This Blog is updated throughout the year will events that make history each month, as well as any relevant links to associated blogs and deep dives.
International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (#IYAFA2022)
The United Nations have designated the year 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture.
What does that mean? According to the UN the aim of this year-long focus is to draw attention to the role of small-scale fishers, fish farmers and fish workers in the assurance of food security and eradication of poverty.
This is especially important when it comes to nations who face financial difficulties and many disadvantages. In these nations many people rely on their work as small-scale artisanal fisheries to provide (both from a financial and nutritional standpoint) for their families and communities.
The people who work in this industry are amongst the most vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. Approximately 40% of all global fisheries activity is undertaken by small-scale fisheries.
So what can we do to help support these communities? The UN encourage consumers to buy products that originate from small scale fisheries
📌Top Left: Tongan Volcano eruption and tsunami (14 January 2022)
📌Top Right: State of Emergency declared in Kazakhstan (5 January 2022)
📌Bottom Left: Ethiopian civil war continues
📌Bottom Right: Novak Djokovic deported from Australia (16 January 2022)
Not pictured: Coup takes place in Burkina Faso (23rd January 2022) and a storm in Madagascar kills 115 (23rd January 2022).
📌Top Left: Russia begins a full-scale invasion of Ukraine (24 February 2022)
To read more on the Ukraine Invasion visit #ISTANDWITHUKRAINE
📌Top Right: The Winter Olympics are held in Beijing, China (4th-20th February 2022)
📌Bottom Left: The Canada Convey Protest over vaccinated mandates, led by cross-border truckers, saw a state of emergency declared in the City of Ottawa on 6 February with this extended across Ontario on the 11th and this wasn’t lifted until the 23rd. The convey included approximately 250 trucks but overall, around 10,000 people are thought to have participated
📌Bottom Right: Russian President Putin recognised the sovereignty of two Ukrainian separatist regions: Luhansk and Donetsk. This was Condemned internationally and led to what no one expected. (21st February)
Not pictured: Cyclone Batsirai kills 123 people across Madagascar, Mauritius, and Reunion (5th February 2022)
📌Top Left: The Winter Paralympic Games were held in Beijing, China (4-13 March 2022) - See Story Below
📌Top Right: Researchers in Antarctica announce that the Endurance, which sank in 1915, has been found (9 March 2022)
📌Bottom Left: The attack on Chernihiv, Ukraine intensifies (10 March 2022)
📌Bottom Right: The theatre that was sheltering women and children in Mariupol is destroyed by a Russian bomb, (16 March 2022)
To read more on the Ukraine War CLICK HERE
Ukraine Makes History at the Winter Paralympic Games
Unlike the "main" games that were a few weeks ago there are significantly less events at the Winter paralympic but within each there are a number of class categories.
Athletes are competing in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, Ice hockey, snowboarding and curling.
Forty-five nations are represented at these games. Israel and Puerto Rico are making their debut while a number of other nations who have participated in the past are not to be seen at these games (at the top of this list are Russia and Belarus who are banned).
It is interesting that for all their domination in Winter Olympic sports, Norway and many of the other Scandinavian countries are not that dominant in the paralympic sports. Having said that Norway remains second on the all-time Winter Paralympic ladder (behind Germany) but at these games the table is being dominated by the host nation China who has almost double the currently second placed Canada.
The current third placed nation is Ukraine, and their story is one worth sharing given what it is happening back at home in Ukraine.
On the 8 March Ukraine reigned triumphant taking its third clean sweep in the Biathlon. Yes, its third and its second on that day! The men swept the sprint vision impaired, middle-distance vision impaired while the women swept the standing category.
So strong are Ukraine in the sport that the men took the first five places in the middle-distance category! So far at these games there have been four clean sweeps, Ukraine obviously taking three while the fourth went to China in the Men’s snowboarding.
Congratulations to the Ukrainian Paralympic Team!
