CLIM-FO-L editor changes
Suzuko Tanaka, an associated professional officer at FAO Headquarters in Rome, has conceived, compiled and edited CLIM-FO for about the last two years. Due to her enthusiasm, dedication and creativity, readership has mushroomed during that time. Suzuko is sure to miss her "baby" when she now takes on other responsibilities in her native land, Japan. Her clientele have become quite attached to her, and will certainly wish her the best in her future private and professional life. FAO, too, had a hard time letting her go, and joins in the thanks and good wishes. We introduce Sebastian Scholz, a young graduate forester from Germany, and a previous research fellow at FAO with an impressive record and strong interest in forests and climate change, as the new editor of CLIM-FO-L and wish him good luck.
Forests and Climate Change - a planned regional workshop for Asia
Following a series of successful workshops in Africa and Latin America, UNEP, IUCN and FAO are planning a workshop on forests and climate change with special emphasis on the CDM for interested countries of the Asia-Pacific region, to be followed by capacity building in the LULUCF sector in subsequent years.
Climate Change experts in many developing nations are sometimes overtaxed by the complex and intrically linked issues relating to LULUCF and the demands of the negotiating process. Often, they also lack an informal forum for clarification, discussions and exchange of views.
Moreover, relatively few forestry professionals from developing countries, have participated in the climate change negotiations. The communication between foresters and the officials of the national organizations responsible for the climate change negotiations tends to be limited. As a consequence, many smaller developing countries and the forestry sector in general, including environmental and social stakeholders, have remained on the sidelines of these negotiations. Exaggerated expectations from the emerging climate change regime on one hand, and lack of awareness of opportunities on the other hand, seem to prevail. This is often exemplified in perceptions of the CDM. Furthermore, climate change mitigation through sinks tends to be seen in isolation, while in fact, the Kyoto Protocol specifies strong links to the environment, social issues and sustainable development.
In light of this state and the expected final decision about the CDM at COP9 in December 2003, UNEP, IUCN and FAO will jointly organize a 2-3 day workshop on climate change and forests with a main focus on the CDM for the Asia-Pacific region in late 2003.
The workshop is to take place after the SBSTA 18 and before the COP 9.
Topics of the workshop will be selected from the following:
- Provide opportunities for sink negotiators from interested countries in the region to have informal discussions on remaining CDM-related issues before COP9.
- Familiarize the regional forestry and environmental sector and related stakeholders with the relevant issues of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol
- Link sink negotiators and environmental and forest sector stakeholders for mutual benefit and an update on the latest state of negotiations.
- Expose and discuss specific core issues for forests in developing countries and specific regions, such as national capacity building, integration of sink activities into National Forest Programmes, an exposé on technical issues in afforestation and reforestation, role of rattan, bamboo and crop trees, agroforestry and shifting cultivation, wood energy, socio-economic and environmental impacts and rural development, multi-benefit projects with positive effects for biodiversity, landscape restoration; Good Practice Guidance.
- Climate-change - related funding possibilities outside the CDM for forestry activities.
- Reporting obligations on forest carbon stock changes under UNFCC and implications for national assessments.
- Identify specific regional needs.
- Establish a support network or forum on forests and climate change.
The program for the workshop will be finalized with input from the organizing partners, interested stakeholders and country experts on LULUCF.
The latter are particularly encouraged to establish contact with FAO as soon as possible.
"Practical Issues Concerning Temporary Carbon Credits in the CDM"
by Michael Dutschke and Bernhard Schlamadinger, HWWA Discussion paper 227, Hamburg
Institute of International Economics, 2003
Afforestation and reforestation (AR) projects in the Clean Development Mechanism are able to create emission permits that can be accounted against the industrialized countries' commitments for limiting their greenhouse gas emissions, as agreed under the Kyoto Protocol. The discussion of how to treat credits from temporary carbon stocks is centering on the proposal for expiring emission credits from AR, which in the subsequent commitment period need to be replaced. While the basic methodological question is thus being solved, the practicalities arising from the solution have so far not been considered. The authors make new proposals on accounting modalities, define the tCER value as compared to a permanent CER, and forecast who will be the potential buyers for temporary offsets.
