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  • Roundtable Meeting on Initiation of a blueprint for measuring Gross Environment Product

    A roundtable meeting was held on 5th March 2020, at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), under its NMCG project “Planning and Management for Aquatic Species Conservation and Maintenance of Ecosystem Services in the Ganga River Basin for a clean Ganga”. The roundtable meeting focused on the discussion and development of measures and scores for Gross Environment Product (GEP) for the state of Uttarakhand. The meeting was chaired by Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India. Dr. Dhananjai Mohan, Director, WII welcomed the dignitaries and spoke on relevance of the meeting at WII. Padma Bhushan Dr. Anil P. Joshi introduced the concept of GEP and requested the invited dignitaries to share their experiences on technicalities of defining indicators for calculating GEP of four sectors, viz. Forests, Water, Air and Soil. Dr. Ruchi Badola Scientist-G, WII and coordinator for the meeting, provided an overview of the roundtable meeting and highlighted its objectives. Dr. Badola also pointed out the importance of empowering local communities, so that they become providers rather than beneficiaries of the ecosystem services. Dr. Shilija Vaidya Gupta, Senior Adviser/Scientist ‘H’, Office of Principle Scientific Adviser, GOI expressed that the state of Uttarakhand is the birthplace of the Ganga River and is home to many of our country's pristine landscapes. Dr. Shilija expressed that there is no other place better suited to lead the country, other than Uttarakhand in a revival of our environment, through inclusion of the four sectors as a measure of GEP. The GEP will reflect not just the economic benefits but also the ecological cost of every sector. She further added that data and indicators are needed at finer scale. GEP will be an indicator of sustainable solution. Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan summarized the discussion by pointing out the urgent need for real time data at ground level, which would help in long-term decision-making. The sectors will have to be continuously monitored for obtaining the data for indicators. The outcome as GEP will be utilized for red flagging the impacts and framing policy actions to address the tipping points.

    In the second half of the meeting roles and responsibilities for creating the indicators for four sectors were discussed. It was agreed to bring data on one platform and integrate it for its better accessibility. Ecological growth measure and their progress on real time data should be recorded and shared. A committee was proposed to be created for the state of Uttarakhand, which will be chaired by Sh. Anand Vardhan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Govt. of Uttarakhand. The head of state Institutions will be part of this committee, with Department of Planning being in the lead for GEP calculations. 

    The roundtable meeting was concluded with vote of thanks by Dr. Ruchi Badola and registration of dignitaries as Ganga Prahari Mentors.

  • Thirteenth Conference of Parties of Convention on Migratory Species of wild animals (CMS CoP13)

    “Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home” is  the theme of a major UN Wildlife Conference dedicated to migratory species in India that was held from 15th to 22nd February, 2020 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. The CoP13 was officially inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India on 17th February, 2020.  Senior government officials, environment advocates, activists, researchers and biodiversity leaders from as many as 130 countries participated in this conference. Inaugurating this key UN Summit the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that the CMS COP13 is of particular significance to India, which is known for its rich biodiversity and is one of the seven megadiverse countries in the world. “India has four biodiversity hotspots – Eastern Himalayas, Western Ghats, Indo Myanmar landscape and Andaman and Nicobar Islands and home to as many as 500 species of migratory birds from across the globe”, said the Prime Minister. In his speech he has also informed the efforts of India in conserving migratory species that included the bustard conservation breeding programme, dugong recovery programme, etc.

    Wildlife Institute of India has showcased the conservation efforts of India with respect to several threatened migratory species such as Dugongs, Great Indian Bustard, Gangetic Dolphin, Amur Falcon, Snow Leopard, etc. in its Exhibition Hall. WII stall is one of the most visited stalls of the Conference by delegates and students.

