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 ICLEI in Europe News

   May 2011

www.iclei-europe.org


Dear members, partners and friends of ICLEI,

We are pleased to send you the latest news on ICLEI in Europe and our partners for urban sustainability!

You can also read these news articles and find more information on the topics at www.iclei-europe.org.

Don't hesitate to send your news and information to information.services@iclei.org.

If this newsletter does not display properly, click here.


In this issue:

  1. ICLEI Member News
  2. ICLEI Europe unveils members section
  3. The Train of Ideas spreads message of sustainability across Europe
  4. ICLEI European Convention to see high profile speakers
  5. Local Renewables 2011: Green Buildings and Renewable Energy
  6. Record number attend Breakfast at Sustainability’s for launch of sustainable meeting guide
  7. Experts trained on MTF Approach to Sustainable Public Procurement
  8. Climate and energy Toolbox launched
  9. TRAILBLAZER DSP Workshop report published
  10. TEEB conference in Moscow focuses on practical policy implementation
  11. Energy Commissioner warns EU is not on track with energy efficiency at EUSEW
  12. Book of the month
  13. New events
  14. Events reminders



1. ICLEI Member News

Hannover wins German Capital of Biodiversity award

The German Capital of Biodiversity 2010/2011 has been revealed as ICLEI member Hannover. Judges evaluated 900 biodiversity projects from over 124 municipalities in Germany, eventually crowning the Lower Saxony city the winner. ICLEI members Münster, Augsburg and Freiburg also performed well, with Münster placing third and Augsburg and Freiburg finishing in the top ten. See a list of all the winners here.

The award ceremony took place in Cologne (Germany), and a further 11 municipalities were honoured by German Environmental Aid for their exceptional commitment to the preservation of biodiversity. The European Capital of Biodiversity competition is co-funded by LIFE+ and aims to highlight the potential for local level actors to stop the loss of biodiversity in their communities.

Local governments from five European countries (France, Spain, Slovakia, Germany and Hungary) may compete in the competition. Each country runs a separate national competition. The 2011 edition is now open, and to apply local authorities must fill out a questionnaire outlining the concrete actions they intend to take to improve biodiversity. 2010 winners include new ICLEI member Real Sitio de San Ildefonso (Spain), and ICLEI member Grande-Synthe (France), the latest Local Action for Biodiversity member. In Hungary ICLEI member Miskolc finished first in the category for above 100,000 inhabitants.

For further information, click here.

Amsterdam subsidises creation of green roofs

A new green roofs and walls initiative will allow businesses and individuals to apply for financial subsidies for turning their roof spaces into living green gardens in ICLEI Member Amsterdam (Netherlands). The initiative is designed to improve the urban area and bolster the city’s impressive low carbon credentials.

Citizens can apply for a subsidy of €50 per square metre, and receive up to 50 percent of the total installation costs. A maximum of €20,000 subsidy can be awarded for each individual project. A green roof consists of three layers: a layer of soil, a root retaining layer, and vegetation.

Green roofs have a number of benefits for the city as a whole, including a reduction in rain and stormwater runoff, improvement in air quality, the maintenance of constant air temperatures reducing overall energy use for heating / cooling, the provision of a habitat for insects and wildlife (improving the biodiversity and ecology of the city), and as vegetable gardens they can provide sustainable food produce.

For further information, click here.

Project puts cities on the road to electric vehicle use

ICLEI Members Dublin (Ireland), Copenhagen (Denmark), Rome (Italy), Malmö (Sweden), Barcelona (Spain) and Berlin (Germany) are partnering in a Green eMotion initiative to increase electric vehicle use in Europe. The initiative aims to foster the exchange of electric vehicle knowledge and experience, as well as facilitate the market roll-out of the cars. Bornholm (Denmark) and Malaga (Spain) are also partners in the project.

A total of 42 partners are involved, including members from European industry, electric car manufacturing, universities, and technology and research institutions. The project is part of the EC’s Transport 2050 Roadmap, which aims to break Europe’s dependency on oil for transport and calls for a CO2 reduction of at least 60 percent by 2050. At the heart of the strategy is a major shift in cities to electric vehicles. Ultimately Transport 2050 hopes to half the number of conventionally fuelled cars in cities by 2030 and phase them out completely by 2050.