The paper can be downloaded from the HWWA website:
Journal: Forest Policy and Economics
In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 4 June 2003
- Scenario analysis of the impacts of forest management and climate change on the European forest sector carbon budget
Timo Karjalainen, Ari Pussinen, Jari Liski, Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Thies Eggers, Tuija Lapveteläinen and TerhiKaipainen
Analysis of the impacts of forest management and climate change on the European forest sector carbon budget between 1990 and 2050 are presented in this article. Forest inventory based carbon budgeting with large scale scenario modelling was used. Altogether 27 countries and 128.5 million hectare of forests are included in the analysis. Two forest management and climate scenarios were applied. In Business as Usual (BaU) scenario national fellings remained at the 1990 level while in Multifunctional (MultiF) scenario fellings increased 0.5-1% per year until 2020, 4 million hectare afforestation program took place between 1990 and 2020 and forest management paid more attention to current trends towards more nature oriented management. Mean annual temperature increased 2.5 °C and annual precipitation 5-15% between 1990 and 2050 in changing climate scenario. Total amount of carbon in 1990 was 12 869 Tg, of which 94% in tree biomass and forest soil, and 6% in wood products in use. In 1995-2000, when BaU scenario was applied under current climatic conditions, net primary production was 409 Tg C year-1, net ecosystem production 164 Tg C year-1, net biome production 84.5 Tg C year-1, and net sequestration of the whole system 87.4 Tg C year-1 which was equal to 7-8% of carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion in 1990. Carbon stocks in tree biomass, soil and wood products increased in all applied management and climate scenarios, but slower after 2010-2020 than that before. This was due to ageing of forests and higher carbon densities per unit of forest land. Differences in carbon sequestration were very small between applied management scenarios, implying that forest management should be changed more than in this study if aim is to influence carbon sequestration. Applied climate scenarios increased carbon stocks and net carbon sequestration compared to current climatic conditions.
Journal: Ecological Modelling
Volume :164 Issues 2-3 15 June 2003
- Modeling carbon sequestration in afforestation, agroforestry and forest management projects: the CO2FIX V.2 approach
Omar R. Masera, J. F. Garza-Caligaris, M. Kanninen, T. Karjalainen, J. Liski, G. J. Nabuurs, A. Pussinen, B. H. J. de Jong and G. M. J. Mohren
The paper describes the Version 2 of the CO2FIX (CO2FIX V.2) model, a user-friendly tool for dynamically estimating the carbon sequestration potential of forest management, agroforesty and afforestation projects. CO2FIX V.2 is a multi-cohort ecosystem-level model based on carbon accounting of forest stands, including forest biomass, soils and products. Carbon stored in living biomass is estimated with a forest cohort model that allows for competition, natural mortality, logging, and mortality due to logging damage. Soil carbon is modeled using five stock pools, three for litter and two for humus. The dynamics of carbon stored in wood products is simulated with a set of pools for short-, medium- and long-lived products, and includes processing efficiency, re-use of by-products, recycling, and disposal forms. The CO2FIX V.2 model estimates total carbon balance of alternative management regimes in both even and uneven-aged forests, and thus has a wide applicability for both temperate and tropical conditions. Results for the model testing and validation in selected temperate and tropical forest management systems are presented and discussed.
