Six good news stories from 2023

As we bid farewell to this year, let's take a moment to celebrate the victories, innovations and positive changes that have happened in 2023, from ocean clean-ups to new milestones in renewable energy. While environmental challenges often dominate our newsfeeds, it’s important to highlight and celebrate the stories that remind us positive change is not only possible but already in train.

1 - Ocean clean-ups hit new milestones
As we reported earlier this year, in 2023 several ocean cleanup projects have achieved record results. From the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to coastlines plagued by plastic waste, innovative technologies and dedicated efforts have been successful in reducing and removing significant amounts of marine debris. The commitment to cleaner oceans is not just a goal but a reality we are actively shaping.

 hand picking up waterbottle from ocean
📷 seamind224 via Shutterstock

2 - Reforestation is prioritized around the globe
Tree-planting initiatives have flourished around the world this year, helping to combat deforestation and climate change. India has pledged to restore about 21 million hectares of forest by 2030 under the Bonn Challenge. Reforestation helps sequester carbon, rejuvenates ecosystems, and provides critical habitat for wildlife.

3 - Renewable energy reaches new heights
In 2023, renewable energy has surpassed expectations and broken records. Solar and wind energy projects have become more efficient and cost-effective, making renewable sources increasingly competitive. Many nations have committed to ambitious goals for transitioning to clean energy, signaling a positive shift toward a more sustainable and low-carbon future.

4 - More countries ban single-use plastics
England is one of many countries that have banned single-use plastics. From October this year, businesses in England are no longer allowed to supply their customers with single-use plastic, including grocery bags and food containers. Over 100 countries now have a full or partial ban on single-use plastic bags, helping to reduce plastic pollution globally.

5 - White rhino population increases
Since 2012, the population of white rhinos in Africa has not been rising as fast as scientists hoped. However, this year, for the first time in a decade, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the number of rhinos has increased by 5.6 per cent since 2021.

white rhino
📷 Vaclav Sebek via Shutterstock

6 - Sustainable agriculture is on the rise
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), unsustainable agricultural practices are responsible for 70 per cent of global freshwater withdrawals and 80 per cent of deforestation worldwide. The good news is, that agriculture is moving toward more sustainable and regenerative practices around the world. Farmers and agricultural communities are adopting agroecological approaches, prioritizing soil health, and biodiversity conservation and reducing the use of  harmful chemicals.