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29 March 2016

‘Network of Women in Conservation, Indispensible in Conserving Cameroon’s Biodiversity’

Posted in News, Views 633

 ‘Network of Women in Conservation, Indispensible in Conserving Cameroon’s Biodiversity’

Female staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) have said the creation of a network of women in conservation in Cameroon is very crucial for environmental protection, the conservation of forest resources, and in catering for women involved in conservation efforts.

They made this expression, March 7, 2016, in a symposium on “the African Woman as an actor in the field of environmental protection and wildlife conservation” organized at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity And Non Profit Studies (ERuDeF Institute) in prelude to the 2016 edition of International Women’s Day celebrations.

By Che Azenyui Bruno

Bringing together women of the organization and female students of the ERuDeF Institute, ERuDeF President/CEO, Louis Nkembi and other men of the organization, ERuDeF’s Gender Focal Person, Sheron Endah, in her keynote address, presented the African woman both as an invaluable contributor to development and as key player in land degradation notably through her agricultural engagements.

The African woman she said is not only the hardest hit by desertification, deforestation and misguided environmental policies but also the biggest dependant on the environment and forest for family sustenance.

 “African women produce up to 80% of the basic food commodities, are directly responsible for the health and nutrition of their families, play multiple roles at home and in society and respond to the social and economic expectations of their families at the same time…they do up to three quarters of all agricultural work in addition to domestic responsibilities.  They understand the environment and forest better due to their direct engagement in activities related thereto.” She explained.

The Acting Director of The ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non Profit Studies, Madam Akeh Nug, on her part said despite numerous challenges encountered daily by women like gender inequalities, obnoxious traditional practices and complex problems, the African woman remains an inevitable partner in the development of any nation.

“The woman is  not only dedicated to the upbringing of the nation’s leaders but also thanks to her position as carrier of the national bread basket” She said citing unproductive farming practices like slash and burn, farming along the slope and farming at water catchment areas as other challenges that hinder the success of the African woman

Responding to questions from reporters after the event ERuDeF’s Chief Executive and President Louis Nkembi revealed that women hold important positions in the organization like project coordinators, program directors or departmental heads. He acknowledged the veritable role women can play in enhancing the development of any organization even in fields like conservation which to him had hitherto been considered male dominated.

Other activities that characterized the 2016 celebration of the international women’s day in the organization included a football encounter that saw the women of the organization beating their male counterparts 5-4 after post match penalty shoot out, a symbolic tree planting exercise at the Mile 18 water catchment point and a religious service at the Presbyterian Church Great Soppo Congregation.

The 2016 edition of the international women’s day was celebrated under the theme “pledging for parity”

29 March 2016

More Traditional Authorities Endorse Creation of Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted in News, Views 665

More Traditional Authorities Endorse Creation of Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary

 Traditional rulers from Fontem, Essoh –Attah and Njoagwi adjacent to the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife sanctuary have okayed the gazzettement of the forest block into what will be called the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

This was the outcome of a meeting, Friday February 12, 2016 at the Conference Hall of the Treasury Department Lebialem division in Menji.

 By Enokenwa Allen

Aimed at soliciting the approval and consent of traditional stakeholders in the creation and eventual management of the sanctuary, the meeting served as an opportunity for the traditional rulers to assess ERuDeF and the Cameroon government’s intervention in the proposed sanctuary.

The custodians of tradition hailed the invaluable role of the organisation and the government of Cameroon in their respective communities most especially in the area of livelihood support and other income generating activities.

The chiefs expressed concerns about the role of the local communities in the creation and management of the sanctuary and the exact land surface to be covered by the sanctuary upon creation.

 “we don’t oppose the creation of such a touristic hotspot in our communities all we needed to know is the effect the project shall have on our communities bearing in mind that we are answerable to the people who look up to us as their leaders” explained HRH Fon Foreke of Essoh-Attah Fondom.

They underscored the need for increased sensitization in communities around the proposed protected area and for alternative livelihood support to target those whose activities affect wildlife populations in the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary directly.

It should be noted that the creation of the sanctuary had been endorsed by the fons of Essoh-Attah and Njoagwi pending final endorsement by the fon of Lebang.