    WII has conducted a side event on behalf of MoEF&CC with partnership of CMFRI and WTI on ‘Marine Animals Conservation Programme: Sea turtles, whale shark, Arabian Sea Humpback Whales and Dugongs in India’ on 19th February, 2020. This side event was Co-chaired by Shri Soumitra Dasgupta, IGF(WL), MoEFCC, GoI with Dr. Dhananjay Mohan, Director, WII. Inaugurating the side event, Shri Dasgupta reiterated the commitment of the Government of India in conservation of migratory marine animals and he told that the marine conservation programme is one of the priority of the government. He has also mentioned that the MoEF&CC is going to release the National Action Plan of marine turtles and also policies related to marine animals stranding. The speakers of the programme include Dr. Suresh Kumar (WII), Dr. Dipani Sutaria (Marine Biologist) and Mr Sajan John (WTI). The programme was coordinated by Dr Bitapi Sinha, WII. Dr. K. Sivakumar, who organized this side event highlighted the India’s efforts in conservation of marine migratory animals especially the dugongs and their habitats. Chief Wildlife Wardens and their representatives from various coastal states and UTs have participated in the discussion and highlighted the conservation efforts of their respective states and UTs. Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra state officials participated in this side event along with delegates from various international organizations  such as IWC, GOBI,, CMS Dugong MoU, etc and India.

    Dr. Dhananjay Mohan, Director, WII in his closing address highlighted the true nature of migration of marine animals and stressed the importance of having a better conservation strategy for these migratory marine animals and their habitats. He has also appreciated the efforts of coastal States and UTs in conservation of marine animals and their habitts such as dugongs, sea turtles, whale sharks, etc. He thanked all delegates especially the forest department officials for their supports to WII.

    Further, WII especially the NMCG Team has organized a side event at the Indian Pavilion and showcased the conservation efforts of WII with respect to migratory species of Ganges. More than 20 scientists and researchers from WII participated in this conference and spoken in the various side events organized at the Conference. Dr S. Sathyakumar and Dr K. Sivakumar have also participated in the Working Group Meetings of CMS CoP 13 of Terrestrial and Aquatic species respectively along with officials from MoEF&CC.

  • One-week compulsory training course for Indian Forest Service Officers on “Management of Coastal and Marine Biodiversity in India: Challenges and Prospects” On 10-14 February, 2020 at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    One week refresher training course for Indian Forest Officers on “Management of Coastal and Marine Biodiversity in India: Challenges and Prospect” was inaugurated at Andaman & Nicobar Islands  on 10th  February, 2020 by Mr. Tarun Coomar, PCCF of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Dr V.B. Mathur, Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority. This one week course was jointly organized from 10-14th  February 2020 by Wildlife Institute of India in association with Department of Environment & Forest, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  The course was started with 30 IFS officers from 11 state cadres. Inaugural function was attended by various departments including the Zoological Survey of India.

    The training was initiated with a comprehensive introduction to the coastal and marine biodiversity conservation in India by Dr. K. Sivakumar, Course Director. He has also elaborated upon the CAMPA funded- Species Recovery Programme. Dr. V. B. Mathur presented the strategies for developing synergies between biodiversity related conventions and legal instruments: challenges and way ahead. Mr N. Vasudevan, APCCF, Maharashtra has shared his experiences an efforts of the Maharashtra in conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity including creation of Marine Biodiversity Foundation. He also shared multiple images taken at the field to describe the threats to the marine biodiversity of the region. The last session of the day was taken by Dr. Sivakumar on Endangered Species Recovery Programmes of India and shared some of the best practices followed in India. The participants interacted with the resource persons on various aspects on marine biodiversity management in India between the sessions on the first day. It is planned to visit the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (MGMNP), Wandoor, Jhansi Rani Marine National Park and Baratang mangrove forests on coming days.

    In India, there are multiple governance frameworks and structures that administer the coastal and marine environment. While these are intended to have positive outcomes, overlapping jurisdictions, contradictory mandates and limited coordination hinders multiple agencies from working effectively in coastal India. Management agencies in India are still having limited understanding about management of multiple use coastal and marine areas. Given this scenario, the challenge lies in reconciling livelihood needs and development vis-a-vis conservation. Therefore, this course was conducted to address the following issues:

    • promoting integration of biodiversity conservation and livelihood enhancement?

    • What are the existing and potential threats for conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity?

