Points of Progress: In Bhutan, anti-corruption efforts are succeeding, and more

Why We Wrote This

This is more than feel-good news – it's where the world is making concrete progress. A roundup of positive stories to end your week.

Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering (L.) and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi shake hands ahead of a meeting. Bhutan is transitioning to a democracy following the abdication of a monarch.


The country has attacked corruption with unusual and effective methods. Transparency International has noted Bhutan’s “substantial” efforts to address corruption, especially compared with its regional peers. The country’s anti-corruption efforts include commissioning scientific studies to find data-driven solutions, cultivating a tradition among political leaders that emphasizes the good of the country over personal gain, and encouraging communities to collectively address corruption from all levels of society. Importantly, Bhutan’s methods could be a model for other developing nations. (The Conversation)


Mariana Bazo/Reuters
Shepherds catch alpacas for a routine check-up in the Andean community of Upis in 2010.

A new program will help support alpaca herder families. Herders who live in the high Andes region face threats to their lives and livelihoods during periods of extreme cold. But a new kind of action protocol from the Red Cross and Red Crescent will use climate forecasting to predict and initiate humanitarian aid as a preventive measure – an approach that will save money and lives. (ReliefWeb)


The British Columbia provincial government announced a $3 billion revenue-sharing agreement with its First Nations groups as a step toward reconciliation. The plan, which has been discussed for decades, will fund First Nations community-building efforts over a period of 25 years. In the past, lack of self-directed funding has hindered the “beneficial development” of First Nations communities, according to Grand Chief Joe Hall of the Stó:lō Nation. (CBC)

South Africa

Denis Farrell/AP/File
Rhinos graze in the bush on the edge of Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Anti-poaching efforts are saving rhinos in South Africa. The country’s environmental affairs office reported a significant decline in the number of rhinoceros poaching incidents in 2018. And it’s the third year that those numbers have fallen. Officials say the drop is due to better security measures for the animals among other policies aimed at saving them. (BusinessLIVE)


Bee admirers are showing up at the polls for a referendum in Bavaria. A new record high number of people took part in a petition to protect species diversity in the German state, with enough votes to force lawmakers to address the issue with legislation. They rallied to the slogan “Save the bees.” Their demands include protecting ecosystems from contamination by pesticides and setting goals for turning as much as 30 percent of Bavarian farmland organic. Bees, which are threatened by pesticides, will be a beneficiary of the environmental protections. (The Local)

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