The Proposed Mak-betchou Wildlife Sanctuary currently hosts most of Africa’s last great apes notably  the African Forest Elephants, the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee, some Gorillas, Drills, Forest Buffalos, Duikers and other important birds and plant species which need to be protected.

 ERuDeF and the Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, have besides research and bio monitoring activities provide alternative livelihoods to farmers and hunters as a way of diverting their attention away from this biodiversity hot spot.

Meanwhile ERuDeF has through her Education for Sustainable Development Programme been sensitizing adjacent communities on the touristic and ecological importance of the proposed sanctuary; the legal framework governing the management of the sanctuary upon creation and the rights of adjacent communities in the management of the sanctuary. 

The event also had in attendance the South West Regional chief of wildlife Nono Joseph and elites of the respective fondoms adjacent to the proposed sanctuaries.




18 March 2016

IOs Get Better Understanding Of DRYAD Project Implementation in Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 898


Some four Implementing Organizations (IOs) of the World Agro Forestry Centre (ICRAF) Dryad project in Cameroon have expressed full understanding of the implementation process of the Dryad project in Cameroon.

 By Sheron Endah

At the end of a five-day Training on Community Forest Enterprises (CEF) management in Yaounde organised last February by ICRAF, the IOs including ERuDeF, CAFER, CAMECO and CAFT acknowledged having an depth understanding on the implementation phase of the project.  

The IOs testified having a much better comprehension on financial planning, operational accounting, and how to use Field monitoring Systems (FMS) for data collection amongst others.

“This workshop was relevant. I now have an in-depth understanding of the implementation phase of the project. All reporting methods and deadlines were well explained,” said Nkeng Ursula, Director of Finance for ERuDeF

The IOs promised to assist in the identification of some 12 community forests among which four with the most potential will be selected and groomed in to viable community forest enterprises. This according to them, is a way of facilitating the realizations of the Dryad project objectives

They pledged to work with different CFEs within their areas to establish SMART objectives, which will subsequently be monitored through a range of indicators that reflect the state of the community, the performance of the enterprise and the health of the forest, respectively.

At the end of the workshops, the IOs agreed to work with different CFEs on various issues including business planning to identify and develop non-forest timber products (NTFPs) and eco-tourism; planning how the business will function; identifying and develop marketing enterprises for NTFPs for sustainable forest management and conservation.

The process will require developing value chains for natural resources within the different community forests and linking them to both national and international markets.

The IOs were also charged with the responsibility of accompanying the viable CFEs and groom them towards becoming self-reliant when the project concludes. 

The Drayad project is supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) with the World Agro Forestry Centre (ICRAF) as the coordinating partner.

18 March 2016

Toilet Construction Underway For Better Hygiene and Sanitation In G. S Banti

Posted in News, Views 759

Toilet Construction Underway For Better Hygiene and Sanitation In G. S Banti

“This toilet construction project is a timely solution to the sanitary problem that had plagued the pupils of my school in the past years, who have resorted to using streams and surrounding bushes as toilets increasing the rate of malaria, typhoid and hepatitis amongst my pupils,” says Menkem Sylvester Zah, head teacher of G.S Banti.

By Samuel Ngueping

Menkem Sylvester was speaking during the launching ceremony of a project for the construction of a five-chamber toilet at G.S. Banti carried out by ERuDeF in collaboration with her international partner, Man and Nature.

Aimed at improving the sanitary conditions of G.S Banti and the community at large, Menkem said the project will salvage the school and the community from contaminated water and nasty environments pledging his total support to the success of the project.

Welcoming the ERuDeF team to his community, the PTA Chairman of GS Banti, Godsey Mofor, lauded the initiative and enjoined the pupils to see the gesture as a blessing from God.

“There are over 25 schools in Wabane Subdivision and to be the selected as beneficiary of such a project is a rare privilege,” Mofor said.

The Fon of Banti, Fon Taliba, on his part, challenged the staff and students of Banti to make judicious use of the resource upon completion and to collaborate fully in ensuring its completion.

