Environmental Wins of 2021

A recap of 2021; the environmental victories of this year.

With 2021 coming to a swift end, and the new year just around the corner, this month’s column will wrap up the year on a lighter note. Keep reading to explore the environmental wins of this year! 

The return of the… bears! 

Giant Pandas are now no longer classed as an endangered species! These clumsy, cuddly looking bears are now a ‘global symbol of conservation successes with their population numbers doubling after 30 years of conservation efforts’. Chi Shuhong, the head of the environment ministry’s department of nature and ecology conservation, states that the increase in population has been due to “improved living conditions and China’s efforts in keeping their habitats integrated”.  

Countries that have won this year!

Hundreds of countries around the globe have acted against the climate crisis, hundreds and thousands of people worldwide joining in solidarity to reverse the effects of climate change in the hopes of a better, healthier world for future generations. Countries are now one step closer to being net zero, plastic free, and relying on more renewable energy resources, getting ready to ditch oil and coal mines. A few examples of countries that have won this year (no matter how big or small): 

Canada – The Keystone XL oil pipeline was cancelled due to immense pressure and the incredible protesting of Indigenous communities whom of which shared the land with their ancestors.  

Aotearoa – the mining of the seabed, The South Taranaki Bight, was ceased in September of 2021 by New Zealand’s vibrant and endangered species of sea creatures, Maui dolphins, and Pygmy blue whales to name a few.  

Turkey – in May of 2021, the Turkish Government banned the importation of plastic waste, particularly paying attention to a certain type of plastic, ethylene polymer group, a plastic commonly used the most. This has been a long time coming and has been campaigned for, for years. A campaign ran by Greenpeace Mediterranean named ‘Don’t let Turkey become a garbage dump’ which gained a lot of traction on social media and in the news.  

Across the globe, OneTreePlanted held multiple restoration projects in USA, Malawi, and Guatemala, planting thousands of indigenous plants, trees and other agroforestry trees.

Instagram Accounts to follow in 2022!

Instagram is a hit or miss, I find. It’s either full of some of the most toxic news stories that can be incredibly saddening, disheartening or worrying, or the complete opposite. Lately I’ve been loving an Instagram purge of unfollowing accounts that no longer serve me or give me happiness; would 100% recommend!

Here are some Instagram accounts to follow in the new year for your daily dose of environmental news and break-throughs.

@officialhappyeconews – Happy Eco News have been posting environmental content every day for 5 years! Each post is a positive news story, breakthrough, or fact about the environment and is pretty much guaranteed to get you smiling!

@intersectionalenvironmentalist – Intersectional Environmentalist (IE) is an account dedicated to all things climate justice! This account is a useful resource tool for those wanting to expand their knowledge on environmentalism and to learn more about how to support and uplift BIPOC voices in the environmental activism community.

@chicksforclimate – Chicks For Climate have the most stunning graphics illustrating environmental issues in an easy-to-read way. Their hybrid collaboration of feminism and environmentalism is prominent through-out their feed and offers their audience valuable insights as to what intersectional climate feminism could one day look like.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a mere insight into the environmental wins of this year. Looking to find positives of what has been a quite difficult year for many.

May 2022 bring more environmental victories, no matter how big or small.

Image via Canva.

Note from columnist:

Hello! This is my final column of the year and I just wanted to say a lil’ thank you to those that have read my pieces, gave them a like, or said some kind words of encouragement. It means the world! Whatever you’re doing this holiday be sure to stay safe, have fun, and look after your mental and physical well-being! Wishing you lots of love, light and happiness for 2022.  

All the best, Mel 😊  

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