All of these stories first appeared in Future Crunch’s free, fortnightly e mail publication. In the event you’re keen on getting extra news like this in 2019, you’ll be able to subscribe proper right here.
For the final 12 months, the international media has been targeted on so much of dangerous news. However there have been different issues occurring on the market too. Good news stories that didn’t make it onto the night broadcasts, or your social media feeds.
We spent the yr accumulating them, in our ongoing mission to cease the worry virus in its tracks. Take pleasure in.
- 1 One other yr of massive wins for conservation
- 2 Some extraordinary new milestones for international well being
- 3 A kinder, extra tolerant planet
- 4 Dwelling requirements improved for most individuals in the world
- 5 The clear power transition in motion
- 6 Struggle, crime and violence continued their inexorable, long run decline
- 7 An financial system that doesn’t value the earth…
- 8 …and a turning level in the international effort to scale back plastic waste
- 9 …and one final one, only for luck (our favourite story of the yr)
One other yr of massive wins for conservation
1. The Kofan individuals of Sinangoe, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, gained a landmark authorized battle to guard the headwaters of the Aguarico River, nullifying 52 mining concessions and liberating up greater than 32,000 hectares of main rainforest. Amazon Frontlines
2. Following China’s ban on ivory final yr, 90% of Chinese language help it, ivory demand has dropped by virtually half, and poaching charges are falling in locations like Kenya. WWF
three. The inhabitants of wild tigers in Nepal was discovered to have almost doubled in the final 9 years, because of efforts by conservationists and elevated funding for protected areas. The Unbiased
four. Deforestation in Indonesia fell by 60%, consequently of a ban on clearing peatlands, new instructional campaigns, and higher regulation enforcement. Ecowatch
Poaching charges are falling in locations like Kenya after China’s ivory ban.
5. The United Nations stated that the ozone gap can be absolutely healed over the Arctic and the northern hemisphere by the 2030s, and in the relaxation of the world by 2060. Gizmodo
6. $10 billion (the largest quantity ever for ocean conservation) was dedicated in Bali this yr for the safety of 14 million sq. kilometers of the world’s oceans. MongaBay
7. In California, the world’s smallest fox was eliminated from the Endangered Species Record, the quickest restoration of any mammal underneath the Endangered Species Act. Conservaca
eight. In 2018, after greater than ten years of debate, 140 nations agreed to start negotiations on a historic “Paris Agreement for the Ocean,” the first-ever worldwide treaty to cease overfishing and shield life in the excessive seas. Nationwide Geographic
9. Niger revealed that it has planted 200 million new timber in three many years, the largest positive transformation of the surroundings in African historical past. The Guardian
10. Spain stated it will create a brand new marine wildlife reserve for the migrations of whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean and can prohibit all future fossil fuels exploration in the space. Related Press
11. Following ‘visionary’ steps by Belize, UNESCO eliminated the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, from its listing of endangered World Heritage Websites. BBC
12. Colombia formally expanded the Serranía de Chiribiquete (also called The Cosmic Village of the Jaguars) to four.three million hectares, making it the largest protected tropical rainforest nationwide park in the world. WWF
13. Mexico stated its inhabitants of wild jaguars, the largest feline in the Americas, grew by 20% in the previous eight years, and 14 Latin American nations signed an settlement to implement a regional conservation program for the huge cats by means of 2030. Phys.org
14. In the forests of central Africa, the inhabitants of mountain gorillas, one of the world’s most endangered species, was reported to have elevated by 25% since 2010, to over 1,000 people. Reuters
15. Canada signed one other conservation cope with its First Nations individuals, creating the largest protected boreal forest (an space twice the measurement of Belgium) on the planet. BBC
16. Chile handed a brand new regulation defending the waters alongside its shoreline, creating 9 marine reserves and growing the space of ocean underneath state safety from four.three% to 42.four%. BBC
17. The Seychelles created a brand new 130,000 sq. kilometer marine reserve in the Indian Ocean, defending their waters from unlawful fishing for generations to return. Nationwide Geographic
18. New Caledonia agreed to put 28,000 sq. kilometers of its ocean waters underneath safety, together with some of the world’s most pristine coral reefs. Forbes
Some extraordinary new milestones for international well being
India registered a 22% decline in maternal deaths since 2013.
19. 25 million doses of a brand new cholera vaccine have been administered globally, and preparations started for the largest vaccination drive in historical past. UNICEF
20. France revealed a pointy fall in every day people who smoke, with a million fewer lighting up in the previous yr, and cigarette use amongst People dropped to its lowest degree since the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention began amassing knowledge in 1965.