Fon Teliba promised 800 mud blocks for the construction of the toilet and wood for its roofing and doors. 

Funded through the Net Positive Impact Project of Man & Nature, this project is part of the overall Conservation Development Agreement model requested by the Regional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for the Southwest to be put in place around the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. premises of the Government school Banti Wabane Sub division, Lebialem division Cameroon. The launching ceremony was attended amongst others by Fon of Banti, Teliba Elias Kebang, pupils and staff of GS Banti, the PTA Chairman and a cross-section of parents and other members of the Banti community.


18 March 2016

Livelihood Support Improves Endangered Wildlife Conservation In Tofala

Posted in News, Views 978

Livelihood Support Improves Endangered Wildlife Conservation In Tofala

 There has been increasing recognition that gains in conservation efforts have not been matched with access to sources of livelihoods by communities adjacent to protected areas. This disparity waters down efforts at guaranteeing quality conservation.

By Che Azenyui Bruno

In the rural regions of Cameroon, livelihood sources are closely linked to bio-diversity hot-spot. Farmers, hunters, trappers, timber exploiters, herbalists depend heavily upon the resources that the forests offer. Although there may be need to conserve endangered wildlife species, there is often drastic contrast in the economic wellbeing of communities living in those bio-diversity hotspots, especially those adjacent to protected areas. The economic component of the communities is a major factor that limits conservation efforts. Therefore, improving the economic status of communities adjacent to protected areas should be the priority of conservation programmes.

ERuDeF through Man & Nature’s Net Positive Impact (NPI) project has engaged in providing alternative livelihood to small scale farmers, hunters, and trappers who before the gazettement of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in 2014, depended on the forest for their subsistence.

“I used to be a hunter and a trapper to earn a living for my family. But thanks to ERuDeF initiated projects around the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS), I denounced hunting for pig rearing and today my family is better off…….even when I went for hunting I was not sure of a daily harvest.” says Chief Fonkwetta Denis A.

Chief Fonkwetta recalls that at times his children would miss part of the academic year due to lack of money following a bad hunting season. But now all that belongs to history.

The Chief says after benefiting from ERuDeF training and receiving pigs, one of the pig’s delivered five piglets.

“I sold four of the pigs and paid school fees of my children with ease. We left one pig to grow, and now the mother pig is once again pregnant,” says Chief Fonkwetta.

In addition, Fonkwetta benefited from ERuDeF training on bee farming where he currently has a small apiary.

“During a monitoring process and a test harvest organized by ERuDeF’s Livelihood Programme, my apiary gave me seven liters of honey and a small quantity of bee wax, an indication of a good harvest during harvesting season,” says Chief Fonkwetta.

The Chief’s and his wife were also trained on soap production. They now produce soap and sell in the village markets.

“All these have boosted my standard of living and to be sincere, I see no gain going to the forest for hunting,” Chief Fonkwetta states.

Chief Fonkwetta is the President of the Fossungu Village Forest Management Committee (VFMC), and the executive adviser of the Fossungu unit of the Alou Tofala Cooperative Society.

“All these coupled with the training I received from ERuDeF as a member of the VFMC, have encouraged me to abandon hunting. At first I did not understand the meaning of conservation and its importance to future generations but now I can say I am a conservation ambassador of my village,” Chief Fonkwetta says proudly.

Meanwhile, more women in communities around Tofala have engaged in local soap production and sales thanks to the skills they acquired from different ERuDeF training programs. 

Twenty-nine thousand fruit trees and other NTFP’s species have also been planted in the buffer zones of the sanctuary and around water catchment points to revive dried water sources.

Reports from the Southwest Regional Delegation of Basic Education, performance in General Certificate Examinations have greatly improved from 96.44% in 2014 to 99.3% in 2015 thanks to the textbooks that were donated to 20 primary schools.

 Reports from head teachers indicate an increase in the quality of lessons delivered, classroom participation as well as increase in the quality of classroom examinations. Principals of the 12 secondary schools who received textbooks in their libraries have expressed immense progress in student assignments and end of term results

 According to Enokenwa Tabi Allen, Manager of the Governance Component, there has been a remarkable decline in human pressure within the sanctuary. He praised the efforts of the team in educating the community through its different educational programs and networks such as: the wildlife advocacy week, the Lebialem Environmental Education Association, projection of environmental films and rain forest expeditions with the youths and adults of the adjacent communities.