The four year long project Green eMotion is part of the European Green Cars Initiative, and the European Commission will make €24.2 million available to finance part of the initiative's activities. The project will cover different types of electric vehicles, the development of Smart Grids, innovative Information and Communication Technologies solutions, and urban mobility concepts.

For further information, click here.

ICLEI members awarded for educating citizens on climate change

17 local authorities have been awarded as 12 Star Cities for their activities during European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) 2010, including ICLEI Member cities Katowice (Poland), Tbilisi (Georgia), Odessa (Ukraine), Strasbourg (France) and Brussels Capital Region (Belgium). The week focused on the role local authorities and citizens can play in addressing challenges posed by climate change.

Local activities included launching an online consultation platform (Strasbourg), organising a cycling marathon (Tbilisi) and organising environmental awareness workshops for schools and kindergartens (Katowice).The awards ceremony was organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on 23 March 2011 in Strasbourg (France).

ELDW is an annual event during which national and local events are organised concurrently by participating local authorities in all Council of Europe Member States. The events aim to promote knowledge of local democracy and spread the idea of democratic participation at the local level. The 2011 ELDW will take place from 10 - 16 October 2011 and will revolve primarily around human rights at the local level.

For further information, click here.



2. ICLEI Europe unveils members section

The ICLEI Europe website has launched an exciting members section. A list of current European members is now available, with the possibility to browse and discover more about each one. Why our members joined gives members a chance to explain what being an ICLEI member means to them, while what ICLEI offers provides prospective members with the benefits of becoming a member.

One of the highlights is member in the spotlight, which sees ICLEI team up with member city and European Green Capital 2011 Hamburg to follow the route of its Train of Ideas. The Train of Ideas is traveling across Europe stopping at various cities. Member in the spotlight will follow the train's route, focusing on the ICLEI members that will be home to the train. Those featured include Hamburg, Copenhagen, Malmö, Gothenburg, Oslo, Zurich, Riga, Barcelona, Nantes, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Connect with ICLEI and explore this latest development, which recognises ICLEI members as the vital pillar of the organisation that they are. These almost 200 local governments and their associations have made a unique commitment to sustainable development through their membership and continue to put their commitment to sustainability into practice.

For further information, click here.



3. The Train of Ideas spreads message of sustainability across Europe

The Train of Ideas - an actual train housing an exhibition on environmental issues and urban sustainability is now in ICLEI Member city Malmö (Sweden), the third stop of its 18 stop tour. The train acts as a platform for a Europe-wide exchange on environmental development and features excellent best practice projects from cities all over Europe.

The train, which helped the city of Hamburg (Germany) secure its position as European Green Capital 2011, is separated into seven separately themed carriages, including a conference room. Themes on display include urban environmental protection, city development, urban biodiversity and the effects of climate change. Visitors can take a virtual tour of Hamburg by bicycle, explore the parameters of urban planning through a digital exhibition feature, learn about animals and plant species that share our city habitats and gain an overview of the culprits, as well the effects of climate change already apparent in our world today.

The next stop for the train will be Gothenburg (Sweden), having previously been in Hamburg (Germany) and Copenhagen (Denmark). The train will arrive in Brussels (Belgium) in time for the ICLEI European Convention 2011, giving conference participants the chance to explore this innovative exhibition.

For further information, click here.



4. ICLEI European Convention to see high profile speakers

This year the 2011 ICLEI European Convention will mirror a society that is simultaneously sustainable, cohesive, economically astute and socially comprehensive. High profile speakers from across Europe have confirmed their participation in the convention, including Christophe Bouvier - Regional Director, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, Evelyn Huytebroeck - Minister for the Environment, Energy, Urban Regeneration, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium and Janez Potočnik - Commissioner for the Environment, European Commission, as well as representatives from both Philips and Siemens. Register now to save your place at the convention and to avail of a special reduced rate.

