Let’s be honest, 2016 was a quite turbulent and worrying year for the planet and our species. Most of our news sources were filled with events to be concerned about and good news were hard to find, partially because they didn’t reach our media feeds. More than ever, it's important to focus on the positive events and developments that show us that we are actually heading in the right direction, to a more equal, sustainable, healthier and tolerant world.
Conservation efforts pay off, giant pandas has been moved off the endangered species list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and it's not the only species that have been brought from the brink, so do Amur Tigers, the great one-horned rhinoceros and the Iberian Lynx. Keep it up pandas, eat bamboe and make love.
In Canada and the Russian hinterland of Siberia, coniferous forests crowd the tundra, where previously one could find only grass and shrub. In the U.S., beech forests have spread in the country’s north. The Tibetan plateau is now covered with grassland. Trees have sprouted in the south of the Sahara and rainforest cover has intensified in the tropics. It sounds like a scenario from the future, but it’s actually our world today, and not despite but because of human beings.
A rare but treatable form of cancer can now be diagnosed cheaply and easily with dried blood spots instead of whole blood. The test “began as a summer project for high school and college students.
Since its first diagnosis in 1985, Malawi has come a long way in the struggle to overcome HIV/Aids. In 2013, some 48,000 people in this country of 16 million died from HIV-related illnesses. Malawi's treatment programme, which began in 2004, has reportedly saved 260,000 lives. Crucially, it has seen a 67 percent reduction in the number of children acquiring HIV.
After 22 years in power, Gambia’s president Yahya Jammeh needs to step down. The west African country, with a population of 1.9 million people, voted for change, with the result of a falling dictator against his will. Power to the people!
Biologists discovered that Wild Atlantic salmon began spawning again in the Connecticut River since the Revolutionary war in the 18th century. In 2012 the federal government pulled the plug on another attempt to resurrect the fish, but five Atlantic salmon didn’t get the memo.
The 52-year war between the Colombian state and the FARC is the oldest and only armed violent conflict in the Western Hemisphere, and the last one held over from the Cold War. The peace treaty announced this week between the government of Colombia and the FARC, marks more than the end of one war. It is a milestone for peace in the Americas and the world. President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded with the The Nobel Peace Prize 2016 "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end".
Three years ago Honduras was the most dangerous place on earth. Since then community crime programs have chieved a remarkable reduction in violence. Smart investments in Honduras are succeeding, one of them is a very small effective one, give criminals a football.
The US will not grant the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to drill under the Missouri river, a big win for Standing Rock protesters, and for 13-year-old Alice who ran from Cannon Ball to Washington DC to draw attention to the protests.
President Obama moved to solidify his environmental legacy Tuesday by withdrawing hundreds of millions of acres of federally owned land in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean from new offshore oil and gas drilling, thanks to a little-known law called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Study in Lancet shows that the number of women dying from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth has almost halved since 1990.
Two weeks before the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, the African Union announced a new “single African passport. The e-Passport is a step toward eliminating borders on the continent, aiming to enable deeper integration, increased trade and further development. Just as important, the passport is a powerful symbol of unity across Africa – and simultaneously a step toward connecting African countries economically and politically.
Taiwan may be the first country in Asia to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. Thousands of people protesting legalization, dressed in white, occupied the street outside the judiciary committee proceedings in Taipei. The legislative caucuses of the Democratic Progressive Party and the Kuomintang agreed to each hold a hearing to air opinions on legalization before continuing deliberations.
The worst drought in three decades has left almost 20 million Ethiopians -one-fifth of the population- desperately short of food. And yet the country’s mortality rate isn’t expected to increase: In other words, Ethiopians aren’t starving to death.
China is the world’s biggest polluter and more than tripled its coal burning from 2000 to 2013, emitting billions of tonnes of climate-warming carbon dioxide. But, its coal consumption peaked in 2014 and began falling in what economists call a permanent trend. A historic turning point in the global battle against climate change.
India unveils the world's largest solar power plant, the country is on schedule to be the world’s third biggest solar market next year. By 2022, India aims to power 60 million homes by the sun. It is part of the government's goal to produce 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuels by 2030.
The mayors of four of the world’s biggest cities announced plans to ban diesel vehicles from their centres within the next decade, as a means of tackling air pollution. By 2025 all diesel cars and vans should be off the roads of Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City.
After nearly 13 years of negotiations, Malaysia established the biggest marine protected area in the country of more then a 1 million hectares. The region containing the second largest concentration of coral reefs in Malaysia as well as other important habitats like mangroves, sea grass beds and productive fishing grounds. Get well soon, biodiversity!