Journal: Climate Policy
In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 4 June 2003
- Replacing carbon lost from forests: an assessment of insurance, reserves, and expiring credits
Concern over the "non-permanence" or reversibility of carbon sequestration projects has been prominent in discussions over how to develop guidelines for forest project investments under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol. Accordingly, a number of approaches have been proposed that aim to help ensure that parties do not receive credit for carbon that is lost before project obligations are fulfilled. These approaches include forest carbon insurance, land reserves, and issuance of expiring credits. The potential costs of each of these different approaches are evaluated using a range of assumptions about project length, risk and discount rate, and a comparison of costs is ventured based on the estimated reduction in value of these credits compared with uninsured, and permanent credits. Obstacles to participation in the different approaches are discussed related to problems of long-term commitments, project scale, rising replacement costs, and low credit value. It is concluded that a system of expiring credits, which could be coupled with insurance or reserves, could guarantee obligations that span time-scales longer than that of conventional insurance policies while maintaining incentives for long-term sequestration
Journal: Environmental Science and Policy
Volume : 6 Issue : 2 Apr-2003
- The treatment of long-lived, carbon-containing products in inventories of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere
E. Marland, G. Marland
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requires that all parties to the convention periodically report their emissions of greenhouse gases and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published guidelines on how to estimate these emissions. Estimating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is complicated by the fact that consumption of fossil-fuels and harvesting of forests do not necessarily mean that the contained C has been released to the atmosphere as CO2. Some fractions of fossil-fuels and harvested wood are incorporated into products that have lifetimes ranging from months to centuries. The IPCC methodology addresses durable products by assuming that some prescribed fraction goes to permanent storage while the remainder is oxidized instantly. The question posed here is whether the annual increase in stocks of durable products, i.e. the difference between the rates of production and oxidation, can be reasonably estimated as a simple fraction of their current rate of production. Although the annual stock change can be described as a simple fraction of annual production when production is growing exponentially and oxidation is a first order decay process, a description of annual stock changes needs to consider how both production and oxidation are evolving with time, regardless of the functional forms of these changes with time.
Journal: Forest Ecology and Management
In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 21 May 2003
- Carbon stock estimates for sugi and hinoki forests in Japan
Miki Fukuda, Toshiro Iehara and MitsuoMatsumoto
Forest inventory data are widely used for broad-scale quantification of forest carbon budgets. Such data usually represent forest wood volume (m3 ha-1), which needs to be converted to biomass carbon value (Mg C ha-1) for carbon stock estimates. Our main objective is to estimate the carbon stock for all sugi (Cryptomeria japonica D. Don) and hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa Endl.) plantations in Japan on the basis of age-class-based forestry statistics. To achieve this purpose, we estimated regional wood volume accumulation and biomass allocation over time for sugi and hinoki forests to calculate and map the carbon stock in all sugi and hinoki plantations in Japan on the basis of forestry statistics. Hinoki forests showed smaller accumulation of volume than sugi forests from ca. 25 years old to maturity; the accumulation of wood volume per hectare at 80 years old was <600 m3 ha-1 for hinoki and >600 m3 ha-1 for sugi. Patterns of biomass allocation to forest components varied by forest type; the proportion of branch biomass in 0-20-year-old hinoki forests is 5-10% larger than that of sugi; the proportion of stem biomass in the same age range is 5-10% smaller than that of sugi; the ratio of roots was approximately constant as its average value, 20.4% for sugi and 22.7% for hinoki. The ratios of total biomass to bole biomass (i.e., expansion factor (EF), Mg total biomass Mg-1 bole biomass) decreased with increasing age, and became nearly constant after 30 years old for sugi and hinoki. The mean EFs were the same for the two forest types, with a value of 1.72 Mg Mg-1. Our results suggest that sugi and hinoki plantations in Japan, respectively, store 346.4×106 and 139.2×106 Mg of carbon, with an area-weighted mean of 76.81 and 58.01 Mg C ha-1. High amounts of carbon stock in both sugi and hinoki are located in the southwestern part of Japan.
Journal: Forest Ecology and Management
Volume : 173 Issue : 1-3 03-Feb-2003
- Soil organic carbon pool in Indian forests
Abha Chhabra, S. Palria and V. K. Dadhwal
A database of published measurements (with depth) of soil organic carbon (C) containing information on location, soil type, texture, measured/estimated bulk density and forest type in Indian forests was prepared. It was used for estimating soil organic C densities for various forest types for two-depth classes (0-50 and 0-100 cm). The mean soil organic C density estimates for top 50 cm based on 175 observations ranged from 37.5 t/ha in tropical dry deciduous forest to 92.1 t/ha in littoral and swamp forest. The mean soil organic C density estimates based on 136 observations ranged from 70 t/ha in tropical dry deciduous forest to 162 t/ha in montane temperate forest for top 1 m soil depth. The estimated soil organic C densities were combined with remote sensing based recent forest area inventory (64.20 Mha) by Forest Survey of India [The State of Forest Report, Forest Survey of India (FSI), Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of India, Dehradun, 80 pp.] to arrive at estimates of soil organic C pool by major forest types of India. The total soil organic C pools in Indian forests have been estimated as 4.13 PgC1 in top 50 cm and 6.81 PgC in top 1 m soil depth. These estimates may be taken valid for 1980-1982 period on which the remote sensing based forest area assessment was made by FSI. The historic loss in forest soil organic C pool (1880-1981) in top 1 m soil depth has been estimated as 4.13 PgC. The estimated soil organic C densities by forest types can form input in models for estimating net C release from forests by deforestation as well as in estimation of historic loss in soil organic C pool in Indian forests.