21. Rwanda turned the first low-income nation to offer common eye care to all of its residents, by coaching three,000 nurses in over 500 well being clinics. International Citizen
22. India registered a 22% decline in maternal deaths since 2013. Meaning on common, 30 extra new moms at the moment are being saved each day in comparison with 5 years in the past. The Wire
23. Ghana turned the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to get rid of trachoma. In 2000, it threatened 2.eight million individuals (15% of the inhabitants) with blindness. Devex
24. The WHO revealed that teenage consuming has declined throughout Europe, the continent with the highest charges of consuming in the world. The nation with the largest decline? Britain. CNN
25. Since 2010, international HIV/AIDS an infection charges have fallen by 16% in adults and by 35% for youngsters. Most nations at the moment are on monitor to get rid of infections by 2030. Undark
26. In 2018, New York and Virginia turned the first two US states to enact legal guidelines requiring psychological well being schooling in faculties. CNN
27. Malaysia turned the first nation in the Western Pacific to scale back mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Malaymail
28. South Africa, residence to the world’s largest inhabitants of individuals dwelling with HIV, shocked well being officers by revealing a 44% decline in new infections since 2012. The Telegraph
29. After 5 profitable, annual rounds of large-scale, school-based deworming throughout Kenya, worm-related illnesses have fallen from 33.four% in 2012 to three% right now. Proof Motion
30. Russians are consuming and smoking lower than at any level since the fall of the Soviet Union, with tobacco use down by 20% since 2009, and alcohol consumption down by 20% since 2012. Straits Occasions
31. Tanzania revealed that in the final ten years, it has decreased the malaria demise fee by 50% in adults and 53% in youngsters. Borgen
32. The WHO licensed Paraguay as having eradicated malaria, the first nation in the Americas to be granted this standing since Cuba in 1973.
A kinder, extra tolerant planet
Over one million individuals joined the Madrid Delight celebrations in July.
33. Costa Rica’s Supreme Courtroom dominated that the nation’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, and gave the authorities 18 months to vary it. BBC
34. New analysis revealed that in the final 20 years, feminine genital mutilation has fallen from 57.7% to 14.1% in north Africa, from 73.6% to 25.four% in west Africa, and from 71.four% to eight% in east Africa. The Guardian
35. India’s highest courtroom struck down a century-old prohibition on gay intercourse, calling the Victorian-era regulation “irrational, indefensible, and manifestly arbitrary.” Al Jazeera
36. Morocco handed a landmark regulation that criminalizes violence towards ladies, and imposes harsh penalties on perpetrators. Albawaba
37. Germany launched new figures displaying that greater than 300,000 refugees have now discovered jobs, and the share of MPs with migrant backgrounds has risen from three% to 9% in the final two elections. The Economist
38. New Zealand turned the second nation in the world (after the Philippines) to move laws granting victims of home violence 10 days paid depart. The Guardian
39. Scotland turned the first nation in the world to ensure free sanitary merchandise to all college students, and India’s finance ministry introduced it might scrap the 12% GST on all sanitary merchandise.
40. Canada turned the second nation in the world to legalize marijuana. A serious crack in the grass ceiling, and an exquisite second for followers of evidence-based determination making all over the place. BBC
41. In a serious milestone for human rights in the Center East, a Lebanese courtroom issued a brand new judgement holding that homosexuality shouldn’t be a criminal offense. Beirut
42. Trinidad and Tobago’s excessive courtroom dominated that the Caribbean nation’s colonial-era regulation banning homosexual intercourse was unconstitutional. NBC
43. Tunisia turned the first Arab nation to move a regulation giving men and women equal inheritance, overturning an previous provision of Sharia Islamic regulation. Dhaka Tribune
44. Pakistan’s parliament handed a landmark regulation guaranteeing primary rights for transgender residents and outlawing all types of discrimination by employers. Al Jazeera
45. Scotland turned the first nation in the world to incorporate educating of lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights into its state faculty curriculum. The Scotsman
46. Nepal turned the 54th nation in the world, and the first nation in South Asia, to cross a regulation banning corporal punishment for youngsters. Finish Corporal Punishment
Dwelling requirements improved for most individuals in the world
Respiratory illness demise charges in China have fallen by 70% since 1990
47. Quietly and unannounced, humanity crossed a very superb threshold this yr. For the first time since agriculture-based civilization started 10,000 years in the past, the majority of humankind is not poor or weak to falling into poverty. Brookings
48. A bit perspective. The Economist revealed that international suicide charges have dropped by 38% since 1994, saving 4 million lives, 4 occasions the quantity killed in fight throughout the similar time.
49. In line with the UNDP, 271 million individuals in India moved out of poverty since 2015, and the nation’s poverty price has been minimize almost in half. Occasions of India
50. India additionally continued the largest sanitation constructing spree of all time. Greater than 80 million bogs are estimated to have been constructed since 2014. Arkansas Democrat Gazette
51. The Worldwide Power Company stated that in the final yr, 120 million individuals gained entry to electrical energy. That signifies that for the first time since electrical service was began (1882), lower than a billion of the world’s inhabitants are left in darkness.
