Conservation stories that gave us hope in 2019
It is easy to become apathetic about the destruction of the natural world with all of the negative stories that bombard our media on a daily basis, so we decided to create a list of 5 positive stories from 2019 that offer a hope of a more positive view on conservation. A few days ago COP25 came to a close and many have criticised the lack of action and progress that governments have made. I often notice myself sharing endless negative stories about the plight of nature, but there's still so much we have to save, we need to come together more than ever to create sustainable solutions that protect humans, other animals and the natural world that we depend so greatly on. This post focuses on 5 positive stories going into 2020, showing things can change. We interviewed every photographer from these stories, you can find that post here.
1. Humpback Whale population increases from 450 to 25,000
A new study from Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences reveal that Humpback Whale population has increased to 25,000 for the first time since pre-whaling numbers in the early 1900’s. During the 1980’s the International Whaling Commission prohibited commercial whaling, but unfortunately Norway and Japan still conduct whaling. In 2019 Iceland has decided not to whale this year, for the first time in 17 years! Find out more information here
2. Africa’s Elephant poaching rates drop by 60% since 2010
The decrease in poaching is great news for the species but unfortunately 15,000 are still killed annually and wild elephants may still be wiped out in a few decades if this does not decrease further. The continent current has approximately 350,000 elephants. The decline may correlate with the ivory ban introduced in China during 2017 and we hope that efforts continue to protect these beautiful animals.
3. European Union Bans Single-Use Plastics
The European Parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic to tackle marine litter by 2021 and encourage sustainable solutions, also aiming to achieve a 90% collection of plastic bottles by 2029. Products that will be banned include single-use plastic cutlery and plates, straws, plastic cotton buds, plastic balloon sticks and food containers. The Parliament voted had a large majority to ban the plastics, with over 560 voted in favor and just 35 were against and 28 abstained. This is an important step forward as it is estimated that over 100 million marine animals are killed annually because of plastic waste. Find out more information here
4. Mountain gorilla population doubles since 2010
A new survey suggests that the populations of the mountain Gorillas has doubled since 2010, taking the number to over 1000 in Virunga, Democratic Republic of Congo. These apes were expected to face extinction by the end of the twentieth century but conservation efforts in the area have supported the slow increase of the Gorillas. Increased protection is still needed as they are still considered a critically endangered species. Find out more information here
5. Scientists create embryos that could save the northern white rhino from extinction.
Andrew Harrison Brown
In 2018, the last male Northern White Rhino passed away and made internationally news globally and made the species extinct, with only two females left. In 2019 scientists has developed embryos that could be the hope needed to bring the species back from extinction.