Journal: Forest Ecology and Management
Volume : 174 Issue : 1-3 17-Feb-2003
-Changes in carbon stores in Swedish forest soils due to increased biomass harvest and increased temperatures analysed with a semi-empirical model
Göran I. Ågren and Riitta Hyvönen
We have used a combination of conventional forest yield tables and a theory for carbon cycles to analyse consequences of climatic change and changes in forest management for carbon stores in Swedish forest soils. The yield tables provide us, for different forest stands, with growth and litter production, which are then fed into a decomposition model from which time series of soil carbon development are obtained. The decomposition model is developed on the basis of the continuous-quality theory and takes into account effects of temperature and substrate quality differences.
Complete removal of all needles, branches, and tops, which are normally left during harvesting operations, decreases the soil carbon store with 59 Tg after 150 years or 0.4 Tg per year, which should be compared to the annual carbon harvest of 11 Tg and the total soil carbon store of 1700 Tg. Leaving the needles, which should be done to decrease nutrient losses, changes the carbon budget almost imperceptibly. A temperature increase by 4 °C, which is predicted in climate scenarios, will increase decomposition and carbon losses from the soil with 0.9 Tg per year. Only increasing forest production would counter-balance this loss with 0.7 Tg per year, but the net loss of carbon from the forest soils is around 0.5 Tg per year when changes in both production and decomposition are taken into account. The most important factors determining the balance between gains and losses in the carbon budget is the distribution of Norway spruce and Scots pine within the country because of the interaction between management and growth
Journal: Forest Ecology and Management
Volume : 179 Issue : 1-3 03-Jul-2003
- Surface wildfires in central Amazonia: short-term impact on forest structure and carbon loss. T. Haugaasen, J. Barlow, C.A. Peres
Changes in forest structure were examined 10-15 months after an unprecedented understorey wildfire burnt previously undisturbed primary forest in central Brazilian Amazonia, following the severe 1997-1998 El Niño dry season. On the basis of 20 0.25 ha plots (10 m×250 m) in both burnt and unburnt forest, we found marked differences in the overall live biomass, canopy openness and understorey vegetation. On average, 36% of all trees equal to or greater than 10 cm DBH were found to be dead in the burnt forest, and there was also a near-complete mortality in all pre-burn saplings. Using an allometric equation to predict biomass mortality we estimate that the tree mortality rates found would commit an additional 25.5 t C/ha to be released from these BFs. The dramatic increase of aboveground dead biomass in BF is of major global concern because of the increased flux of CO2 to the atmosphere, which has a role in enhancing the greenhouse effect and promoting climate change
Journal: Biomass and Bioenergy
Volume : 24 Issues : 4-5 April-May 2003
- To sink or burn? A discussion of the potential contributions of forests to greenhouse gas balances through storing carbon or providing biofuels
Miko U. F. Kirschbaum
Forests can affect net CO2 emissions by increasing or decreasing the amount of stored carbon, or by supplying biofuels for power generation to substitute for fossil fuels. However, forests store the most carbon when they remain undisturbed and are allowed to grow to maturity, whereas using wood for bioenergy requireswood removal from forests, which reduces on-site carbon storage. Hence, it is difficult to manage a forest simultaneously for maximum carbon storage and supplying fuelwood.
