Earth Day 2013: hope in the midst of threats

ID-10074290As global citizens, we are nothing short of being threatened by the natural environment.  If not bombarded by politicians, media and activists on climate change, global warming, food shortages, environmental pollution, biodiversity loss, sea level rise, water wells running dry and scary ocean waves, then at least by our own inner voices telling us about dire days to come on this fragile earth. But on Earth Day 2013, let us look at the positive side, success stories in the midst of threats: undertakings of environmental restoration, ecosystem preservation and communities finding ways to live in perfect harmony with the natural environment. And indeed, there are hundreds of stories of environmental hope and success.

Rwanda’s Great Lake Restoration

Rwanda is taking back its wetlands, one at a time. Cash crop production, unsustainable agriculture, over-harvesting and careless drainage left the Great Lakes are in Rwanda in poor aquatic and environmental shape. But through the dedicated work of the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority, the country’s wetlands are one by one returned to prime nature spots, serving many ecological and economic functions. Local and international threatened species are finding their way to the safer Rwanda wetlands. One individual’s dedication, Dr Rose Mukankomeje, necessitates special mention – her environmental efforts and successes are widely recognised and no small achievement.

Organics and sustainability on the outskirts of Havana

Organopnico Vivero Alamar (OVA) is found outside the city borders of Havana, Cuba. Here, something great has been happening.  Organic livestock and crop production including fruits and medicinal plants, with careful integration and sustainable waste management, delivers a promise.  Food supply is secured for the local community, and with ample choice of fresh or preserved organic food. Local community involved, job creation and crop and livestock genetic stock are no small securities.

New beginnings

Following extensive restoration of the battered Baltra Island, September 2012 brought success.  A blue footed booby colony established naturally on this Galapagos Island, marking the first blue footed colony here in recent history. The 300-odd birds are said to have found their way back to Baltra after the extensive eradication of alien predators.

Talking no rubbish

Five European countries already achieved a 50% household waste recycling rate. Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland are almost a decade ahead in their EU recycling targets, and serves as a perfect example to the rest of the globe.

Like these stories of environmental success and promise, there are hundreds more! Look around you, we guarantee you will find a story of environmental improvement, no matter how small. People in all corners of the earth are stepping up to the challenge of restoring the earth, inspiring the rest to do the same.

Please feel free to share your environmental success story below!


Photos: some rights reserved by TeddyBear[Picnic] and xedos4 via


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