Unlike previous editions, the conference will not take place in one location, but rather will be spread across the city of Brussels (Belgium). Sessions will be held in the offices and workplaces of local governments and European organisations, giving participants the opportunity to visit the various strands of political life in Europe. All discussions will be framed by the recently adopted EU2020 strategy, which aims to turn the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020. In these sessions smaller theme-focused discussions will take place on the necessary transformations required within cities to reach the objectives of the strategy.

On the evening of 13 September the European Energy Service Award (EESA) ceremony will take place in BOZAR - Centre of Fine Arts, honouring European forerunners in the field of energy efficiency services. The most innovative energy service provider, an active market facilitator that has contributed to the diffusion of energy services in Europe, and up to three environmentally friendly, innovative or custom-built projects will be awarded. An international jury of experts selects the award-winners, among them Marie Donnelly (European Commission), Paolo Bertoldi (European Commission), Fiona Hall (European Parliament), Jean-Louis Joseph (FEDARENE), Peter Hobson (EBRD) and Dr. Klaus Müschen (German Federal Environmental Agency). The organiser of EESA is the European Energy Service Initiative (EESI).

For further information, click here.



5. Local Renewables 2011: Green Buildings and Renewable Energy

The next instalment in the Local Renewables conference series, Local Renewables 2011: Green Buildings and Renewable Energy – The way forward in urban development, will take place from 27 – 28 October 2011 in Freiburg (Germany) and will focus on one of the most important topics in the sustainability sector - green buildings. Solar architecture, as well as energy efficiency retrofitting can help to increase demand for renewable energy technologies, sustainable construction material, building technology and innovative architects and designers.

The LR 2011 conference will explore how to integrate renewable energy solutions in buildings and how to optimise energy efficiency. The event will also demonstrate that zero or low emission district developments and renovations (including historical buildings) are the future of clean, green construction. Join the debate along with other urban planners, city architects, energy and policy experts, clean technology providers and financial experts.

Discover the latest news from leading speakers in the industry, delve into the topics in workshops and interact with panels over two days of exchange, innovation and insight. The conference will take place in the Solar Info Centre (SIC), which utilises a state of the art, low emission, resource-friendly and affordable energy supply.

For further information, click here.



6. Record number attend Breakfast at Sustainability’s for launch of sustainable meeting guide

The eighth edition of Breakfast at Sustainability’s attracted a large number of registrations, with a record 80 people taking part in the early morning meeting. Representatives of local and national governments, the European Commission, European Parliament and Council all participated in the discussion on sustainable meetings and events.

After a welcome speech by Jean-Luc Vanreas, Minister for External Relations of the Brussels Capital Region, Mr Hervé Bosquet, Managing Director of the Brussels Convention Bureau, addressed participants. He spoke on Brussels role as the “Capital of Europe”, and described it as a “powerful” and “happening” city. When talking about the climate impact of meetings and events, Pascal Vermeulen, Managing Director of CLIMACT recommended offsetting travel emissions only after all other means of reducing greenhouse gases have been exhausted, while Bart Vandermosten from the Federal Public Service on Sustainable Development talked about the positive and negative experiences with the Carbon Compensation strategy of the Belgian EU Presidency during 2010.

The highlight of the day was the official presentation of the new guide “How to organise sustainable meetings & events in Brussels” by the ICLEI Brussels Representative Peter Defranceschi, who thanked the Brussels-Europe Liaison Office (BELO) for hosting the event and for their financial and active support for the guide. BELO also led by example, offering a sustainable networking lunch consisting of delicious local, seasonal and organic food. Some cities expressed their interest in seeing other local versions of the guide produced. Slides of the presentations are available here.

For further information on the Guide, contact peter.defranceschi@iclei.org.



7. Experts trained on MTF Approach to Sustainable Public Procurement

An international group of procurement experts were trained in ICLEI Member city Freiburg (Germany) from 11 – 15 April 2011 on the Marrakech Task Force (MTF) approach to implementing Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP). The training was jointly organised by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Swiss Federal Office of Environment (FOEN) and ICLEI, and was trained selected experts in assisting various countries worldwide in the implementation of Sustainable Public Procurement. The training was delivered by Barbara Morton, Sustainable Procurement Ltd.

