A solutions-focused recap of 2021 – Part 1
Photo: MoreToTheShell / Pixabay (CC0)
To mark the end of 2021, we are excited to present you with a compilation of highlights from this year that were shared on Squirrel News. You can now browse through part 1.
Four-day working week a huge success in Iceland
A countrywide trial which reduced working hours but not wages was considered to be beneficial both to employee mental health and company productivity, with the change set to be permanent in many cases.
WHO gives the go-ahead for the first malaria vaccine in Africa
In a historic move, children across the African diaspora are set to be vaccinated against the deadly mosquito-borne disease, potentially saving tens of thousands of lives every year.
Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will be the first African and first woman to lead the WTO
The move means a Black woman will be one of the most powerful figures in the post-pandemic global economic recovery.
Mongolia commits to planting one billion trees
The Mongolian government will allocate 1% of its GDP into measures tackling climate change, including the country’s desertification and land degradation.
Pakistan will plant 10 billion trees to cut pollution and bring fresh air to cities
The prime minister has announced plans to plant dense forests close to major cities, with the hope that they will act as carbon sinks and help to reduce smog levels.
Successful Loess Plateau forestation model to be replicated in the Sinai desert
The initiative aims to turn the barren and arid place into a green and fertile ecosystem, even going as far as to bring back rain to the desert.
Illinois high schools will be required to teach news literacy
The announcement means the state has become the first in the US to actively provide education on how to recognise media misinformation.
NFL players welcome first active openly gay player’s decision to come out
Carl Nassib has publicly come out as gay and announced to donate $100,000 to the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention to LGBTQ+ people.
Outdoor therapy to be prescribed to veterans instead of pharmaceuticals
A new programme aims to offer outdoor activities as treatment to those suffering from PTSD, standing as an alternative to traditional medicine-based approaches to mental health care.
NHS trials “social prescription” approach to mental health care
Instead of prescribing specific drugs or medications, doctors are looking to recommend outdoor pursuits like Park Runs instead.
Portland startup redirects at-risk youth towards green jobs instead of gangs
Small startup Leaders Become Legends mentor people involved in gun violence and connect them with hiring managers in the green energy industry, such as solar panel installation companies.
Prisoners are becoming lawyers in the US
The Formerly Incarcerated Law Students Advocacy Association (FILSAA) assists people with criminal records through free LSAT training and mentoring programmes to pass the Bar Exam.
Reasons To Be Cheerful
Georgia police department is using jiu-jitsu to reduce violent incidents
By training its police force to safely use martial arts when apprehending suspects, incidents of injury caused to the arrested person have dropped by over 53%.
A quiet revolution: the female imams taking over an LA mosque
While many have misinterpreted a hadith to mean women can’t enter a mosque, these women are covering progressive topics like sexual violence, abortion, pregnancy loss, domestic violence in their sermons.
Somalia’s female taxi drivers are challenging gender stereotypes
An increasing number of women are taking control of their own livelihoods and challenging traditional gender perceptions by embarking on new careers as taxi drivers.
Cheetahs returns to India for the first time in 60 years
The subcontinent now has the capacity and resources — as well as a national park and two wildlife sanctuaries — to reintroduce the world’s fastest land animal more than half a century after being declared extinct in the country.
Jaguars return to Argentina’s Iberá Wetlands after 70 years
The big cat reintroduction programme aims to gradually reestablish a healthy and genetically diverse jaguar population in Gran Iberá Park.