Image for What went right this week: rebirding, carbon-neutral ships and more positive news

What went right this week: rebirding, carbon-neutral ships and more positive news

A plan was hatched to bring Dalmatian pelicans back to the UK, shipping eyed a greener future and Scotland made period products free, plus more positive news stories

A plan was hatched to bring Dalmatian pelicans back to the UK, shipping eyed a greener future and Scotland made period products free, plus more positive news stories

Positive news: Giant pelicans earmarked for a UK return
Giant pelicans earmarked for a UK return

One of the planet’s largest birds could be poised for a UK comeback. The enormous Dalmatian pelican, which has a wingspan of almost 12ft, has become the latest target for rewilding advocates.

Conservationists are already restoring the bird’s wetland habitat in East Anglia, where, according to environmentalist and author Benedict Macdonald, there are several sites at which the species could be reintroduced.

The Dalmatian pelican was a common sight in the UK until about 2,000 years ago, when it was wiped out by hunting and habitat loss. “They were, and could be again, our greatest living bird,” said Macdonald.

Image: Thomas Millot

Positive news: Scotland made period products free for all
Scotland made period products free for all

Scotland made history this week by becoming the first nation in the world to guarantee free and universal access to period products.

Campaigners welcomed the move, claiming Scotland was setting a “bloody great example” for other nations to follow.

“Scotland’s decision is a major win for menstrual equity, recognising that the needs of women and people who menstruate matter, and providing products accordingly, for everyone who needs them,” said the charity, Bloody Good Period. “We now need the same kind of decisive leadership and action that we’ve just seen in Scotland, throughout the UK.”

Image: Josefin

Positive news for the shipping industry
Sustainable shipping got a second wind

On Monday Positive News reported on the upstart cargo companies that are transporting goods across oceans the old-fashioned way – by sailboat – to reduce the carbon emissions of the shipping industry.

Three days later, the Swedish shipbuilder Wallenius Marine announced its intention to construct a giant sailboat capable of transporting thousands of electric vehicles across the Atlantic Ocean using wind power.

The shipbuilder claims its Oceanbird vessel, which is in the design phase, and will have giant steel wings instead of canvas sails, could set sail as early as 2024. It follows a successful test this week of a fully functioning model.

Image: Wallenius Marine

Positive news: Europe’s air is getting cleaner
Europe’s air is getting cleaner

The air in Europe is getting cleaner, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA), which announced this week that efforts to reduce pollution have prevented around 60,000 premature deaths per year since 2009.

However, the EEA’s latest data show that almost all Europeans still suffer from air pollution, leading to about 400,000 premature deaths across the continent annually.

“The EEA’s data prove that investing in better air quality is an investment for better health and productivity for all Europeans,” said Hans Bruyninckx, the agency’s executive director. “Policies and actions that are consistent with Europe’s zero pollution ambition lead to longer and healthier lives and more resilient societies.”

Image: Adam Vradenburg

New marine reserve earmarked for South Atlantic
New marine reserve earmarked for South Atlantic

It is a diligent geographer who can point out Tristan da Cunha on a map. One of the world’s most remote archipelagos, the British overseas territory in the South Atlantic is on few people’s radars.

However, its profile has been elevated in recent days after the government there announced that it was going to create the world’s fourth largest marine sanctuary, covering an area almost three times the size of the United Kingdom.

Fishing, mining and other extractive activities will be banned in the 265,347 square miles surrounding the islands, which are home to whales, penguins and tens of millions of albatrosses.

Image: Ilse Orsel
Main image: Birger Strahl

What went right previously

Help us break the bad news bias

Positive News is uplifting more readers than ever. 

But to continue benefiting as many people as possible, we need your help.

If you value what we do as the world’s most inspiring news source, and you can afford to, please consider making a regular or one-off contribution as a Positive News supporter.

We need 1,000 readers to contribute just £3 per month, to help us keep our journalism available to everyone, while showing the media industry that good news matters.