At the end of the year, we usually think about the highs and lows experienced that year. However, 2016 has been reviewed as a dark and depressing year by the majority. With too many negatives being highlighted and the loss of life and spread of despair around with things like demonetisation and militant attacks in India and the Iraq and Syria crisis, this year has been labelled as black by most people. The election of Donald Trump as the new US President added to the woes of the world. However there is always a silver lining to find in every grave situation. There have been some extremely important positives in 2016 that have been overshadowed by the negatives. Here is a look at the seven highlights of this year that we feel spread some cheer!

1. Paris Agreement

Paris Agreement

This treaty was signed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 194 members of the UNFCCC. This plan is a milestone in our fight against climate change, with the reduction of global warming as its goal.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar, finally!

Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar

After two dozen movies and decades of waiting, Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio finally broke the jinx and won an Academy Award in 2016! The actor won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in The Revenant, after being nominated six times.

3. Breakthrough research in Cancer

cancer research

Chemotherapy has been a traumatising experience for anyone battling cancer. This year saw quite a few positives in the battle against this disease that kills millions. New chemotherapy breakthroughs have increased the survival rate for pancreatic cancer from 16% to 27%. Also, new therapy developed in Israel could cure radiation sickness. Precision treatments for cancer are hitting clinical trials and working.

4. India plants 50 million trees in 24 hours

trees in india

India created a world record by planting a total of 50 million trees in a record time of 24 hours. On July 11, around 8 lakh volunteers came forward to plant saplings in Uttar Pradesh as an effort to show the commitment made at Paris Climate Conference.

5. Pokémon Go

pokemon go

Mobile app-based game Pokémon Go brought back the childhood memories of all its fans and especially who were ’90s kids. The real-world mobile game by Niantic was first released this year and made people get out of their houses and on to the streets, playgrounds and malls to find Pikachu. The app managed to bring back outdoor games, even if it was with a phone in their hand. LOL!

6. The Revival of Harry Potter

Harry Potter

The Harry Potter fandom finally came back to life after four years with the new addition in the form of a play / book which brought in mixed reactions from Potterheads. The Cursed Child gave a lot of details into the life of Harry Potter and his children post the war. To add to this excitement, the fans also got a new movie and a promise of an entire series in the form of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Set in the times before Voldemort, this movie shed light on the unexplored area of international wizardry.

7. Virtual Reality becomes a reality

Virtual Reality

While Virtual Reality (VR) has been a concept discussed for a long time, 2016 saw the start of the future. With various tech companies releasing impressive VR devices and 360-degree videos becoming a common sight, the future of VR has been set to a strong start this year! Oculus, Sony, HTC, Xiaomi, and other tech companies have come out with various games and other VR related devices and gadgets.

If you can think of some more positive things that happened the world over in 2016, write in to us at <>.