Good News In Case Watching the Ocean Burn Got You Depressed

Image Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, CC BY 2.0, Image Cropped

It’s been an awful week for the environment. If you’ve missed some of the news from the past four or five days, congratulations. But since climate-related depression is a very real thing, and there ARE always some success stories out there regarding the climate and our planet’s biodiversity, I thought I’d take this chance to share some positive stories from around the world.

NB: I should also point out that I don’t do this to make people think everything’s actually fine and dandy, rather to give anyone feeling down a bit of hope and inspiration, which we could all use from time to time.

Beaver reintroduction has been a growing trend throughout the Northern Hemisphere over the last decade, and while it doesn’t always go as planned, it has had very obvious success in some areas. A great example was led by Damion Ciotti in California. A normal restoration would have cost upwards of seven figures, wheres beaver introduction cost $58,000 USD and led to a transformation from dry grassland to flourishing wetland, which sucks in carbon, reduces wildfire risk and improves biodiversity.

In the Torres Strait Islands, off the coast of Australia, people whose culture and home are threatened by rising sea levels have taken their case to the UN. In a case that could set a precedent worldwide, the group of First Nations Australias are claiming that the Australian Government is ignoring its duty to maintain local culture through its inaction against climate change. The verdict is due in a few months, and could be a huge step forward in forcing governments to take responsibility for climate change.

Saiga antelope populations have doubled in Kazakhstan. The weird-nosed antelope (not the scientific name) survived the Ice Age, but suffered heavily from land use change which led to fragmentation of their vast migratory range. Yet a lot of good work, including cooperation between the government and conservation organisations, has led to the population bouncing back to nearly one million.

The Canadian government announced that they will make all light-duty vehicles zero-emission by 2035. The government claims that 25% of Canada’s carbon emissions are transport-related, so this is potentially a big step forward, and one that could be emulated by other countries. It’s part of Canada’s commitment to being a net zero emissions country by 2050. Read more on what that means here.

The creation of Marine Protected Areas has been successful all over the world, but this recent WWF initiative in bringing together groups of fishers to see the success of one such initiative in Gokova Bay really struck a chord with me. The creation of Marine Protected Areas in south-west Turkey not only revitalised the areas marine ecosystem, it revitalised local small-scale fisheries as well.

If you’re looking for more good news stories, follow @OceanOptimism or @ConservationOptimism on Twitter. The Australian Climate Council also posts good news stories on a regular basis.

If you have any more good news stories from recent times, feel free to send me the on Twitter or via the blog’s contact page and I’ll gladly add them. Lastly, if you’re curious about the value of optimism in conservation, check out this interview with Professor Nancy Knowlton from a few years back.

Read More: Nancy Knowlton: The Importance of Earth Optimism

Dr. Sam Perrin is a freshwater ecologist who completed his PhD at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and hopes everyone’s doing ok after a bloody awful weekend. You can read more about his research and the rest of the Ecology for the Masses writers here, see more of his work at Ecology for the Masses here, or follow him on Twitter here.

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