    • What are the current policy and governance challenges to coastal and marine biodiversity conservation? What is the role of community in the governance and management of marine protected areas and ecologically sensitive coastal areas?  

  • National Training Programme for Ganga Praharis Spreadhead Team

    3rd to 10th February, 2020

    Under the Wildlife Institute of India-National Mission for Clean Mission Ganga project ‘Biodiversity Conservation Initiative Phase II, 8 days National training programme for the spearhead team of Ganga Praharis from the five Ganga States was conducted at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), from the 3rd to 10th February 2020. The objective of the training was to train the spearhead team of Ganga Praharis-Guardians of the Ganga, who will lead the conservation activities in their respective areas specially conducting cleanliness and plantation drive, volunteering with State forest departments in population census of different aquatic species of Ganga River and mobilization of school children at their respective states.  50 selected Ganga Praharis from Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal had participated.  These participants have been actively involved with the project as Ganga Praharis for past three years (since 2017) hence; have been selected to be the spearheads along the main stem Ganga and its selected tributaries.

    On day 1st detailed information on technical issues pertaining to biodiversity conservation activities were shared with the participants to enable them to lead and carry forward the Ganga conservation activities. During the inaugural session of the training workshop Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Scientist & Training coordinator welcomed the participants to the training programme and encouraged them to carry forward and continue the cleanliness and conservation activities in their respective states. The participants introduced themselves. Thereafter, Dr. Ruchi Badola, Scientist G & Project Investigator gave a brief overview about the conservation activities of Ganga Phararis at various locations along the Ganga River. Dr. S. A. Hussain, Scientist G & Project Investigator requested that Ganga Praharis to be the torch bearers for Ganga biodiversity conservation and supervise the ground level activities in main stem Ganga and its major tributaries. Towards the end the Ganga Praharis shared their experiences and expressed gratitude to the NMCG-WII project, has given them a world-wide recognition and invoked in them a sense of belongingness towards the natural heritage of the country.

    Dr. Niladri Dasgupta, Project Scientist, informed the participants about the monitoring techniques of aquatic species and their ecological importance in maintenance of a healthy ecosystem. Environmental laws are an essential part of the conservation programme and play a key role for the first responders on field. To sensitize the participants on these legal implications on handling of the schedule species. Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Trustee and Scientific Advisor, Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment, New Delhi gave an overview of laws protecting environment, forest and wildlife of India. Special focus was made to make the participants aware of the legal procedures for a common man.

    The Day 2nd of the training further proceeded with a lecture on understanding the concept and significance of Village Level Micro Plan along the Ganga river. There was an interactive session dedicated to the formulation and identification of various problems which are faced by the Ganga River. In this all the participants were divided in to teams based on their area of districts and blocks. During the activity they were asked to identify one major issue, challenges and its root cause on the decline of biodiversity in any protected areas. Apart from this they were asked to identify the key stakeholders with they have been working for the rejuvenation of the river. Open ended questionnaires were distributed which aim at identifying the key aspects of village level micro planning. Further there was a session on Digital Micro Planing and usage of mobile application on the same.

    On the second day, the Spearhead Team of Ganga Praharis visited the Forensic Laboratory where in the experts guided them on the identification and differentiation of poaching samples and fake samples of different species procedures. In addition to this another important lecture that was delivered by Dr. V. P Uniyal, on the “Insect as Bioindicators”, which covered the significance of various insects including earthworms, beetles, spiders and so on for the balanced ecological system on the river basin.

    The day 3rd of the event initiated with a visit to Dehradun Zoo. Housing numerous types of aquatic as well as terrestrial fauna that are put on display attracts the attention of visitors of all age groups. After a brief recapitulation about the Zoo the event proceeded with a lecture on Rescue and Rehabilitation Techniques of different species particularly in times of a distress and injury. Demonstration was given by Veterinarian expert, Dr. Anupam Shrivastav and Dr. Vikramjit on rescuing procedure that is to be followed to relocate the eggs of turtles during any natural calamity. Post lunch, the training day began by a visit to Forest Research Institute of India, a premier research institution in India having three fascinating museums namely Timber Museum, Silviculture Museum and the Forest Pathology Museum. Here in all the Ganga Praharis observed the rich biodiversity not only of the rare species but also the tree history of which dates back to thousands of years and are kept for display for visitors.

