Good Ecological News In Case COP26 Had You Feeling Down

Another year has passed, and once again we’ve seen many world leaders make weighty promises to do better in their efforts to help the climate, only to do sharp about-faces once they’ve returned home. In an attempt to put aside some of the frustration that inevitably results from such grandstanding, let’s go through some of the more positive news stories that have popped up over the last month.

Sea turtles are a species under very direct threat from climate change, as their biological sex is often determined by the surrounding temperatures. So it’s fantastic to see some populations bouncing back near Cape Verde, after tougher poaching laws were enacted.

The reappearance of New Zealand sea lions on their native shores have been providing plenty of amusing (and some troubling) encounters with locals. Luckily, there are plenty of local efforts to integrate the sea lions into local life, and watch out for where their presence could cause problems.

Rewilding has become more and more popular in the UK, with independent and state-run projects popping up all over, turning patches of land back into biodiversity-friendly areas. Now WildEast has commenced a project to reconvert 20 percent of the East Anglia region into wilderness, calling on support from Rewilding Britain, as well as schools, farming estates and a range of other institutions.

An intensely urban country, Singapore’s efforts to clean up their waterways resulted in the return of smooth-coated otters. This is obviously great, but the fact that separate otter families have been engaging in ‘otter wars’, involving equal parts romance and violence (not to anthropomorphise too heavily) bring an extra dimension of drama to their return.

Germany have stepped up their efforts to eliminate fossil fuel consumption, and are now aiming to provide the country with 80 percent of its power using renewable energy by the year 2030. The move comes with the recognition that the country’s current goals aren’t enough to do their part in ensuring that the world stays below an average temperature increase of 1.5 degrees.

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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