The ERuDeF and Man & Nature alliance accentuates the fact that their goal is concerned with reducing human pressure on the habitats of protected wildlife species through provision of alternative livelihood sources.


18 March 2016

The Lewoh Community Sees ‘Light’ In ABS Mondia Project

Posted in News, Views 684

The Lewoh Community Sees ‘Light’ In ABS Mondia Project

The inhabitants of Lewoh community, Lebialem Division, Southwest Cameroon have expressed gratitude to ERUDeF and partners for opening their eyes to the benefits of genetic resources exploitation to their community.

By Sheron Endah

They were speaking at the end of the launch of the ABS-Mondia project by ERuDeF under the auspices of the Southwest Regional Delegate of the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED).

The Deputy Mayor of Alou just like the traditional ruler, cried foul at other individuals and organizations who exploited genetic resources without attributing any benefit to the local community.

“Before now companies and individuals exploited genetic resources from our communities without our consent talk less of any related benefits but the ABS Process is different because we are sure to benefit a lot from the exploitation of the Mondia roots in this municipality,” said the First Deputy Mayor of Alou Council.

Corroborating this, Lewoh Fon’s representative to the launch said, “This project will produce additional revenue for families and act as another source of income for the people of Lewoh.”

He implored his people to act as ambassadors of the project.

The CEO/President of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, while opening the launching ceremony explained that the project is divided in two phases; the Research and Development (R&D) and the commercialisation phase.

The R&D phase involves conducting laboratory tests on the roots and regeneration of the resource within Lewoh, whereas the commercialisation phase entails sales of the dried roots to the company following agreements between the community and the company. 

Nkembi cautioned the community that benefits from this project will not be immediate given that a lot of research has to be conducted. However he reassured the community that benefits will abound financial and non- financial when commercialisation begins. 

In the same light, MINEPDED Regional Delegate, Set Ekwadi Songue, advised farmers not to quit other farming activities but to integrate the cultivation of Mondia in their farms especially beneath trees and around fences since Mondia is a vine.

This new ABS project will add value to the roots of the Mondia plant for cosmetic purposes through the intervention of V. Mane Fils Company in France using the ABS process, which ensures the equitable distribution of benefits accrued from the exploitation of biological resources between the company and the community who are custodians of these resources.



18 March 2016

Ehinops giganteus: New Source of Livelihood in Magha-Bamumbu

Posted in News, Views 737

Ehinops giganteus: New Source of Livelihood in Magha-Bamumbu

 Known locally as “Ayilagwem”, the Echinops giganteus plant, hitherto used for the preparation of traditional dishes like achu & nkui, healing of some ailments and for recreation by little children, has become one of the sources of livelihood to most people in the Magha Bamumbu Community.

At the Echinops giganteus drying station where bags fresh roots of Echinops have been brought from for marketing, a Son of the Soil, Momanjong Denis, who is also ERuDeF field Technician coordinating the collection process said “a kilo gram of fresh Echinops roots sales at 400 francs CFA and over 3,000 kilograms of fresh roots are recorded for the first collection session with an a collection range of 10 to over 25 kgs per person. Thus, each person can boost of about 4000frs to 10000frs per collection depending on the quantity of Echinops.

Inhabitants of the Magha-Bamumbu community, who came to the drying stations with bags of fresh Echinops roots testified that proceeds from the sales of Echnops have been helpful to them and their families.

A Magha-Bamumbu indigene, Bandashi Bridget who just finished weighing 18 kg roots of fresh Echinops roots explained how helpful proceeds from previous Echinops roots sales have been helpful to her and her family.

“The previous ones that I have been selling here have been very helpful in supporting the education of children, buying household need and getting proper medical attention when sick,” Bandeshi said. She further disclosed that the sale of Echinops roots is the fastest means of income generation compared to other sources of livelihood because the collection is done in the wild and they do not need any extra efforts before getting the products to the drying station except the collection and washing of the roots.