52. A brand new report confirmed that the international fertility price (common quantity of youngsters a lady provides start to) has halved since 1950. Half the world’s nations at the moment are under alternative ranges. BBC
53. Bangladesh revealed that it had decreased its youngster mortality price by 78% since 1990, the largest discount by any nation in the world. Kinder-World
54. Keep in mind how the international media labored itself right into a frenzy over Cape City’s water shortages and Day Zero in 2017? Unusually, no one reported this yr how the Mom Metropolis efficiently averted the disaster. apolitical
55. Respiratory illness dying charges in China have fallen by 70% since 1990, because of rising incomes, cleaner cooking fuels, and higher healthcare. Twitter
56. The share of black males in poverty in the United States fell from 41% in 1960 to 18% right now, and their share in the center class rose from 38% to 57% in the similar time. CNN
57. A brand new report confirmed that democracy is extra widespread than ever. Six in 10 of the world’s nations at the moment are democratic—a submit conflict document. Pew Analysis
58. A brand new international youth survey confirmed that younger individuals in all nations are extra optimistic than adults. 9 in 10 youngsters in Kenya, Mexico, China, Nigeria, and India reported feeling positive about their future. The Guardian
The clear power transition in motion
The world handed 1,000 GW of cumulative put in wind and solar energy this yr.
59. The world handed 1,000 GW of cumulative put in wind and solar energy this yr. 10 years in the past, there was lower than eight GW of photo voltaic. Future Crunch
60. Photo voltaic and wind continued their precipitous value declines. In the second half of 2018 alone, the levelized value for photo voltaic fell by 14% and the wind benchmark by 6%. In lots of elements of the world it’s now cheaper to construct new clear power than it’s to maintain soiled power operating. BNEF
61. Allianz, the world’s largest insurance coverage firm by belongings, stated it might stop insuring coal-fired energy crops and coal mines, and Maersk, the world’s largest maritime delivery firm, stated it will start ditching fossil fuels, and can remove all carbon emissions by the yr 2050.
62. Repsol turned the first main fossil fuels producer to say it will not be in search of new progress for oil and fuel. Bloomberg
63. California unveiled the most formidable local weather goal of all time, with a dedication to creating the world’s fifth largest financial system carbon impartial by 2045. NBC
64. China, the world’s largest power shopper, revised its renewable power goal upwards, committing to 35% clear power by 2030. Engadget
65. Chile stated it had managed to quadruple its clear power sources since 2013, leading to a 75% drop in the common value of electrical energy. IPS News
66. America set a brand new document for coal plant closures this yr, with 22 crops in 14 states totalling 15.4GW of soiled power going darkish. Clear Technica
67. 11 European nations both closed their coal fleets or introduced they’ll shut them by a selected date, together with France by 2023, Italy and the UK by 2025, and Denmark and the Netherlands by 2030.
68. Some of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, representing greater than $three trillion in belongings, and Black Rock, the world’s largest fund supervisor, with belongings value $5.1 trillion, stated they might solely spend money on corporations that issue local weather dangers into their methods. UNFCCC
69. India elevated its already large 2022 clear power goal by 28%. It plans so as to add 150 GW of wind and photo voltaic in the subsequent 4 years. Clear Technica
70. Eire turned the world’s first nation to divest from fossil fuels, after a invoice was handed with all-party help in the decrease home of parliament. The Guardian
71. Spain dedicated to shutting down most of its coalmines by the finish of the yr, after the authorities agreed to early retirement for miners, re-skilling, and environmental restoration. The Guardian
Struggle, crime and violence continued their inexorable, long run decline
Reuters/Tiksa Negeri/File Photograph
Flights between Ethiopia and Eritrea resumed after 20 years of warfare got here to an finish.
72. The Journal of Peace Analysis stated that international deaths from state-based conflicts have declined for the third yr in a row, and at the moment are 32% decrease than their peak in 2014.
