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Resources, Volume 7, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Climate-compatible development is being operationalised through projects that integrate [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Assessing the Ecological Footprint of Ecotourism Packages: A Methodological Proposition
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 16 June 2018
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Abstract
Tourism represents a key economic sector worldwide, constituting great leverage for local economic development but also putting noticeable environmental pressures on local natural resources. Ecotourism may be a viable alternative to mass tourism to minimize impacts on ecosystems, but it needs shared sustainability
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Tourism represents a key economic sector worldwide, constituting great leverage for local economic development but also putting noticeable environmental pressures on local natural resources. Ecotourism may be a viable alternative to mass tourism to minimize impacts on ecosystems, but it needs shared sustainability standards and monitoring tools to evaluate impacts. This paper presents a first methodological proposition to calculate the environmental impact of ecotourism packages through the use of an ad-hoc, customized version of the Ecological Footprint methodology. It follows a participatory, bottom-up approach to collecting input data for the four main services (Accommodation, Food & Drinks, Activity & Service, and Mobility & Transfer) provided to tourists through the use of surveys and stakeholders engagement. The outcome of our approach materializes in an excel-based ecotourism workbook capable of processing input data collected through surveys and returning Ecological Footprint values for specific ecotourism packages. Although applied to ecotourism in Mediterranean Protected Areas within the context of the DestiMED project, we believe that the methodology and approach presented here can constitute a blueprint and a benchmark for future studies dealing with the impact of ecotourism packages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Footprint Assessment for Resources Management)
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Open AccessReview The Potential Phosphorus Crisis: Resource Conservation and Possible Escape Technologies: A Review
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
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Abstract
Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for every organism on the Earth, yet it is also a potential environmental pollutant, which may cause eutrophication of water bodies. Wastewater treatment plants worldwide are struggling to eliminate phosphorus from effluents, at great cost, yet current research
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Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for every organism on the Earth, yet it is also a potential environmental pollutant, which may cause eutrophication of water bodies. Wastewater treatment plants worldwide are struggling to eliminate phosphorus from effluents, at great cost, yet current research suggests that the world may deplete the more available phosphorus reserves by around 2300. This, in addition to environmental concerns, evokes the need for new phosphorus recovery techniques to be developed, to meet future generations needs for renewable phosphorus supply. Many studies have been, and are, carried out on phosphorus recovery from wastewater and its sludge, due to their high phosphorus content. Chemical precipitation is the main process for achieving a phosphorus-containing mineral suitable for reuse as a fertilizer, such as struvite. This paper reviews the current status and future trends of phosphorus production and consumption, and summarizes current recovery technologies, discussing their possible integration into wastewater treatment processes, according to a more sustainable water-energy-nutrient nexus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Mining for Resource Supply)
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Open AccessArticle Implementing Climate-Compatible Development in the Context of Power: Lessons for Encouraging Procedural Justice through Community-Based Projects
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
Climate-compatible development (CCD) is being operationalised across the developing world through projects that integrate development, adaptation and mitigation using community-based approaches—community-based CCD (CB-CCD). By incorporating and considering local people’s concerns, these projects are positioned as more effective, efficient and sustainable than ‘top-down’ climate
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Climate-compatible development (CCD) is being operationalised across the developing world through projects that integrate development, adaptation and mitigation using community-based approaches—community-based CCD (CB-CCD). By incorporating and considering local people’s concerns, these projects are positioned as more effective, efficient and sustainable than ‘top-down’ climate and development solutions. However, the literature pays little attention to whether and how these projects achieve procedural justice by recognising local people’s identities, cultures and values; and providing local people with meaningful participatory opportunities. We address this gap through an analysis of two donor-funded CB-CCD projects in Malawi, drawing on household surveys, semi-structured interviews and documentary materials. Our findings show that the projects had only limited success in facilitating procedural justice for the target populations. Households’ meaningful engagement in project activities and decision-making was often curtailed because power asymmetries went unchallenged. While many households were well engaged in projects, the recognition and participation of others—including many of the most vulnerable households—was limited. Building on our findings, we present a six-step approach to help CB-CCD project staff understand, manage and challenge power asymmetries; and create widespread recognition of, and meaningful participatory opportunities for, local people. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Introduction to a Resources Special Issue on Criticality of the Rare Earth Elements: Current and Future Sources and Recycling
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 26 May 2018
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Abstract
The rare earth elements (REE) are vital to modern technologies and society and are amongst the most important of the critical elements. This special issue of Resources examines a number of facets of these critical elements, current and future sources of the REE,