Public procurement provides a major opportunity to shift to more sustainable production and consumption patterns. The Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement, led by the Swiss government, has developed an approach for implementing sustainable public procurement (SPP) in both developed and developing countries, known as the MTF approach to SPP. In 2008, the Swiss government partnered with UNEP to roll out this approach in 14 countries, designing a project called “Capacity Building for Sustainable Public Procurement in developing countries”.

The training session brought together senior experts from various countries such as Lebanon, Mauritius, Australia, Ghana, Columbia, France, Spain, Italy, UK, Iceland and Switzerland. Over the course of the week participants, who had all run through a highly demanding selection process, presented and exchanged experiences on the state of public procurement in their countries, as well as exploring and discussing key issues related to the implementation of SPP and the delivery of training on the MTF approach to SPP.

For further information, click here.



8. Climate and energy Toolbox launched

An online Toolbox of Methodologies has been launched, providing best practice manuals and other guidance material for Supporting Structures (SSt) of the Covenant of Mayors (CoM). This comprehensive resource database provides a wide range of information to help develop Sustainable Energy Action Plans - from target setting and monitoring, to financing actions and engaging citizens. Other successful methodologies and guidance tools are also included in the Toolbox.

CoM is an agreement amongst local authorities to go beyond the greenhouse gas emissions targets set by the EU. SSt’s assist cities across Europe by outlining the actions needed to achieve increased energy efficiency and lower emissions. The toolbox was set up as part of the Energy for Mayors project, which assists in the implementation of CoM. Project coordinator, Dario Miroglio of the Province of Genova stresses that “SSt work is complex and we need solutions. The opportunity to easily access a full range of existing tools, methodologies and materials developed by other SSt or organisations can make the difference.”

To ensure it is continuously developed, registered users are invited to add tools and methodologies and to give comments and evaluate the material. Architect of the Toolbox Maryke van Staden, encourages users to “rate the usefulness of tools and methodologies, share comments, and add value to this great new support tool”.

For further information, click here.



9. TRAILBLAZER DSP Workshop report published

The final report of the first TRAILBLAZER Delivery and Servicing Plan (DSP) workshop, which took place in Sutton (United Kingdom) from 27 – 28 January 2011, is now available online. Workshop participants had the opportunity to learn more about the advantages of Delivery and Servicing Planning (DSP) and to discuss how to implement local policies to reduce energy use and costs.

Participants also looked at how to increase efficiency through procurement, deliveries and freight transport, and shared experiences and questions with project partners about how to develop their own DSPs. Around 50 participants attended the course, made up of TRAILBLAZER consortium partners, representatives of regional and city governments, public and private transport companies, and logistics consultancies. Photos and presentations are available on the TRAILBLAZER website.

TRAILBLAZER will run until 30 June 2013, and aims to promote DSPs across Europe. The project targets all local government departments and experts involved in the planning of transport, logistics, procurement, freight, etc. In order to achieve its goal and to enable interested organisations to learn from the project and collaborate with the project partners, a series of three DSP Workshops will take place over the course of the project. The next DSP Workshop is planned for 5 - 6 October 2011, in Borlänge (Sweden).

For further information, contact secretariat@trailblazer.eu.



10. TEEB conference in Moscow focuses on practical policy implementation

The conference on the integration of TEEB (the Economics of Ecosystem services and Biodiversity study) into the economy of Russia and the Newly Independent States (NIS) took place in the Dubrivsky region in Moscow (Russia) on 28 March 2011. The conference discussed the application of the Europe-wide study, focusing on methods of practical implementation.

Patrick ten Brink from the Institute for European Environmental Policy, Brussels (Belgium) and ICLEI’s Pamela Mühlmann presented the TEEB study, outlining ways in which the report’s recommendations could be integrated at a national and local level. The reports are now available online and will be compiled in a book published by Earthscan, which be available later in the year.

The conference was organised by the Biodiversity Conservation Center Moscow. One of the common findings of the event was that the ecosystem services approach provides an opportunity for Russia and the NIS states to discuss their political decision making multilaterally.

For further information, click here.



11. Energy Commissioner warns EU is not on track with energy efficiency at EUSEW

Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy, opened the fifth European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), which ran from 11 - 15 April 2011, with a powerful message - "Europe is on track, but not with energy efficiency". In his opening statement Mr. Oettinger stated that at the current rate the European Union will only be able to achieve 9 percent of the targeted 20 percent increase in energy efficiency by 2020.

