With so much doom and gloom in the headlines every day, it can be easy to overlook the positive new stories, but there are plenty of them. From scientific innovations to projects that protect the natural world, here are some feel-good stories from 2022 that you may have missed.
1. The COVAX vaccination programme surpassed the 1 billion milestone
At the start of 2022, the COVAX vaccination programme reached a milestone – it delivered more than 1 billion Covid-19 vaccines. The United Nations-backed vaccine-sharing programme delivers the much-needed vaccine to poorer nations. The milestone shipment arrived in Kigali, Rwanda, on 15 January 2022. Around 85% of the vaccines delivered went to lower-income countries.
The World Health Organisation update demonstrates excellent global cooperation to help countries struggling to deliver vaccines. The programme continues to deliver essential supplies, such as tests and treatment, too.
2. The Irwin family celebrated saving their 90,000th animal
Steve Irwin’s legacy of conservation and protecting wildlife continues to inspire people all around the world, including his own family.
The Irwin family announced they had saved their 90,000th animal at the Australian Wildlife Hospital. The lucky milestone animal was a platypus named Ollie. Many of the animals the hospital helps are vulnerable species that the centre rescues from devastating wildfires.
Steve’s daughter Bindi said the hospital was “busier than ever” and that they were focusing on saving as many lives as possible in the future.
3. The Great Blue Wall initiative will protect marine areas
10 nations in the western Indian Ocean have come together to protect marine areas.
Dubbed the “Great Blue Wall”, the initiative will create a network of marine conservation areas. It’s a significant step towards the goal of protecting 30% of the oceans by 2030. Currently, less than 10% of the world’s oceans are protected.
The project will focus on the protection of coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass meadows. They are important for underwater ecosystems and crucial for carbon removal and biodiversity. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added that it will also benefit local livelihoods and empower communities to protect one of their most precious resources.
4. The UK approved the world’s largest floating wind farm
A new project could significantly boost the UK’s efforts to switch to renewable sources and improve energy independence.
The largest floating wind farm in the world could provide enough power for more than 927,000 homes in the UK. Gwynt Glas, which means “blue wind” in Welsh, will be built off the coast of Pembrokeshire. It will be 20 times the size of the current largest floating wind farm, which is off the coast of Scotland.
The new technology used to create floating wind farms means they can be installed at a wider range of locations than traditional wind farms, which are limited by depth. It also means they can be positioned so they’re not visible from the coast.
5. Scientists announced they’ve potentially cured a woman of HIV for the first time
Over the last year, there have been plenty of medical advancements that could improve patient care, health, and treatment outcomes.
One of the good news stories from the medical world in 2022 was that a team of researchers in the US announced they had potentially cured a woman of HIV for the first time. It follows the news that three men had also been potentially cured. Long-term monitoring and testing are required before the team can confirm that treatment is a cure, but it’s a positive step that could save and improve lives.
The treatment used a stem cell transplant method, which the researchers expect to become a viable treatment option for more people each year.
6. Angela Ávarez wins best new artist at the Latin Grammys
Proving that you’re never too old to follow your dreams, Angela Álvarez became the oldest person to be nominated and win best new artist at the Latin Grammys.
The 95-year-old has been writing songs since 1942 and dreamed of becoming an artist as a young woman. She finally released her first album last year after decades of performing for family and friends. In fact, it was her grandson that recognised her talent and helped her produce songs.
If you’ve been putting off reaching your goal because you believe you’ve missed your chance, Angela could be just the inspiration you need.