a chance to visit Coron, Palawan an emerging tourist destination, and I foresaw that without a Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility framework, it will suffer the same destruction as Boracay. Thus, we also organized The Coron Initiative with Lead Advocate-NGO, Calamianes Cultural Conservation Network. Next, I was invited to home-province Negros Occidental, and visited marine conservation sites in Sagay’s Carbin Reef as well as Danjugan Island, where illegal fishing is rampant aside from mining threat. From then, I proposed The Negros Initiative, to set up a similar greening guideline for the province.

Museo Sang Bata Negros- Children's Museum on Marine Conservation in Sagay, Negros Occidental

Museo Sang Bata Negros- Children’s Museum on Marine Conservation in Sagay, Negros Occidental

With my hands-on knowledge and experience at Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer, Carbon Negative and Conservation Leader, I shared the best practices in Sustainability and protection of our ecosystems and heritage, while sharing it with the world.

At a recent UNEP conference (January 2012), 65 countries adopted the “Manila Declaration – Global Protection Agreement (GPA)” – to strengthen the protection of global marine environment from land-based activities, emphasizing coastal eco resources as a key factor in the shift to a green economy.  This GPA made in the Philippines is very relevant as its 7,107 islands are rapidly losing rich natural resources due to marine-related commercial activities, such as fisheries, inter-island transport, tourism, mining, etc. These massive businesses leave destruction and escalate environmental degradation, loss of vital coastal habitats, marine biodiversity and shore water quality as it did to Boracay Island, the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs for Philippine Tourism. If not sustainably planned, Coron, Palawan, the next vulnerable tourism hot-spot will follow suit.

Coastal and Mangroves Destruction, Coron, Palawan, Philippines

Coastal and Mangroves Destruction, Coron, Palawan, Philippines

The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources has implemented an Integrated Coastal Resource Management Program (ICRMP) and the Coral Triangle Initiative  (CTI) to “promote the sustainable development and ensure the long term productivity of coastal resources while providing social services, lessening poverty in coastal communities as well as delivering basic infrastructure.”

Our Sustainable Tourism frameworks are being implemented in Coron and West Visayas with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and Clean Blue Asia Sustainable Beach Management. These “Triple Bottom Line” initiatives are crucial for destination planning and development strategies towards the greening of tourism.  With the Manila Declaration’s commitment to develop policies to reduce and control wastewater, marine litter and pollution, the ICMP and CTI as guidelines, we will work towards a green economy for the Philippines, seeking green investments in tourism that can contribute to economically viable and robust growth, provide decent jobs, poverty alleviation and reduced environmental impacts. Our Capacity Building programs for cities and communities include Good Governance for LGUs, Waste Management, Resilience, and Disaster Prevention & Management among others. With our partner experts, we will work on SMEs in the tourism industry to reduce carbon footprint by switching to renewable energy sources and develop a network of most reliable eco responsible hotels and lodgings.

Coron Environmental Forum by The Coron Initiative, a public-private sector cooperation

Coron Environmental Forum by The Coron Initiative, a public-private sector cooperation

Our Sustainable Tourism initiatives in the Philippines require multi-sector cooperation and action. Indeed these include all of us to work towards a green economy!

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Sustainability 101. Towards sustainable cities and communities

Posted in Environment, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Events, Sustainable Living, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Greening a destination – how to make a city or community sustainable?

For simplicity, we are using the UN’s definition of sustainability:

A sustainable society meets the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainability Triple Bottom Line graphic: People, Planet, Profit.

According to Wikipedia a sustainable city, is a city designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution – CO2, methane and water pollution.

San Francisco Green City Winner. Photo courtesy of Siemens Green City Index report

Cities compete with each other globally for the attention of investors. Almost every municipality sites sustainability as one of its key targets, but it is often not clear as to how this declaration translates into action, or if the actions that are taken go beyond green window dressing.

Bacolod City Official website screen shot

Bacolod City – green or green window dressing?

The first step when steering towards urban sustainability is visible greening: planting trees, promoting subsistence gardening or saving wetlands for birds.

Sustainable Tourism Development Workshop in Villa Ica, Don Salvador Benedicto

Making Don Salvador Benedicto a true Eco-destination – A Sustainable Tourism Workshop

The next steps are environmental measures which bring social and economic benefits. Health concerns can put emphasis on quality of water, provision of ecological waste management and cleaner energy.

The Coron Initiative - the making of a sustainable destination

The Coron Initiative -Greening Coron for future generations

Waste management can also turn into business, when sorting produces material for local crafts people and bio waste becomes a source of energy. Clogged sewers lead to a ban on plastic bags while lessons about ecosystem services are learned when rivers are cleaned and watersheds are managed in an effort to prevent flooding.

Public Market trash, Bacolod City. Photo courtesy of Lisa de Leon-Zayco

Bacolod City’s Public Market trash. Photo courtesy of Lisa de Leon-Zayco’s Facebook posts

Climate change & environmental degradation effects in Boracay Island

Flooding at the World’s 2nd Best Beach! Climate change & environmental havoc

Almost every city in the world is dealing with an influx of people from different ethnic backgrounds, and cultural events play an important part in creating a sense of pride in the community and are promoted as a means to support minorities. Cultural heritage is increasingly understood as a resource to be kept alive, both for visitors to cities and for the people who live there.

