The good news of 2019

Rainforest Cachoeira Sobradinho Brazil

2019 is now over, and if we look back a lot of things happen during this year for the planet: we can remember big fires in the amazon forest, breaking high temperatures records all around Europe, a disappointing COP 25, the start of the actual unbelievable situation in Australia, . . .
Today, instead of focusing on the bad news, we want to bring you some good news. Some things are changing in the good direction. We have to keep hope, and fight to preserve our beautiful planet.

Forests & biodiversity:

  • In July, Ethiopia broke a record by planting 353 millions trees in only 12 hours!
  • The indigenous Waorani community in Ecuador won a landmark lawsuit against the Ecuadorian government. Their territory will be protected against oil exploration.
The government’s interests in oil is not more valuable than our rights, our forests, our lives.
Nemonte Nenquimo
  • Five artificials islands had been created in Markermeer in the Netherlands to bring back life in the lake. And it looks like it’s working! In just two years, 30 000 birds and 127 species of plants are now back.
  • In Japan, The Mainichi Shimbunsha propose an one hundred percent sustainable newspaper. If you plant it, it will bloom!
  • Mozambique’s Niassa reserve is marking a year without a single elephant being killed by poachers. A wonderful victory!
Whale in Provincetown, United States

Oceans

  • The european Parliament has ban, last april, electric fishing in european waters from June 2021. This technique, which has been criticized by many animal rights NGO, involves sending electric shocks into the sediments in order to catch the fish buried in them more easily. The decree specified that each country can decide to apply the new law before the deadline. This was the decision of the french gouvernement, who applied it, as soon as the decret was published.
  • Humpback whales almost disappeared in the 50’s. When they were 27 000 in 1830, they were only 450 in 1950. They were massively hunted and their numbers drastically declined. Thanks to important international protection measures they are now back to 25 000. A beautiful example of how nature can heal when we take care of it.
  • An endemic species of tortoise has been discovered in Galapagos island of Fernandina when we thought that this species was extinct.
  • Marine protected areas has nearly doubled in South Africa. 20 new sites has been added to the protected list, and passed from 0,4% to 5,4% of territorial waters protected.

Industry

  • The European Union adopted a new law in march. Single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers will be banned by 2021. While the indian state of Tamil Nadu has already applied a complete plastic ban in 2019. And countries like Canada, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Bali or Panama are also following the same path. We are on the good road people!
  • In 2019 ,New Zealand passed a law to reduce its emissions. The goal is to become mostly carbon neutral by 2050.
  • California started wonderfully 2019, by announcing that the city has passed its 33% renewable energy target two years before the 2020 deadline, and they are now working to reach 44% for 2024.
  • In the third quarter of 2019, the UK’s wind farms, solar panels, biomass and hydro plants generated more electricity than the combined output from power stations fired by coal, oil and gas.
  • We know that palm oil industry is destroying rainforest. Peru took action in 2019, and will be the second South American country to fight against deforestation after Colombia. It could be palm oil deforestation-free by 2021. Peru has the second most amount of the Amazon rainforest at 13% (after Brazil).

Innovations

  • Dendra Systems, went to use drones to plant trees. This method, which consists of “firing seed with speed and accuracy into the ground via biodegradable pods” should plant 150 times faster than traditional methods. Their goal is to plant 500 billion trees.
  • Even if there is still a long way to go, an e-plane took off in Canada after flying for less than 15 minutes with 6 people on board. Maybe in a near future we will be able to do short haul-flights in planes using green energy!
  • You probably already cross this news this year, a supermarket in Thailand wraps its produce in banana leaves and hold it with a piece of bamboo, an awesome way to cut down plastic packaging.
Banana leaves packaging

Here is only a small selection of positive things happening around the globe. We could also speak about the nomination of Greta Thunberg as personality of the Year by the Times. She is the face of the youth generation fighting to change things, to protect the planet and save their future and the one of the coming generations.
It’s nice to see positive actions when we are most of the time exposed to bad news. Let’s continue to fight for a better future, let’s continue to inform, educate and encourage people. A small action is never useless.

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