Good News In Case Environmental Anxiety Has You Down

Image Credit: Peter Trimming, CC BY 2.0, Image Cropped

With the constant deluge of environmental disasters and newly endangered or extinct species, it’s sometimes easy to think there is only ever bad news when it comes to nature. But there is good news lurking out there, and it’s a source of hope, inspiration and action for many. So let’s have a look at some success stories from the past month.

The ‘greater adjutant’ sounds a lot like a legal title. It is actually a rather striking species of stork, which has been helped by a fantastic campaign led by Dr. Purnima Devi Barman, who went about rebranding the stork from bone-eating pest to neighbourhood icon, tripling their population and empowering local women as she went.

The archipelagoes of South-East Asia have suffered from massive last clearance and fragmentation over the past century, so any win needs to be celebrated. A week of protests from locals recently led to a decision to knock down over 500 hectares of forest for development being overturned. Along similar lines, the declaration of 3.7 million hectares of land in northern Australia as a protected area is a huge win for both local species and indigenous communities

Conservation efforts that began in the 1980s have paid off for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, as numbers have increased by 1000%, meaning they are no longer considered “extinct in the wild”. I was lucky enough to see one of these critters in the wild at the end of 2018, so I am overjoyed to see one of Australia’s many marsupials fight its way back. And while we’re on tiny mammals, the water vole is seeing a resurgence in the UK thanks to ongoing reintroduction programs.

Some innovative microbrewing strategies have led to Young Henrys Brewery utilising algae to reduce the carbon emissions of beer brewing. This is admittedly a small-scale solution, but this is an example of technology which could (when applied on a larger scale) reduce an industry’s carbon footprint significantly.


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 them 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 wants to reassure you that the planet’s not past the point of no return yet, so it’s not too late to act. 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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