    The day 4th was a more of a Techno centric wherein the event began with a lecture on “Space Technology and Ganga Rejuvenation”. The expert from Namami Gange introduced the working of Bhuwan Ganga app through a video graphic display. This app enables a Ganga Prahari to report any issue pertaining to the Holy River. Later on the participants were made familiar with Aqualife Data App and its usage focusing on the Digital Micro Planning for Villages on the banks of the Ganga River, this will help the Ganga Praharis in identification of the aspects which they have to focus on in order to achieve the goal of clean Ganga. Both these aforesaid apps are formulated by WII. In the later part of the day all the Ganga Praharis were asked to prepare a micro plan for their respective state during an interactive activity session.

    On day 5th of the participants were taken for field exposure to Asan Conservation Reserve. During this visit the Ganga Prahari’s were addressed by Dr. Gopi G.V. on techniques and methods of Bird Watching, Wetland Management and Conservation of the habitat. This experience will enable the participants to adopt and implement the best practices in conserving of wetland along the Ganga River. After returning to the Wildlife Institute of India, Ganga Prahari’s had an opportunity to interact with London based Pravasi Ganga Prahari, Dr. Raj Amin, who is associated with Zoological Society of London. Here in they interacted about the activities which Ganga Prahari and Pravasi Ganga Prahari’s can take up together for the biodiversity conservation of the Holy Ganga. Dr. Amin also shared his opinion about this initiative and the reason he himself joined this initiative describing the significance of the role of Ganga Prahari and its importance.

    On day 6th of the participants had an interactive session wherein they were divided state wise in to teams and each team was asked to devise solutions to the problems identified by them during the Village Level Micro Planning exercise. Ms. Hemlata Khanduri, Dr. Sangeeta Angom and Dr. Pariva Dobriyal interacted with all the teams and guided them with reasonable solutions to achieve the desired conservation goals. In the later part of the day the team were taken to Himalayan Environmental Education and Conservation Organization, (HESCO) Dehradun. The team had interactions with Dr. Kiran Negi and other experts in which the participants were told about village development and restoration techniques like spring and river water recharge, low cost bridge for better access, water-flour mills and fruit processing plant. This experience will allow the trained cadre to mobilise rural community through implementation of alternative livelihood models. Alternative livelihood will enable the local community to decrease their level of dependency on fishing and allied businesses for their socio economic survival.

    On the 7th day the Ganga Prahari Spearhead Team were taken to Bharwakatal village in Maldevta, Dehradun. This village happens to be one of the few planned villages in our country. Besides few lectures from the alternate livelihood experts from HESCO, the team members witnessed the various alternative livelihood models that are in practice in this village for instance there is a Women Self Help Group which has brought financial inclusion and financial literacy among the women, like wise they have set up some common facility centres where in organic comestibles are prepared and sold. In addition to this they have been practicing Shree Daan, a concept of donation chain for resources mobilization and development in the nearby area. This real life exposure will enable the Spearhead Team to propagate and practice similar sustainable village development models and bring about prosperity in their respective areas. The day concluded with a Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh. Ganga Praharis were introduced to the devotees from across the world during this magnificent evening, giving them the opportunity to share their learnings and ideas with the people around.

    On the 8th and the final day of the training began with a Cleanliness Drive at Parmarth Niketan in which all the Ganga Praharis offered Shram Daan as part of this mass cleanliness drive. To mark the culmination of the training programme a Valedictory ceremony was held at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh. During this ceremony certificates were distributed to the participants after the successful completion of their training on 10-02-2020.