This lack of performance is possibly linked to the fact that "even low hanging fruit has to be paid for to be picked", as expressed by Fiona Riddoch of COGEN Europe, speaking on behalf of the Coalition for Energy Savings. Speakers concluded that the financing of actions and the improvement of awareness are central requirements that have not been adequately addressed. In its work with local governments ICLEI Europe strives to address these and many other issues.

During EUSEW numerous exciting events took place both in Brussels (Belgium) and across Europe, with the LG Action Discussion Forum one of the highlights for local governments. On 14 April 2011, the Covenant of Mayors session addressed the role of regions, provinces and networks. The IEE co-funded Energy for Mayors project and survey was presented along with the results on methodologies of these Supporting Structures, as well as the Toolbox of Methodologies which was launched during EUSEW.

For further information, click here.



12. Book of the month


World Development Indicators 2010


In 2000, the Millennium Declaration set eight Development Goals (MDGs) with the aim to reach ambitious sustainable development objectives. With the 2015 first completion date in mind, this publication analyses the tracking of socio-economic data concerning the eradication of poverty and the promotion of fair global development strategies between more than 200 economies and countries.

The survey is divided into six categories: World View, People, Environment, Economy, States and Markets and Global Links. Following an overview on the progress made on the Millennium Development Goals, the sections draw attention to results and the new aspects that have arisen in relation to social, environmental and economic themes. A number of partner organisations contribute to defining, gathering and disseminating statistics to provide the reader with a more detailed body of information. The publication is an indispensible statistical benchmark in measuring progress or lack of progress in achieving the MDGs. 

The World Bank, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8213-8232-5



13. New events


Workshop to be held for Supporting Structures of the Covenant of Mayors

On 19 May 2011 the Province of Genova (Italy), in the framework of the Energy for Mayors project, will host the Genova International Workshop for Supporting Structures of the Covenant of Mayors (CoM). This is the second training seminar for organisations supporting cities and towns in the development of Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP). The event is a great opportunity for participants to network, share knowledge and examine leading strategies in the creation of lower carbon societies.

Other CoM supporting organisations such as the Province of Barcelona (Spain) will present participants with information on tools and approaches. Topics to be addressed include: data collection challenges, baseline emissions inventory (BEI) development, ways to involve municipalities and stakeholders, the development of SEAP, as well as financials aspects. The CoM Toolbox, which provides best practice manuals and guidance material for Supporting Structures, is accessible here. Comments and feedback are welcome.

ICLEI Europe is Energy for Mayors partner and a Covenant Supporter, and is in a unique position as it is a European network of local governments and their associations. As such it offers services and support to other networks and Covenant Coordinators, as well as to cities and towns across Europe. For more details on the programme and to register click here, or contact Miriam Badino. Energy for Mayors is co-funded by Intelligent Energy Europe.

For further information, contact maryke.van.staden@iclei.org.


Gothenburg hosts Biogas Workshop for local and regional governments

During Green Week 2011 the City of Gothenburg (Sweden), in collaboration with ICLEI Europe, will host a workshop on biogas, inviting local and regional governments to learn more about the benefits of this renewable and efficient energy option. The morning workshop will take place on 24 May 2011 and provides a great opportunity to network and discuss energy issues with colleagues from across Europe.

Speakers include Ian Shearer, technical officer, ICLEI Europe, who will share highlights of the MAKE-IT-BE project and address integrated bio-energy partnerships, and Mrs. Åsa Burman, Managing Director GoBioGas, who will discuss the large-scale development of biogas in Gothenburg as a case study of urban areas biomass gasification.

The use of biogas as a vehicle fuel will be also addressed during the workshop. After best practice presentations from Guessing (Austria) and Gothenburg (Sweden), an open discussion will take place, exploring the energy inter-linkages between rural and urban areas. Those who take part in the event will have the opportunity to examine the vast potential of biogas as a renewable way to energy efficiency.

For further information, contact sebastian.marx@cityhall.goteborg.se.