“Before you harvest and sell potatoes in the market, you have to clear or burn, buy seeds, till the soil, plants the potatoes, apply manure, spray against pests, constantly check to remove wheats etc. All these take you over 5 months before you can think of harvesting; even after harvesting transportation to a reasonable market is a night mare due to our poor state of roads but for echinops just move to the wild, dig and sell” She explained

Another Magha-Bamumbu indigene, Tamukindo John, on his part said the Echinops plant was formerly used only during ‘born houses’, the treatment of diseases and the preparation of Achu Soap known in this area as ‘Milumpat’ until ERuDeF and some white men  came that the plant could as well be used for perfume production.

“Today the plant is helping us in many ways-I have harvested these ones from the wild and brought to this drying station for weighing and payment” he said.

Tatachop Johnas and wife Tatachop Angeline, met in the wild harvesting Echinops roots explain the harvesting and marketing process

“Echinops is a wild plant. When we go for harvesting, we select those with balls or fruits because they are the mature ones. Once a mature Echinops has been seen, we use a cutlass to clear around the plant. After clearing, we open the area with a hoe and then a dig axe to dig out the roots. After digging, the Echinops is washed, and cut into 7cm as recommended by the perfume production enterprise to facilitate drying. It is then piled in bags and taking to the drying station for weighing where one kg is sold at 400 francs CFA. After weighing, it is sent to the drying station for cutting and drying, and then exportation to the V. Man Fils company in France for perfume production,” Tatachop and his wife narrated.

Regarding the sustainability of the Echinops plant, community members said they have been trained on the cultivation of the plant and have each opened up Echinops farms in this regard.

Echinopsgiganteus was located in Maha-Bamumbu, Lebialem Division-Southwest Cameroon in  2012 by a French company dealing with fragrance and flavors, V. Man Fils,  as having the potential value for perfume production and is Cameroon’s pilot project base on the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) principle, which encourages the fair and equitable distribution of benefit arising from the exploitation of genetic resources and related traditional knowledge.

 By Ndimuh Bertrand Shancho



18 March 2016

Bomana Farmers Express Interest in Agroforestry Farm Optimization Model

Posted in News, Views 716

Bomana Farmers Express Interest in Agroforestry Farm Optimization Model

Farmers of the Bomana cluster of the Mount Cameroon National Park have expressed interest in the Agroforestry Farm Optimization Model, introduced last February, 2016 during a workshop by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).

By Tengem Adeline & Payong Prudence

Farm optimization model is a technique of improving agricultural productivity via farming systems like alley cropping, establishment of life fences, contour farming, pastoral farming, forest gardening, farm optimization and grafting.

Introduced as a means of ensuring the sustainable conservation of threatened trees in the Mount Cameroon Area via the community management approach, the Bomana farmers were trained on various stages of grafting including root stock preparation, stock raising in polythene bags, cutting and attachment of scion and management of the grafted trees.

At the end of the workshop, farmers expressed interest in adopting this model in their farms

“Farmers in Bomboko cluster have been benefiting from this system introduced some time ago by the Mount Cameroon National Park…we are very happy that ERuDeF has introduced this in our community,” said Oscar Eko, a member of Village Forest Management Committee.

He added that such a system will help improve their farm yields and reduce their pressure on the forest

Other farmers, whose farms were located in the National Park and were sent off after the creation of the park, said such a model will help them maximize yield on the small available farm land, which they now have.

Over 80% of farmers at the workshop where thrilled by this project and promised implementing it in their farms; they were earmarked for a Regional grafting workshop that would be launched nationwide by April, 2016.

The workshop was attended amongst others by the Traditional Ruler of Bomana, Chairman of the Bomana community, Village Forest Management Committee (VFMC) Adviser, members of VFMC, other farmers and ERuDeF team.

A similar activity will soon be conducted in Bafia, Woteva and Bakingili.

The Farm Optimization Model in adjacent communities to the Mount Cameroon National Park, which is being supported by Fauna & Flora International and the Mohamed bin Zayed Foundation, is part of ERuDeF’s exit strategy from the Mt Cameroon National Park Area.