     
  • Inaugural of Certificate Course on “Bird Identification and Basic Ornithology” under Green Skill Development Programme

    ENVIS Resource Partner, Wildlife Institute of India is organizing Certificate Course on “Bird Identification and Basic Ornithology” under Green Skill Development Programme at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun from 30 January, 2020 to 13 February, 2020. This course is mainly targeted for unemployed youth. This is two week course in which there will be theory, practical class and field visits. 500 plus application were received from various states of country and based on interview 20 applicants were shortlisted. The aim of course is to skill participants in Bird Identification and Basic Ornithology. After doing this GSDP Certificate Course they can create employment opportunities and become self-dependent.

    An Inaugural session was organized in UNESCO C2C Auditorium, WII. Dr. Anju Baroth, Scientist C & ENVIS Co-Coordinator, welcomed the Chief Guest and the course participants. A brief introduction session of the participants was held and Dr. K Sivakumar, Scientist-F & ENVIS Coordinator, presented powerpoint presentation and briefed course participants activities and achievements of ENVIS and GSDP Courses conducted by ENVIS Resource Partner. Dr. Dhananjai Mohan, Director, WII who was the Chief Guest, addressed the participants and shared his vast experience on bird watching and identification with the course participants. At the last of inaugural session Ms. Sounika Karmakar, Programme Officer, ENVIS, WII gave vote of thanks to all audience and course participants.

  • Certificate Course in Nature Interpretation for Zoo Guide Training under Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP)

    Inaugural Session

    A Certificate Course on Nature Interpretation for Zoo Guide Training is being organized by ENVIS Resource Partner “Wildlife and Protected Areas Management”, Wildliffe Institute of India, Dehradun, in association with Central Zoo Authority and Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden, Ahmedabad. The course is a 10 day programme from 30th November to 9th December, 2019.

    The Function began by lighting of the lamp by the honourable mayor of Ahmedabad, Smt. Bijalben Patel and representatives of all the organisations coordinating for the course i.e. ENVIS Resource Partner “Wildlife and Protected Areas Management”, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Central Zoo Authority and Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden, Ahmedabad

    At the outset, Dr. Bitapi Sinha, Scientist G, Wildlife Institute of India and Course Director welcomed the delegates with a book and introduced all the organisers. She then spoke about the course, its objectives and what it plans to achieve as an outcome.

    The first phase is being held for the zoos based in the western region and explained Ahmedabad was chosen as the venue because Kamla Nehru Zoo is a model that everyone can follow and the city in itself has a lot to teach. She encouraged the participants from different states to learn from each other, grow during the course and keep in contact even after the course ends to attain the ultimate objective of learning and becoming good Zoo Guides. She also informed everyone about Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, menace of plastics and that this it was a plastic free event and the importance of same.

    Dr. Devendra Thakur, Evaluation and Monitoring Officer, Central Zoo Authority introduced the participants to the objective of the course, how after the then Environment Minister, Dr. Harshvardhan suggested to start a green skilling programme of zoos and after brainstorming sessions with experts, the idea of the course came about.

    They identified 8 different aspects where training of personnel is required and Zoo Guides is the first of them to start with. Dr. R. K. Sahu, Director, Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden, Ahmedabad, said it was an honour that the first course is being held in Ahmedabad. He told the students how everyday there is new information to learn. And this course would help them become good zoo guides and open new opportunities for them.

    Smt. Bijalben Patel, the honourable mayor of Ahmedabad, then addressed the gathering and spoke about how pleased and honoured she was that the course was being held in the city. She welcomed everyone to the heritage city of Ahemdabad.

    She said she was sure this course will sharpen the knowledge and improve the skills of the participants. She spoke about how all of us travel to places and certainly have interests to see a new place, learn about it But to make the visit enjoyable we look forward to some guidance and information beyond Google and Wikipedia.

    This information is provided by trained guides in an easy to understand language with correct facts and not fiction. She spoke about her personal connection and interest in animals and in development of Zoos. She also reminded everyone about how hazardous the single-use plastic had become.

    We also need to look at the traditional material used earlier like cloth bags, clay pot, wood for furniture, steel as containers and metal-ware as storage etc. She wished everyone a successful course and an enjoyable stay with good the memories of Ahmedabad.