For developing optimal strategies for the use of vegetation sinks, it is necessary to consider the feedbacks via the inherent natural adjustments in the global carbon cycle. Increased atmospheric CO2 currently provides a driving force for carbon uptake by natural carbon reservoirs, such as the world's oceans. When carbon is removed from the atmosphere and stored in biomass, it lowers the concentration gradient between the atmosphere and these other reservoirs. This reduces the subsequent inherent rate of CO2 removal from the atmosphere. This means that transferring a quantity of CO2 from the atmosphere to a biomass pool lowers the atmospheric concentration the most immediately after the initial removal, but subsequently, the atmospheric concentration trends back towards the values without biospheric removal.
The optimal timing for the use of vegetation sinks therefore depends on a number of factors: the length of time over which forest growth can be maintained, whether biomass is used for energy generation and on the nature of the most detrimental aspects of climate-change impacts. Climate-change impacts related to the instantaneous effect of temperature are mitigated less by vegetation sinks than impacts that act via the cumulative effect of increased temperature. It also means that short-term carbon storage in temporary sinks is not generally beneficial in mitigating climate change.
Journal: Biomass and Bioenergy
Volume : 25 Issue : 1 Jul-2003
- The contribution of biomass in the future global energy supply: a review of 17 studies
G. Berndes, M. Hoogwijk, R. van den Broek
This paper discusses the contribution of biomass in the future global energy supply. The discussion is based on a review of 17 earlier studies on the subject. These studies have arrived at widely different conclusions about the possible contribution of biomass in the future global energy supply (e.g., from below 100 EJ yr-1 to above 400 EJ yr-1 in 2050). The major reason for the differences is that the two most crucial parameters--land availability and yield levels in energy crop production--are very uncertain, and subject to widely different opinions (e.g., the assessed 2050 plantation supply ranges from below 50 EJ yr-1 to almost 240 EJ yr-1). However, also the expectations about future availability of forest wood and of residues from agriculture and forestry vary substantially among the studies.
The question how an expanding bioenergy sector would interact with other land uses, such as food production, biodiversity, soil and nature conservation, and carbon sequestration has been insufficiently analyzed in the studies. It is therefore difficult to establish to what extent bioenergy is an attractive option for climate change mitigation in the energy sector. A refined modeling of interactions between different uses and bioenergy, food and materials production--i.e., of competition for resources, and of synergies between different uses--would facilitate an improved understanding of the prospects for large-scale bioenergy and of future land-use and biomass management in general
Journal: Biomass and Bioenergy
Volume : 25 Issue : 2 Aug-2003
- Exploration of the ranges of the global potential of biomass for energy
M. Hoogwijk, A. Faaij, R. van den Broek, G. Berndes, D. Gielen, W.
This study explores the range of future world potential ofbiomass for energy. The focus has been put on the factors that influence the potential biomass availability for energy purposes rather than give exact numbers. Six biomass resource categories for energy are identified: energy crops on surplus cropland, energy crops on degraded land, agricultural residues, forest residues, animal manure and organic wastes. Furthermore, specific attention is paid to the competing biomass use for material. The analysis makes use of a wide variety of existing studies on all separate categories. The main conclusion of the study is that the range of the global potential of primary biomass (in about 50 years) is very broad quantified at 33-1135 EJy-1. Energy crops from surplus agricultural land have the largest potential contribution (0-988 EJy-1). Crucial factors determining biomass availability for energy are: (1) The future demand for food, determined by the population growth and the future diet; (2) The type of food production systems that can be adopted world-wide over the next 50 years; (3) Productivity of forest and energy crops; (4) The (increased) use of bio-materials; (5) Availability of degraded land; (6) Competing land use types, e.g. surplus agricultural land used for reforestation.
It is therefore not "a given" that biomass for energy can become available at a large-scale. Furthermore, it is shown that policies aiming for the energy supply from biomass should take the factors like food production system developments into account in comprehensive development schemes.