Women’s Middle Distance Standing (I. Bui, O. Kononova and L.Liashenko)
Men’s Sprint Vision Impaired (V. Lukianenko and B. Babar, O. Kazik and S. Kucheriavyi, D. Suiarko and O. Nikonovych)
Men’s Middle Distance Vision Impaired (V. Lukianenko and B. Babar, A. Kovalevskyi and O. Mukshyn, D. Suiarko and O. Nikonovych) + I. Reshetynskyi and K. Yaremenko, O. Kazik and S. Kucheriavyi
📌Top Left: The United Nations votes to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council 93-24 with 58 countries abstaining, (7 April)
📌Top Right: Russia’s Moskva becomes the; largest warship sunk since World War Two, (14 April)
📌Bottom Left: Sitting French President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected as President, (24 April)
📌Bottom Right: Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, acquires Twitter, (25 April)
May and June
In the last two months there have been some highs and lows as history is created before our eyes so here is a super quick snapshot of May and June 2022
📌Top Left: 9 May – Sri Lanka’s PM resigns under immense pressure from protests across the country.
📌Top Right: 14 May – Ukraine wins Eurovision
📌Bottom Left: 14 June – The “Whisky War” over Hans Island ends with Canada and Denmark agreeing to divide the island in half (See bottom of this section for more on this story).
📌Bottom Right: 22 June – A 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan and Pakistan kills at least 1,000 people
The Story of Hans Island
If you Google “Hans Island” the first option that comes up is “Hans Island Meme”.
That kinda says it all, doesn’t it? Rather than being a highly political issue it is illustrated by a well-known meme.
Hans Island is located in the strait between Greenland and Canada and is uninhabited. It lies exactly 18km from each land mass.
Until last month it was claimed by both Canada and Denmark (Greenland being a Danish land).
Unlike many disputed territories, Hans Island, hasn’t seen any warfare; rather the flag of each nation was periodically removed by the other and alcoholic beverages, native to the respective countries, was left behind.
This was how the “whisky war” title was established.
After years of negotiations the ownership of the island was finally settled with it divide down the middle giving the European and American continents another land border in principle (the other being between French Guiana and Brazil/Suriname in South America).
This new international border is also now the most northerly and one of the shortest between nations.
As the meme says, this is how disputes are resolved between “nice” nations!
📌Top Left: 8 July – Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is shot dead shocking the world, especially Japan where such violence is extremely rare.
📌Top Right: Ongoing – Throughout the month of July thousands die in Europe as they suffer through a heatwave that causes wildfires.
📌Bottom Left: 28 July – The Commonwealth Games begin in Birmingham, England
To read more about the Commonwealth Games CLICK HERE
📌Bottom Right: 18 July – Droupadi Murmu is elected President of India, the youngest person to be elected to the position, aged 64, and the first tribal woman (*Tribal people are defined as a sub-group in India and are among the most disadvantaged classes)
📌Top Left: The Kenyan General Election is held however the result is questioned by the opposition party. The result would later be approved by the election supervisory body (9 August)
📌Top Right: China conducts controversial military exercises around Taiwan while top ranking US officials visit the island (4 August - drill pictured from 2018)
📌Bottom Left: Major flooding hits Pakistan and is named a global climate catastrophe. The death toll quickly climbed to over 1,000 people (28 August)
📌Bottom Right: A vote of no-confidence passed by the Montenegrin Parliament against Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic. Before loosing the prime minister role, he was the youngest elected state leader in the world. He was the first ethnic Albanian to serve in such a prime position within Montenegro.
Abazovic had come to power earlier this year after a no-confidence vote was passed against the sitting PM so his exit from the role is no doubt bittersweet (19 August).
📌Top Left: The United Nations releases a report stating that Chinese Government internment camps for the Uyghur people may be a crime against humanity (1 September).
📌Top Right: Charles III becomes King of England (8 September).
📌Bottom Left: Protests erupt in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of morality police.