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The rare earth elements (REE) are vital to modern technologies and society and are amongst the most important of the critical elements. This special issue of Resources examines a number of facets of these critical elements, current and future sources of the REE, the mineralogy of the REE, and the economics of the REE sector. These papers not only provide insights into a wide variety of aspects of the REE, but also highlight the number of different areas of research that need to be undertaken to ensure sustainable and secure supplies of these critical metals into the future. Full article
Open AccessCommunication The Local Value Chain of Hunted Red Deer Meat: A Scenario Analysis Based on a Northern Italian Case Study
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
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Abstract
Although in recent decades, meat from hunted wild ungulates has shown interesting results in terms of market opportunities, the scientific literature is still lacking in economic studies concerning the estimation of the meat’s value for involved stakeholders. We present an analysis of the
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Although in recent decades, meat from hunted wild ungulates has shown interesting results in terms of market opportunities, the scientific literature is still lacking in economic studies concerning the estimation of the meat’s value for involved stakeholders. We present an analysis of the evolution of price in the local red deer meat supply chain. This analysis has been conducted through a survey based on in-depth interviews with the stakeholders involved in an Italian local supply chain. Findings derived from this study describe a case study, however, they also represent the potential dynamics of the value of Italian game meat, highlighting that the development of a sustainable local supply chain of this product may represent an economic resource for involved stakeholders. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Comparative Research on River Basin Management in the Sagami River Basin (Japan) and the Muda River Basin (Malaysia)
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
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Abstract
In the world, river basins often interwoven into two or more states or prefectures and because of that, disputes over water are common. Nevertheless, not all shared river basins are associated with water conflicts. Rivers in Japan and Malaysia play a significant role
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In the world, river basins often interwoven into two or more states or prefectures and because of that, disputes over water are common. Nevertheless, not all shared river basins are associated with water conflicts. Rivers in Japan and Malaysia play a significant role in regional economic development. They also play a significant role as water sources for industrial, domestic, agricultural, aquaculture, hydroelectric power generation, and the environment. The research aim is to determine the similarities and differences between the Sagami and Muda River Basins in order to have a better understanding of the governance needed for effectively implementing the lessons drawn from the Sagami River Basin for improving the management of the Muda River Basin in Malaysia. This research adopts qualitative and quantitative approaches. Semi-structured interviews were held with the key stakeholders from both basins and show that Japan has endeavored to present policy efforts to accommodate the innovative approaches in the management of their water resources, including the establishment of a river basin council. In Malaysia, there is little or no stakeholder involvement in the Muda River Basin, and the water resource management is not holistic and is not integrated as it should be. Besides that, there is little or no Integrated Resources Water Management, a pre-requisite for sustainable water resources. The results from this comparative study concluded that full support and participation from public stakeholders (meaning the non-government and non-private sector stakeholders) is vital for achieving sustainable water use in the Muda River Basin. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approaches such as the introduction of payments for ecosystems services and the development of river basin organization in the Muda River Basin should take place in the spirit of political willingness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Assessment of Airport Sustainability, Part 2—Energy Management at Copenhagen Airport
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
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Abstract
Airports play a critical role in the air transport value chain. Each air transport value chain stakeholder requires energy to conduct their operations. Airports are extremely energy intensive. Greenhouse gases are a by-product from energy generation and usage. Consequently, airports are increasingly trying
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Airports play a critical role in the air transport value chain. Each air transport value chain stakeholder requires energy to conduct their operations. Airports are extremely energy intensive. Greenhouse gases are a by-product from energy generation and usage. Consequently, airports are increasingly trying to sustainably manage their energy requirements as part of their environmental policies and strategies. This study used an exploratory qualitative and quantitative case study research approach to empirically examine Copenhagen Airport, Scandinavia’s major air traffic hub, sustainable airport energy management practices and energy-saving initiatives. For Copenhagen Airport, the most significant environmental impact factors occurring from energy usage are the CO2 emissions arising from both the air side and land side operations. Considering this, the airport has identified many ways to manage and mitigate the environmental impact from energy consumption on both the air and land side operations. Importantly, the application of technological solutions, systems and process enhancements and collaboration with key stakeholders has contributed to the airport’s success in mitigating the environmental impact from energy usage at the airport whilst at the same time achieving energy savings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Rice Hulls as a Renewable Complex Material Resource
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 6 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