18 March 2016

‘Miracle Agroforestry Tree’ Puts Smile On Farmers’ Faces In Buea

Posted in News, Views 619

‘Miracle Agroforestry Tree’ Puts Smile On Farmers’ Faces In Buea


In 2015, Trees Cameroon distributed over 350,000 tree species of Acacia, Leucaena, Calliandra, Prunus and Moringa to farmers in the Southwest, Northwest, West and Littoral Regions.

By Payong Prudence

Ayuk Rudolf, ERuDeF’s Trees Cameroon agroforestry field technician for Fako Division, was one of the recipients of the Moringa seedlings.

Ayuk has been working with Trees Cameroon since 2011. Earlier in 2013, he had put up a quarter hectare of Moringa at Mile 14 Dibanda in Buea, and today he is making money from the leaves of the ‘miracle’ tree.

So far, Ayuk has made over 100,000 francs CFA from selling Moringa leaves.

Ayuk also sells the powder from Moringa leaves in 0.35 litre bottles for 5,000 francs CFA. He is now planning to expand his production of Moringa as the plantation of 50 mature trees is fruiting for the first time.

The seeds would be ready for use by September 2016.

Indeed, Ayuk’s Moringa plantation is beginning to bear fruits for his family and his neighbours.

Ayuk educates his neighbours and friends on the health benefits of Moringa. He also helps them with Moringa leaves to treat one disease to the other.

One Nkwanyang John also buys Moringa leaves from Ayuk, processes them into powder and sells the miracle product to his community.

To meet the increasing demand for Moringa powder locally, Ayuk and Nkwanyang plan to start mass production by creating a hectare of Moringa plantation in Mile 14 Dibanda.

Nkwanyang has a machine to ease the transformation of Moringa leaves into powder.

Ayuk says Seeds for the new plantation are available given that 12 out of the 50 mature Moringa trees in Ayuk’s old plantation are fruiting as such, money that would have been used to purchase seeds would be used to solve some other family problems.

According to Ayuk, a tree can give averagely two kgs of Moringa seeds, thus 24 kg of seeds would be available to plant in the one hectare of land.

Ayuk says they would move to transforming Moringa seeds into liquid in the nearest future.

Health researchers around the world nicknamed Moringa ‘The Miracle Tree’ due to its miraculous healing abilities. It builds our muscles, bones and teeth.

According to the researchers, Moringa also treats headache, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney stones, fluid retention and thyroid disorders.

As an aphrodisiac, it increases sex drive. It also prevents pregnancy, boosts the immune system, increases breast milk production and prevents bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections.








17 March 2016

Reforestation/Habitat Protection crucial for threatened amphibians Conservation on Mt. Nlonako

Posted in News, Views 631

Reforestation/Habitat Protection crucial for threatened amphibians Conservation on Mt. Nlonako

 Mount (Mt) Nlonako in the southern edge of the Cameroon mountains range is one of the most species rich single locality area in amphibian fauna in Africa (source).  It is home to the world’s largest frog  Conraua goliath (Goliath frog) and some other 93 amphibian species.

Contrary to the high biodiversity value of this area, Mt. Nlonako is threatened by habitat destruction through logging activities and farm encroachment. The western and northern flanks are heavily cultivated, with the forest destroyed up to an elevation of approximately 1,100m.

This has affected the population density and distribution of amphibians on the mountain. There is therefore a need for a the gazette of the mountain to protect the remaining population of amphibians and other wildlife species for posterity.

There is therefore an urgent need to ensure the - protection of the amphibian habitats on Mount Nlonako area, assess the current threats affecting amphibian distribution and population density and to raise awareness on the importance of amphibians in the Mount Nlonako area.

 87,000US$ will amongst others salvage some  IUCN-listed critically endangered and endangered species  including the Goliath frog (Conraua goliath), Giant pangolin (Phataginus spp) Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) Chimpanzee(Pan troglodytes elloiti)  and some endemic amphibian species from extinction .

Any investment to conserve nature is an investment to protect mankind. Get more about ERuDeF and her conversation efforts and interventions at and




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