Bacolod City's Electric Masskara - A sustainable festival??? photo courtesy of sunstar.com

In the cities that try to fake it, the grassroots heritage aspects AND authenticty disappear as events grow bigger and more commercial.

In the cities that try to fake it, the grassroots heritage aspects and authenticity disappear as events grow bigger and more commercial. Major events that require substantial investment, such as festivals and sporting events  do not always enhance quality of life for local communities after the television cameras have left.

Tokyo -heritage conservation & environmental protection IS the life and culture of the people

Tokyo – the masters of Waste Management & 3R’s –      Reduce, Reuse, Recyle

Some cities are aware of the links between global targets and local actions. Sustainability measures are taken at the local level, including investment in renewable energy and efficiency requirements for local buildings. More advanced cities broaden the focus to cover social impact and how sustainable development policy is delivered. WATCH TOKYO WASTE MANAGEMENT video.

Sustainable city Seoul - urban development with environmental protection

Sustainable Seoul – urban development with environmental conservation

Refurbishment of existing buildings becomes big business, public transport systems are improved and sustainable public procurement practices are introduced.

U.N. Shanghai Manual for Sustainable Cities

Shanghai Manual – helping leaders of the world’s cities use integrated urban planning, management, financing and technology to green their economies and build climate and economic resilience.

While all these aspects constitute progress, it is misguided to think that they combine to create urban sustainability. True systemic change is missing from the picture. Progress to date has been far too slow and incremental changes to business as usual don’t go far enough.

Climate change mitigation & flood water management- Boracay band-aid style solution!

Boracay’s White Beach downright degradation- flood water flushed out on White Beach!

The tough road ahead will have to include holistic visions, integrated planning and brave strategies to implement them. For this to become a reality, the language of money must become more about sustainability, renewable energy sources must be fully integrated into urban infrastructure and the pedestrian must become king of the road.

Source: The Guardian

Visiting Shanghai's Urban Planning Museum

Visiting Shanghai’s Urban Planning Museum. Shanghai established ECO CITY framework in 2010.

 

Do positive. Do not wait for another disaster to do your part on mitigating climate change.

DO POSITIVE. Learn the lessons from disasters: think SUSTAINABLE.  TAKE ACTION.  Demand from your political representatives to do their job, WORK towards healthy and clean ENVIRONMENT  and community!

Green Growth, Climate Change solutions, the grassroots way. Our Sustainability initiatives includes Capacity Building and Training towards sustainable cities, communities and greening destinations based on RIO +21 Agenda,  Shanghai Manual & UNWTO to include Good Governance, Resilience, Disaster Preparedness and Management, Greening Events/Festivals, Sustainable Tourism development  with Green Hotels, Clean Blue Asia & Zero Carbon Resorts.  Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community of potential and emerging ecotourism sites.

 Learn more from: sustainabilityguruvisit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

 

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A Fresh Start: 11 Reasons to go Organic

Posted in Agri Tourism, Cuisine & Dining, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Negros Occidental, Western Visayas with tags , , , , , on January 20, 2011 by Sustainability Guru
by Fresh Start Organic
Re-posted from Fresh Start Organics Facebook page… good insight and info to share for everyone! Note: Fresh Start Organic & Eco Agri Development Foundation Inc. are some of our proponents in the Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc.-SSTDI’s The Negros Initiative, Sustainable Agri -Tourism in Negros Occidental.
11 Reasons to go organic
 

It’s Nutritious! Studies show that organic food is filled with more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids than conventionally grown food.

It Tastes Good! Organic food is grown in harmony with nature – so it’s naturally more delicious and flavorful.

Fresh Start Veggies

Its Cheaper! Looking at the price tags when comparing organic and conventional products is misleading. If you include the long-term costs such as social, environmental and health costs, you’d realize that organic food is much, much cheaper.

It Promotes Biodiversity! Organic farming disrupts native ecosystems as little as possible in its methods, which promotes the growth and development of wildlife species.

It Protects Future Generations! Children are up to 164 times more sensitive to cancer-causing pesticides used in conventionally grown food. Going organic will lessen the risk of future health problems.

6. It Helps Rural Communities! Organic farming uses locally available materials and manpower, which creates and maintains sustainable local communities.

It Reduces Health Risks! Many toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases are still used in conventional farming. Going organic means prevention and protection from these long-term effects.

Its Environmentally Sustainable! Organic farming does not pollute waterways, air or soil. It uses renewable inputs as well, which make it safer and healthier for the environment.

It Builds Healthy Soil! Organic farming relies on the belief that healthy soil equals healthy food. Using natural inputs, organic farmers make an effort to maintain the vitamins, minerals and quality of the soil.

It Meets Quality Standards! Organic farming is strictly regulated to make sure that they live up to quality standards. When you buy organic, you are getting a product that lives up to its name, which is what all consumers deserve.

Its Available! You and your family can now enjoy a wide selection of organic and natural products every day. Fresh Start Organic food stores now offer fresh, healthy, chemical free food from salad greens, culinary herbs, fruits, vegetables, rice, coffee, snacks, sweeteners and all natural personal care products daily.

Fresh Start Organics

For more information and assistance in Sustainable Agri-Tourism tours to Negros Occidental, contact SSTDI.

 

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