As a result of rice grain processing, a big amount of waste (up to 20%) is produced. It is mainly rice hulls. The main components of rice hulls are cellulose, lignin and mineral ash. The mineral ash quantity in rice hulls varies from
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As a result of rice grain processing, a big amount of waste (up to 20%) is produced. It is mainly rice hulls. The main components of rice hulls are cellulose, lignin and mineral ash. The mineral ash quantity in rice hulls varies from 15 up to 20%, by weight of the rice hulls. The mineral ash consists of amorphous silica (opal-type). Due to the high content of silica in rice hulls, the material burns with difficulty under natural conditions, and it is biodegradably destroyed only with difficulty, when composted. Utilization of rice hulls then becomes an ecological problem due to huge rice production and its continuous growth. At the same time, the annual quantity of silica content in rice hulls is comparable with the quantity of amorphous silica produced as a mineral resource. The issue of manufacturing cellular glass silica construction materials from rice hulls as a renewable resource is discussed in this paper. The utilization technology is based on an amorphous silicon oxide with the use of energy from the combustion of the organic component of rice hulls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Resources, Clean Resources, Future Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Damage Effects and Fractal Characteristics of Coal Pore Structure during Liquid CO2 Injection into a Coal Bed for E-CBM
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
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Abstract
Pore structure has a significant influence on coal-bed methane (CBM) enhancement. Injecting liquid CO2 into coal seams is an effective way to increase CBM recovery. However, there has been insufficient research regarding the damage effects and fractal characteristics of pore structure at
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Pore structure has a significant influence on coal-bed methane (CBM) enhancement. Injecting liquid CO2 into coal seams is an effective way to increase CBM recovery. However, there has been insufficient research regarding the damage effects and fractal characteristics of pore structure at low temperature induced by injecting liquid CO2 into coal samples. Therefore, the methods of low-pressure nitrogen adsorption-desorption (LP-N2-Ad) and mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) were used to investigate the damage effects and fractal characteristics of pore structure with full aperture as the specimens were frozen by liquid CO2. The adsorption isotherms revealed that the tested coal samples belonged to type B, indicating that they contained many bottle and narrow-slit shaped pores. The average pore diameter (APD; average growth rate of 18.20%), specific surface area (SSA; average growth rate of 7.38%), and total pore volume (TPV; average growth rate of 18.26%) increased after the specimens were infiltrated by liquid CO2, which indicated the generation of new pores and the transformation of original pores. Fractal dimensions D1 (average of 2.58) and D2 (average of 2.90) of treated coal samples were both larger the raw coal (D1, average of 2.55 and D2, average of 2.87), which indicated that the treated specimens had more rough pore surfaces and complex internal pore structures than the raw coal samples. The seepage capacity was increased because D4 (average of 2.91) of the treated specimens was also higher than the raw specimens (D4, average of 2.86). The grey relational coefficient between the fractal dimension and pore structure parameters demonstrated that the SSA, APD, and porosity positively influenced the fractal features of the coal samples, whereas the TPV and permeability exerted negative influences. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Scenario Modelling of the “Green” Economy in an Economic Space
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
The article utilizes the main elements of system analysis and the bases of cognitive science to analyze the concept of the “ecological and economic system”. The characteristics of the conceptual elements of the “green” economy dynamic model used in the application of cognitive
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The article utilizes the main elements of system analysis and the bases of cognitive science to analyze the concept of the “ecological and economic system”. The characteristics of the conceptual elements of the “green” economy dynamic model used in the application of cognitive analysis are given and their mutual influence is considered. A dynamic model of the “green” economy is developed, a general extended map and a reduced-parametric cognitive map of the development of the “green” economy in the economic space of the region are constructed. Scenario modelling of the development of the region’s “green” economy based on the intensification of the influence of one of the cognitive vertices of the model on the curve of the development of the “green” economy is carried out and described. Scenario modelling and development of cognitive maps are carried out using the software package Vensim Personal Learning Edition (PLE), which is widely applied in system analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Microwave-Assisted Extraction and Physicochemical Evaluation of Oil from Hevea brasiliensis Seeds
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is exploited mainly for latex in view of its economic importance. However, one of its auxiliary products, the rubber seed, does not find any major applications, and hence, even the natural production of seeds itself remains
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The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is exploited mainly for latex in view of its economic importance. However, one of its auxiliary products, the rubber seed, does not find any major applications, and hence, even the natural production of seeds itself remains underutilized. In this study, microwave-assisted Soxhlet extraction is used as a green alternative to extract the oil from seeds at a reaction time of 90 min and microwave power of 300 W. The objective of the study is to evaluate the effects of the processing conditions, including drying time, temperature, solid–solvent ratio, and extraction solvent, on the yield of rubber seed oil. Moreover, the microwave-assisted aqueous extraction (MAAE) under acidic conditions is also investigated. Based on the results, n-hexane gave the best yield at an optimized 1:20 seed–hexane ratio at 72 °C compared with the conventional Soxhlet method and the acidic MAAE. Furthermore, the chemical characteristics of the oil showed a high value of free fatty acids (% FFA) (1.15–7.61%) and an iodine value (IV) that ranges from 100–150. As a semi-drying oil, rubber seed oil (RSO) can be used as an ingredient for surface coating and in the formulation of products where the presence of unsaturation is important. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development of an Innovative and Sustainable Model for Integrating River Maintenance with Energy Production from Residual Biomass