Mahsa Amini, was arrested by Iran’s Morality police on the 13 September, not for failing to wear the hijab (which is the law) but rather wearing it too loosely. Aged just 22 she died at the hands of her detainers due to their brutality three days later on the 16 September. This sparked intense protests, the likes that had not been seen in Iran. The government cracked down very hard on protestors with over 1,500 arrests, 1,000 injured and around 150 killed. Exact information is hard to come by as the government blocked all social media and limited access to the outside world. (16 September)
📌Bottom Right: The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is held (19 September)
Not pictured: Clashes between Armenia/Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan/Tajikistan intensify in the middle of the month. Burkina Faso’s military rulers are overthrown in the countries second coup of 2022 (30 September)
According to results released by Russia 99.23% of people in the Donetsk People’s Republic, 98.42% of people in the Luhansk People’s Republic, 93.11% of people in the Russian parts of Zaporizhzhia and 87.05% of people in Kherson voted to annexation with Russia. As a result, on 30 September Russia officially annexes the regions despite international condemnation and skepticism over the validity of the referendums.
📌Top Left and Top Right: The month ended with a crowd crush at a Halloween event in Seoul, South Korea that injured 197 and killed at least 158 on 29 October. This made world headlines, but did you know it wasn’t the first or only crowd crush of the month?
On 1 October a crush had occurred at a stadium in East Java, Indonesia during a soccer game which resulted in the deaths of 131 people and injuries to a further 500 people. This crush started as a stampede when the home team lost to visiting rivals and 3,000 supporters invaded the playing field. [Seoul incident pictured top right (The Guardian Newspaper) and East Java Stampede pictured top left (Al Jazeera)].
📌Bottom Left: New British Prime Minister Liz Truss stands down from the role becoming the shortest tenure of a PM in British history. She is replaced by Rishi Sunak on 25 October. (The two during an earlier debate, BBC News)
📌Bottom Right: The Crimean Bridge that links Crimea and Russia was rocked by an explosion on 8 October that caused part of the bridge to collapse and three people were killed. Russia blamed Ukraine which resulted in an increase of missile strikes by Russia across Ukraine. (BBC World News)
November & December
I don’t usually reflect on two months at once but when I came to reflect ion November 2022 there seemed little to make specific note of. For that reason, I decided to wait until the end of December to do my final 2022 reflection post.
The war in Ukraine of course dominated the headlines and you can read more about that in my Ukraine specific blog (click here).
📌Top Left: Of note in the war in Ukraine was when missiles exploded in Polish territory on 15 November. (Image: Aftermath of the missiles, 15 November. Source: CNN).
📌Top Right: On 6 December the Indonesian Parliament passed a new criminal code that violates the rights of women, LGBTQ people and most minorities. In effect it means sex outside of marriage is illegal as are same-sex relationships. (Image: Protestors rally against the Government, 6 December. Source: Human Rights Watch).
📌Bottom Left: In China on 7 December the Government eased their zero-Covid policy following large protests. (Image: Protestors gather against the zero-Covid policy. Source: BBC World News).
📌Bottom Right: On the same day, 7 December, the President of Peru was removed from power after attempting to dissolve congress when it became clear they wished to impeach him. He was replaced by Peru’s first female President, the former vice president Dina Boluarte. (Image: New President Boluarte is sworn in. Source: Al Jazeera).
Did you Know?
Throughout the year various women have come into positions of power but did you know that 3 were the first female leaders of their nations?
🚺 On 27 January 2022 Xiomara Castro became the first female President of Honduras
🚺 On 10 May 2022 Katalin Novak became the first female President of Hungary
🚺 On 7 December 2022 Dina Boluarte became the first female President of Peru
✏ Xiomara Castro is not new to Honduras politics after fulfilling the role of First Lady while her husband, Manuel Zelaya was President between 2206 and 2009. She is the first President to not be a member of either of the major two parties.
✏ Katalin Novak is not just the first female to hold the position of President, but she is also the youngest in Hungary’s history, aged just 44 when she was elected. Though young she has had a seat in parliament since 2018 and was the Minister for Family Affairs since October 2020. She served as Vice President from 2017 to 2021.
✏ Dina Boluarte has come to power in Peru during a time of great unrest and turmoil. In five years the nation has had six President’s and now eyes are on the countries first female President to see if stability can be reached. Since July 2021 she served as the country’s Vice President however after the previous President failed in a coup after he faced impeachment she came into the role on 7 December 2022.