    Dr. Bitapi Sinha presented a memento to the mayor as a token of appreciation and Ms. Sounika Karmakar, Programme Officer, ENVIS Resource Partner, Wildlife Institute of India closed the inaugural session with a vote of Thanks.

  • National Outreach for Awareness Generation on Urban Biodiversity

    A national outreach event for awareness generation on urban biodiversity was conducted at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun in collaboration with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia. The workshop was organized as a part of the INTERACT-Bio project on the 14th and 15th of November 2019.

    Representatives from national, state and city governments participated in the workshop. The Mayor of Dehradun, Shri. Sunil Uniyal Gama, welcomed the 30 participants including the mayors from Gangtok and Bhuj to the city and expressed his appreciation for the programme stating that it was timely and necessary. Dr. G.S. Rawat, Director, WII, emphasized that this workshop opens up a new arena of work- urban biodiversity and ecosystem services for the institute.

    The workshop dealt with various aspects relating to urban biodiversity. The technical sessions included discussions on legislation, policy and finance in the context of urban biodiversity, Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA)/ Nature-based solutions and the tools and techniques for decision making, monitoring and regulation of urban biodiversity. The participants were subsequently taken to the field in Rajpur and Mussoorie to experience how urban biodiversity links with the history and cultural heritage of a city.

    The event was well appreciated by all the participants and the speakers as this was the first step to mainstreaming biodiversity in city planning.

  • GIS Day celebrations

    On the occasion of GIS DAY, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) organized the ‘GET SET GIS Workshop’ for the researchers on 11th November 2019. The celebration at the campus received a participation about 80 researchers. The full day program consisted of a technical session in forenoon with hands on training for beginners, covering the basics of GIS software, Google Earth and Maps. The idea was to impart basic cartography skills. Different maps, prepared by the researchers of WII from different projects and by the IT, RS & GIS Lab were showcased to the students to demonstrate the context and various applications of maps. The participants prepared study area maps of which the best three were awarded prizes.

    1st Prize- Abhin N, 2nd Prize- Moulik Sarkar, 3rd Prize- Uddalak T. Bindhani

    The afternoon hosted a fun packed session, full of games and prizes. The games were ‘color the map’ and ‘treasure hunt’ with in the campus, which was open for all.  An ArcMap Story of WII Nature trail, was presented.

    The Treasure Hunt prizes were awarded to 1st Prize- Abhin N, 2nd Prize- Basawaraj M

    In addition the three best coloured maps were declared the winners.

    Book Prize, printed photo frames and coffee mugs were presented to the winners by the Nodal & Associate Nodal Officer (IT,RS & GIS Cell), Registrar and Dean and Director. The program ended with certificate distribution to the participants followed by Director’s concluding remarks.

    GIS Day celebrations

  • XVII WII- FODS Wildlife & Environment Quiz organised at WII, Dehradun, 1st October, 2019

    On the occasion of Wildlife Week, ENVIS Resource Partner (RP) on ‘Wildlife and Protected Areas’, at Wildlife Institute of India (WII) organised the annual ‘WII- FODS Wildlife & Environment Quiz’ for schools of Dehradun and Mussoorie. This was the 17th year of this quiz started in 2003 and is being held regularly ever since. The Friends of the Doon Society (FODS) collaborates with the ENVIS RP for this event. The quiz aims at spreading awareness about Forest, Wildlife, and Environment; and encourages the students to contribute to its conservation. Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh, Former Dean, WII graced the occasion as chief guest.

    18 schools participated with three members for each team belonging to Classes IX-XI. There was a preliminary qualifying written round and based on the marks obtained, six schools were selected for the audio-visual main round. Mr. Abdus Shakur gave a presentation on ‘Wildlife trade and what can be done on an individual level by the students to prevent that.’

    Wynberg Allen, Mussoorie emerged as the winner taking with them the Samir Ghosh Rolling Trophy and cash prizes presented by the Friends of the Doon Society. ENVIS RP, WII presented the winning team, a Rolling Trophy, Book Prizes and Certificates. Dr. G.S. Rawat, Dean and Director, WII and Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh addressed the gathering.

    Download Complete Event pdf (580 kb)

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