73. After a decade lengthy effort, Herat, Afghanistan’s deadliest province for landmines, was declared free of explosive units. Almost 80% of the nation is now mine free. Reuters
74. Following the collapse of ISIS, civilian deaths in Iraq decreased dramatically. 80% fewer Iraqis have been killed in the first 5 months of 2018 in comparison with final yr. Anti-Warfare
75. Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace treaty, signaling the finish of a 20-year conflict, and reuniting hundreds of households. BBC
76. Malaysia abolished the demise penalty for all crimes and halted all pending executions, a transfer hailed by human rights teams in Asia as a serious victory. SMH
77. Honduras had the highest murder price in the world in 2012. Murders have decreased by half since then, greater than another nation. Ounces
78. Crime and homicide charges declined in the United States’ 30 largest cities, with the homicide price for 2018 projected to be 7.6% decrease than 2017. Vox
79. Crime falls if you absorb hundreds of thousands of refugees too. The quantity of reported crimes in Germany has fallen by 10%, to the lowest degree in 30 years. The Washington Submit
80. Fearful about the youngsters? Youth crime in the Australian state of New South Wales has plummeted in the final 20 years. Car theft is down by 59%, property theft by 59%, and drunk-driving by 49%. ANU
81. Nonetheless frightened about the youngsters? In the final era, arrests of Californian youngsters have fallen by 80%, homicide arrests by 85%, gun killings by 75%, imprisonments by 88%, teen births by 75%, faculty dropouts by half, and school enrolments are up by 45%. Sacbee
82. In line with new knowledge from the Division of Justice, the proportion of individuals being despatched to jail in the United States has fallen to its lowest degree in 20 years. Pew Analysis
An financial system that doesn’t value the earth…
Adidas expects to promote 5 million pairs of footwear made from ocean plastic this yr.
83. Rattling these pesky millenials. A brand new report revealed that, because of shifting tastes amongst these born after 1980, 70% of the world’s inhabitants is decreasing meat consumption or leaving meat off the desk altogether. Forbes
84. Germany introduced one of the most formidable waste administration schemes in historical past. The federal government plans to recycle 63% of its complete waste inside the subsequent 4 years, up from 36% right now. DW
85. The Malaysian authorities introduced it might not permit any additional enlargement of oil palm plantations, and that it intends to take care of forest cowl at 50%. Malaymail
86. Denmark turned the newest nation to announce a ban on inner combustion engines. There at the moment are 16 nations with bans that come into impact earlier than 2040—together with China and India, the two largest automotive markets in the world. Bloomberg
87. In 2018, the world surpassed the 4 million mark for electrical automobiles. In the world’s largest automotive market, China, electrical automobiles reached 5% of gross sales; China’s inner combustion automotive market is flat, with all progress now being absorbed by EVs. Bloomberg
88. Adidas expects to promote 5 million pairs of footwear made from ocean plastic this yr, and dedicated to utilizing solely recycled plastic in its merchandise by 2024. CNN
89. 4 years in the past, China declared a warfare on air pollution. It’s working. Cities have, on common, reduce concentrations of effective particulates in the air by 32%. The New York Occasions
90. Because of tightening restrictions, the United Kingdom reported a 12% drop in car emissions since 2012, in addition to vital general drop in air pollution. BBC
…and a turning level in the international effort to scale back plastic waste
There’s now an enormous 600-meter-long growth in the Pacific that makes use of oceanic forces to wash up plastic.
91. 250 of the world’s main manufacturers, together with Coca-Cola, Kellogs, and Nestle, agreed to be sure that 100% of their plastic packaging will probably be reused, recycled, or composted by 2025. BBC
92. The European Parliament handed a full ban on single-use plastics, estimated to make up over 70% of marine litter. It is going to come into impact in 2021. The Unbiased
93. As of the finish of 2018, no less than 32 nations round the world now have plastic bag bans in place—and almost half are in Africa. Kenya enacted the world’s hardest plastic bag ban, and has reported that its waterways are clearer, the meals chain is much less contaminated—and there are fewer ‘flying toilets.’
94. China stated it had seen a 66% discount in plastic bag utilization since the rollout of its 2008 ban, and that it has prevented the use of an estimated 40 billion luggage. Earth Day
95. India’s second most populous state, Maharashtra, house to 116 million individuals, banned all single use plastic (together with packaging) on June 23 this yr. The Indian Categorical
96. India’s setting minister additionally introduced the nation would get rid of all single-use plastic by 2022. Oh, and three years after India made it obligatory to make use of plastic waste in street development, there at the moment are 100,000 kilometers of plastic roads in the nation.
97. 4 years after imposing a 5p levy, the United Kingdom stated it had used 9 billion fewer plastic luggage, and the quantity being discovered on the seabed has plummeted. The Unbiased
98. Following a ban by two of its largest retailers, Australia reduce its plastic bag utilization by 80% in three months, saving 1.5 billions luggage from getting into the waste stream. NY Submit
…and one final one, only for luck (our favourite story of the yr)
99. There’s now an enormous 600-meter-long growth in the Pacific that makes use of oceanic forces to wash up plastic, and you may monitor its progress right here. Regardless of a couple of early setbacks, the workforce behind it thinks they will clear up half the Nice Pacific Rubbish Patch in the subsequent seven years. Ocean Cleanup
If we need to change the story of the human race in the 21st century, we have to change the stories we inform ourselves.
This story was initially revealed on Medium.