Electric Vehicles take centre stage at Bonn conference

The third German Electric Vehicle Congress will take place from 8 – 9 June 2011 and will see electric mobility experts from across Europe meet in the the Bonn World Conference Centre. This year’s conference will focus on the production of electric vehicles (EV) and their manufacturers. Registration for the conference is open until 6 June.

Issues such as grid and charging concepts, business model analysis, energy storage and renewable energy will be examined during the conference sessions. A track has also been set up to allow participants to test out the latest electric cars for themselves. Among other presentations, the Aachen University of Applied Sciences will present the world’s first EV designed solely for car-sharing. The conference languages are English and German, with simultaneous translation available throughout.

In addition to supporting the event, ICLEI is also supporting municipalities in developing sustainable transport strategies by working with the CIVITAS Initiative to provide cities with clean mobility solutions. ICLEI also works with SMART SPP and CARE-North for the procurement and implementation of clean vehicles. More information on ICLEI Europe’s mobility work is available here.

For further information, click here.


Mobility questions to be answered at UITP conference


The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) conference will take place in ICLEI Member Gothenburg (Sweden) from 5 – 7 October 2011. The conference will take stock of recent developments and anticipate future obstacles in an effort to make cities more livable and accessible. ICLEI members receive a 15 percent discount upon registration.

The conference will examine the best policy frameworks and strategies to support sustainable mobility and transit oriented development, and will attempt to answer the most pressing mobility questions. Among the questions to be addressed are: What should an efficient urban and mobility governance of tomorrow look like? What innovative solutions and incentives exist and which ones will emerge? And what is the role for the public sector, for the private sector and for citizens?

Speakers include Dirk Engels, Manager, TRITEL, (BE) and Sophie Mougard, Director, STIF, (FR). The conference will be a unique opportunity to share and promote good practices in the fields of urban governance and demand management.

For further information, click here.


Edie Awards recognise Environmental Excellence

The 2011 Awards for Environmental Excellence, known as the edie (Environmental Data Interactive Exchange) awards, will be held in ICLEI Member city London (United Kingdom) on 3 November. The awards celebrate leadership and innovation in sustainability, recognising the best environmental projects and the most respected consultants working in the sector.

Award categories include public sector initiatives (applicable to local governments across Europe), waste and resource management, sustainable transport, renewable energy and carbon reduction. This year an extra award will be given for the best environmental product. Winners of the edie awards have the opportunity to go forward to the coveted European Business Awards for the Environment, where they will compete with the best European projects on an international stage.

For further information, click here.



14. Event reminders


3 – 5 June 2011, Bonn (Germany)



SMART Procurement – Reducing Costs and Saving Energy
29 June 2011, Brussels (Belgium)



Stockholm World Water Week
21 – 28 August 2011, Stockholm (Sweden)



ICLEI European Convention
12 – 14 September 2011, Brussels (Belgium)


Changing the Energy System to Renewable Energy Self-Sufficiency (RESS)
15 – 16 September 2011, Freiburg (Germany)



CIVITAS Forum conference
17 – 19 October 2011, Funchal (Portugal)



Local Renewables 2011: Green Buildings and Renewable Energy
27 – 28 October 2011, Freiburg (Germany)



Feedback? Questions? Let us know! If you have any further questions, would like to give feedback on ICLEI's work in Europe or would like to be taken off this mailing list, contact us at: information.services@iclei.org

The ICLEI in Europe newsletter is produced by the European Secretariat of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Copies are available on request. Editor: Sean Carroll, Ailish O'Donoghue (responsible).

Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Sean Carroll at information.services@iclei.org, Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany,Tel: +49-761/36 89 2-0, www.iclei-europe.org.


ICLEI is a membership organisation of local governments and their associations. To date more than 1,000 municipalities and municipal associations of all sizes from around the world have made a unique commitment to sustainable development by joining ICLEI. They support the work of ICLEI through their membership fees as well as through their experience and creativity in the development and implementation of projects and campaigns to address the globe's biggest problems. Within the organisation they are part of a network of peers that can profit from each other's knowledge. For membership information please have a look at our website or contact: membership.services@iclei.org.


Copyright 2011 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.


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