Journal: Remote Sensing of Environment
Volume : 84 Issue : 3 March-2003
- Remote sensing estimates of boreal and temperate forest woody biomass: carbon pools, sources, and sinks
Jiarui Dong, Robert K. Kaufmann, Ranga B. Myneni, Compton J. Tucker, Pekka E. Kauppi, Jari Liski, Wolfgang Buermann, V. Alexeyev and Malcolm K. Hughes
The relation between satellite measurements of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), cumulated over the growing season, and inventory estimates of forest woody biomass carbon is estimated statistically with data from 167 provinces and states in six countries (Canada, Finland, Norway, Russia and the USA for a single time period and Sweden for two periods). Statistical tests indicate that the regression model can be used to represent the relation between forest biomass and NDVI across spatial, temporal and ecological scales for relatively long time scales. For the 1.42 billion ha of boreal and temperate forests in the Northern Hemisphere, the woody biomass carbon pools and sinks are estimated at a relatively high spatial resolution (8×8 km). We estimate the carbon pool to be 61±20 gigatons (109) carbon (Gt C) during the late 1990s and the biomass sink to be 0.68±0.34 Gt C/year between the 1982 and 1999. The geographic detail of carbon sinks provided here can contribute to a potential monitoring program for greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
EU link to the world
The European Union aims to link its greenhouse gas emissions trading system to the rest of the world so EU firms can buy emission permits from other countries, Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said.
[from Point Carbon.com]
Emissions increase forecast
The United Nations released new figures indicating that industrialised countries' emissions of greenhouse gases will increase by 10 percent by 2010.
[from eCarbon News May 2003]
Alaska to study sequestration
The US state of Alaska has decided to study whether it can make money from selling carbon credits through carbon sequestration projects.
[from Point Carbon.com]
Global warming threatens food supply
Global warming could lead to a 10 percent drop in the production of maize in developing countries over the next 50 years, according to a report published by two key international research centres in thejournalGlobalEnvironmentalChange.http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20030512/wl_oneworld/118151052755453
[from eCarbon News May 2003]
CAPTURING CARBON AND CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY: THE MARKET APPROACH
Edited by Ian R. Swingland
EARTHSCAN, May 2003, 392 pages
The authors make a case for the maximum use of carbon sinks, particularly in the developing world. Representing ecologists, conservationists, economists, lawyers, community and tribal specialists, financial specialists, climatologists, and project developers, they highlight the benefits of a market-based system of reducing and sequestering carbon. Combined with emissions trading, this approach would maximize benefit to the rural poor and indigenous people, while promoting habitat preservation and biodiversity, watershed protection, and the mitigation of global warming. Such a strategy would be the lowest cost approach, and the one most likely to succeed where central planning has failed. The authors seek to move beyond theory to show how people can build such a self-sustaining system by exploring the range of instruments available, and what can be achieved in the absence of undue regulation.
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND LAND USE
Edited by A.J. Dolman, A. Verhagen and C.A. Rovers
KLUWER, June 2003, 224 pages
This book highlights one of the most important aspects of global change - the interaction of land use and the climate system. In separate chapters the book treats modelling of land-use patterns, the effects on climate, the effect of land use on the global carbon cycle, hydrological aspects of land use, aspects of climate change on food availability in West Africa, and the spatial requirements of bioenergy plantations. The current collection of chapters provides a unique, integrated treatment of land use in the context of global change.
Audience: This book should provide a stimulus for researchers and policy-makers alike to treat land use and land-use change in a multi-disciplinary manner.
New FORESTS-L-LISTSERV by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests
FORESTS-L is a peer-to-peer mailing list for news and announcements related to forest policy issues i.e. forest management issues, best practices in forest conservation andmanagement, announcements or outcomes of forest-related meetings or sessions/side events at forest meetings, relevant job postings, publications and online resources
Tree Carbon Calculator
The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Greenhouse Accounting has launched a web-based Tree Carbon Calculator to enable students and others interested to estimate the extent to which particular trees help in the battle against global warming.
The calculator uses allometric equations to estimate tree carbon based on whether the tree is a hardwood or softwood species and the circumference of the tree measured at 1.3 metres above ground level.
The calculator and how it works can be found at http://www.greenhouse.crc.org.au
The objective of CLIM-FO-L is to be a forum for sharing current information and experiences about climate change and forestry amongst experts and non-experts. CLIM-FO-L will send periodically to subscribers synopsis of contributions, indicating how to obtain more detailed information on the topic. CLIM-FO-L is a service provided by the FAO Forest Products Division (FOP).
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