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
This study aims to develop an innovative model for managing territory maintenance in which the productive function is linked with the protective one and that integrates environmental and economic development aspects, combining the energetic valorization with an effective territory maintenance program. The strong
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This study aims to develop an innovative model for managing territory maintenance in which the productive function is linked with the protective one and that integrates environmental and economic development aspects, combining the energetic valorization with an effective territory maintenance program. The strong innovation consists in the creation of an agro-energy environment chain based on the maintenance of river basins and small waterways made by single farmers or associations that will use residual biomass to produce electrical and thermal bio-energy. The maintenance activities include the control of aquatic weeds, grass cutting on river banks, and tree/bush management. If left unmanaged, they can block the flow of watercourses and increase the risk of flooding. The implementation of this virtuous model to the rivers maintenance aims to provide management and conservation means based on the territory characteristics. In fact, the new model has been applied to an existing site in the Marche region (Italy) located near a river characterized by a poor state of maintenance. A real commercial system for residual biomass exploitation was chosen, and both the technical and economic feasibility of the model implementation have been demonstrated. Full article
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Open AccessShort Note Ecological Impact of Forest Fires and Subsequent Restoration in Chile
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
This note analyzes the effects forest fires in Chile have on vegetation and subsequent ecological restoration. We analyze why forest fires have been a main factor that affects the environment and causes the ecosystem to deteriorate, leading to loss of native forests, species
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This note analyzes the effects forest fires in Chile have on vegetation and subsequent ecological restoration. We analyze why forest fires have been a main factor that affects the environment and causes the ecosystem to deteriorate, leading to loss of native forests, species extinction, damage to the urban population, and others. The data examined are derived from fire hotspots in Chile’s central and central-south zones ( 33 00 S– 41 57 S) between 1985 and 2017. We also analyze some key aspects for restoration priorities such as studying affected areas and posterior consequences. Finally, we evaluate actions the country has already taken, and propose further appropriate preventive and restoration measures. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial New Water Regimes: An Editorial
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
This editorial is an introduction to the special issue of Resources on New Water Regimes. The special issue explores legal geographies of water resource management with the dual goals of providing critiques of existing water management practices as well as exploring potential alternatives.
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This editorial is an introduction to the special issue of Resources on New Water Regimes. The special issue explores legal geographies of water resource management with the dual goals of providing critiques of existing water management practices as well as exploring potential alternatives. The papers in the special issue draw from numerous theoretical perspectives, including decolonial and post-anthropocentric approaches to water governance; social and environmental justice in water management; and understanding legal ecologies. A variety of themes of water governance are addressed, including water allocation, groundwater management, collaborative governance, drought planning, and water quality. The papers describe and analyze water issues and new ideas in multiple countries, including Australia, Ecuador, New Zealand, India, and the United States. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Water Regimes) Printed Edition available
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Building Robust Housing Sector Policy Using the Ecological Footprint
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
The vulnerability of the urban residential sector is likely to increase without the mitigation of growing household Ecological Footprints (energy demand, CO2 emissions, and demand for land). Analysis comparing the effectiveness and robustness of policy to mitigate the size of the housing
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The vulnerability of the urban residential sector is likely to increase without the mitigation of growing household Ecological Footprints (energy demand, CO2 emissions, and demand for land). Analysis comparing the effectiveness and robustness of policy to mitigate the size of the housing Ecological Footprint has been limited. Here, we investigate three mitigation options: (1) reducing housing floor area, (2) improving the building envelope efficiency, and (3) reducing the carbon intensity of the electricity sector. We model the urban residential Ecological Footprint for a sub-national case study in Australia but analyse the results in the global context. We find that all three mitigation options reduce the Ecological Footprint. The success of policy to reduce household energy demand and land requirements is somewhat dependent on uncertain trajectories of future global population, affluence, and technological progress (together, global uncertainty). Carbon emissions reductions, however, are robust to such global uncertainty. By reducing the Ecological Footprint of the urban residential housing sector we see a reduction in its vulnerability to future global uncertainty, global carbon price, urban sprawl, and future energy shortages. Over the long term, such policy implementation can also be highly cost effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Footprint Assessment for Resources Management)
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