Positive 2017 Environmental Stories

Since 2017 had its fair share of negative news stories, here are some positive stories relating to our planet that you probably haven’t heard about.

Australian Institute of Marine Science scientists has found a way to successfully recover coral bleaching from the Great Barrier Reef. In 2016, nearly two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef was affected by bleaching, killing up to 50% of the coral. However, scientists report of seeing early stages of reproduction and very visible eggs. Meaning there is still hope for saving and rebreeding sections of the Great Barrier Reef.

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In the past year, scientists have raised alarm that the population of pollinators has decreased by more than 90% over the last 2 decades. However, in 2017 the number of honeybee colonies has increased by 27% after years of decline. Parasites and disease are a major cause of the decline in honeybee population. But another cause of this drop is colony collapse disorder, which has raised concerns among farmers and scientists for over a decade. Thankfully, scientists have created a pesticide that won’t kill any bees. This new pesticide is made of spider venom and a plant protein but its effectiveness in killing agriculture pests remain unproven. However, this is an indication that biopesticides could serve as an alternative to bee-killing chemicals.

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Conservationists have decided to embark on a new conservation project that will become the largest tropical reforestation project ever. They plan to plant 73 million trees over the next 6 years in the Amazon rainforest. By simply stopping deforestation this can reduce up to 37% of our annual carbon emissions thus slowing down the brutal effects of global warming. Furthermore, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern is hoping to plant 100 million trees each year in an attempt to make the nation greener. She also is ensuring the electricity grid runs entirely on renewable energy and will spend more money on cycleways and rail transport.

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The UK government has announced that they will ban the sale of plastic microbeads used in cosmetic products. Plastic microbeads are tiny plastic particles that damage marine life and may also pose a serious risk to human health. These microbeads can be found in exfoliating scrubs, shower gels, and toothpaste. Microbeads have been found to negatively affect marine wildlife by preventing animals from consuming their natural prey and reducing their reproduction rates. The legislation will come into effect on June 30, 2018, and it is expected the US will follow up with a similar ban. To enforce this new law, the UK government will be issuing lots of warnings and fines. This ban is among one of the many steps to further bettering our world.

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We hope that there are many more new and exciting changes that are being done to improve the conditions of our planet Earth in 2018 and years to come! As humans, we must learn to coexist with animals and learn how to take care of our environment which we so heavily rely on.