By now I hope you are stuffed with holiday candy, full of happy memories and ready for a rocking New Years Eve tomorrow. Me and André will end the year with a little daytime camping trip by the Potomac river tomorrow. There, in front of a fire with our friends, we will sum up the good and the bad from this year. Later we will have dinner with 5 other couples and party our way into 2017. But, before all that I just wanted to make a little “cheer up” post at the end of the year.
It seems that everywhere I go the year of 2016 is being referred to as “The most shitty year ever”.
I am tempted to join the Debbie Downers and form a loud and clear ”yes indeed”, because personally this year really was the worst one yet. But, (and there always is a but) instead I choose to focus on the amazing things happening this year as my last post of 2016, because truth is that the world made progress in 2016, in countless of ways.
Personally I think the moments of love, the adventures, the memories made, the personal accomplishments, the high learning curve, friends and family beat the shit out of the rough times. I´m counting my blessings.
All of that and the experience from though times, is what I choose to bring with me in my backpack as I take on the year of 2017.
A lot of what has happened worldwide is a result of negative focus, fear and the wrong people spreading the wrong messages. I simply want to take the time and share a few positives from this turbulent but great year of 2016.
I´m so grateful for my amazing friends and family that supported me trough 2016. It´s all saved in my heart. I have also made a little Recap for “My 2016” in the next post.
I wish you all the best for the new year. ♥
40 REASONS WHY 2017 WAS A GOOD YEAR FOR OUR PLANET IN MANT WAYS.
- British Columbia protected 85% of one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests, home to the wonderfully named ‘Spirit Bear.’ Reuters
- In March, the US government abandoned its plan for oil and gas drilling in Atlantic waters, reversing its decision from a year ago. Guardia
- In 2016, more than 20 countries pledged more than $5.3 billion for ocean conservation and created 40 new marine sanctuaries covering an area of 3.4 million square km.
- In November, the Obama administration followed up its March announcements by banning offshore exploration and drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic until 2022. Politico
Huge strides forward for global health
6. A new study from the world’s leading health journal reported that the number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth has almost halved since 1990. Guardian
7. Harvard scientists created a new platform for antibiotic discovery that may help solve the crisis of antibiotic resistance
8. World hunger reached its lowest point in 25 years. The world has been extraordinarily successful in tackling extreme poverty. Between 1990 and 2012, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has been more than halved, achieving the first Millennium Development Goal. If we follow this trend, analysts say we could eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. New York Times
Political and economic progress in many parts of the world
9. In 2016, for the first time ever, the amount of money it would take to end poverty dropped below the amount of money spent on foreign aid. Vox
10. Black incarceration rates fell in the United States. Not fast enough, but certainly something worth celebrating. Washington Post
11. The Gambia and Tanzania banned child marriage, following sustained lobbying by civil society groups. Independent
12. In June, after years of wrangling, the drive to end female genital mutilation in Africa made a major breakthrough, when the Pan African Parliament endorsed a continent-wide ban. The Wir
13. The United States now feeds healthy lunches to more than 30 million children, is about to ban trans fats, and has enacted one of the biggest overhauls of nutrition labels in decades. Vox.com
We finally started responding seriously to the climate change emergency.
15. The Paris Agreement became the fastest (and largest) United Nations treaty to go from agreement to international law in modern history. CBS
16. Thanks to rapid technological innovation and political support from around the world, renewables now account for more installed capacity than any other form of electricity in the world, including coal. Gizmodo.com
17. A new report showed that China reached peak coal in 2014, a landmark moment in the fight against climate change that was reported by every media outlet on the planet. Right? Guardian
18. China installed 20GW of solar in the first half of 2016, three times as much as during the same period a year ago. Reuters
19. In October, the International Energy Agency reported that half a million solar panels were installed each day around the world in 2015. It also drastically increased its five year growth forecast for renewables. IEA
Less violence in the world
21. ISIS quietly started preparing its followers for the eventual collapse of the caliphate it proclaimed with great fanfare two years ago. New Yorker
23. Three years ago Honduras was the most dangerous place on earth. Since then community crime programs have achieved a remarkable reduction in violence. New York Times
Signs of hope for a life-sustaining economy
24. Norway became the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation. The Independent
25. In June, a new survey showed that the ozone hole has shrunk more than 3.9 million square kilometres since 2006. Scientists now think it will now be fully healed by 2050. Sydney Morning Herald
26. In July, more than 800,000 volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in one day. The country is planning on reforesting 12% of its land. National Geographic
27. The average number of large oil spills around the world has been drastically reduced, from an average of 24.5 per year in the 1970s to just 1.8 a year in 2015. ITOPF
28. Plastic bag use plummeted in England thanks to the introduction of a 5p charge in 2015. BBC
29. The Italian government overwhelmingly backed a new set of laws aimed at cutting down the vast amounts of food wasted in the country each year. Independent
Endangered animals got a well deserved break
30. At this year’s CITES conference, 183 countries agreed to the strongest protections ever for endangered animals, with big wins for parrots, rhinos, porpoises, rays, and elephants. Washington Post
- In March, Yellowstone’s grizzly bears passed a major milestone, completing one of the greatest wildlife comeback stories in history. National Geographic
- Fifty years ago, the Columbian white-tailed deer population was 450 animals. This year, the US Fish and Wildlife Service took it off the endangered list. CS Monitor
- Green sea turtles in Florida and Mexico were taken off the endangered list. Huffington Post
- Sea World agreed to stop breeding captive killer whales. NPR
- Humpback whales were removed from the endangered species list, having fully recovered in the last 46 years. Science Mag
- The US finalized new regulations to shut down commercial elephant ivory trade within its borders and stop wildlife crime overseas. WWF
- Mongolia created one of the world’s largest protected areas for snow leopards. Snow Leopard Trust
- In September, giant pandas became the latest species to be taken off the endangered list. Guardian
The world got more generous
39. At the beginning of the year, we heard that global spending on aid and development increased by 7%, and spending on refugees has doubled. OECD
40. In April, Pony Ma Huateng, the chief executive of the Chinese internet giant Tencent, donated $2 billion to charity. South China Morning Post
With Purpose & pepper