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Dear 2020,

2019 was a haze, and the negativity blasted across our media was inescapable. Enough is enough. Young people are growing up with crippling anxiety as the mental health epidemic worsens day by day. According to a study by the UK government, 1 in 5 young people “had experienced high levels of anxiety”. This cannot be allowed to carry on…

I want to take a moment to reflect, to reflect on the positive work and achievements in 2019 that were often overlooked. 

I hope this comforts you as we all muddle through to 2020.

1. Scientists are now able to identify Alzheimer’s disease years earlier  🔬

The German centre for Neurodegenerative diseases published a study linking blood protein to the study of disease monitoring, arguing that this protein can identify early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. 
Source: Positive News

2. The earth is getting greener! 💚

According to a study by Nasa, “The world is five per cent greener now than it was two decades ago”. This is due to an increase in leaf cover across the planet, mostly likely due to a surge in tree plantation. Nasa estimates that the leaf cover has “increased by two million square miles” – this is equivalent to the Amazon rainforest!
Source: Positive News

3. Terrorism is on the decline 📉

The 2019 Global Terrorism Index revealed that deaths relating to terrorism decreased by over 15% last year. What’s even better is that this is the fourth consecutive year of improvement. This is a slightly different headline compared to that of most UK tabloid newspapers!
Source: Positive News

4. People in extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to 8.6% in 2018 💰

A study by the ODI found that poverty is unarguably declining. To contextualise this, “the poverty headcount has fallen from nearly 1.9 billion to about 610-650 million in 2018”.

5. Abortion became legal in every state in Australia  

Women finally have autonomy over their own bodies down under! Other places also followed suit; Oaxaca in Mexico became the second state to also legalise abortion. This is a huge achievement for women internationally and should be celebrated!

6. Britain’s carnivorous mammals are fighting back – according to research 🇬🇧

Scientists at Exeter University found that otters have completely recolonised in Great Britain, bouncing back from extinction. Badger populations have also “doubled since the 1980’s, helped by a decline in persecution since their legal protection in 1973”. Other animals have also seen an improvement in their fortunes. 
Source: Positive News

7. New York based retailers announced that they will ban single-use plastic bags 🛍

Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed in 2019 that New York retailers should ban single-use plastic bags, following an example set in California in 2016. Cuomo said that “These bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways,” adding that his proposal will help “protect our natural resources for future generations of New Yorkers”.
Source: Positive News

8. China lifted a law that requires beauty products to be tested on animals 🇨🇳

Previously, the Chinese government has required that all cosmetic products must be subject to animal testing before they can make it to market, but this is due to change. China’s National Medical Products Association (NMPA) have promised to modernise their testing methods, favouring alternative methods that do not involve animals.
Source: Vogue.co.uk

9. Scientists managed to fertilise 7 eggs from the last two remaining Northern White Rhinos, which may be enough to save the species from extinction 🦏

The idea proposed by scientists is that the Northern and Southern White Rhinos will join forces over decades of years to save the Northern White rhinos from extinction. Selective breeding will be used to eventually ‘purify’ the offspring to be solely descendants of the Northern species – pretty clever!
Source: Mauro Gatti

10. A man in India planted a tree a day for 35 years, and now has a forest that is larger than New York’s Central Park 🌳

A documentary called “The man behind Molai Forest” explains how Jadav “Molai” Payeng planned a tree every day for 35 years – maybe he is responsible for Nasa’s research into the earth’s leaf cover?!
Source: Mauro Gatti

I hope you enjoyed discovering some of the light amongst the darkness.

Now its your turn… Share your positive 2020 stories using #POSITIVE2020 on Facebook and Instagram.

Let’s continue to give each other hope. 

May your 2020 be filled with laughter, happiness and love.

Olivia x