Background on the Initiative
The quality of the night sky has been a concern for a number of years. Growth of light pollution globally has strengthened the worldwide movement to protect natural dark skies. In 2007 a consortium of international organisations (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO, World Tourism Organization – UNWTO, International Astronomical Union – IAU and others), Secretariats of conventions relevant to biodiversity (Convention on the Biological Diversity, Convention on Migratory Species, Ramsar Convention) and representatives of the academic community met in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain, at the International Conference in Defense of the Quality of Night Sky. The resulting Declaration in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight is a linchpin document for protection of the natural sky. It recognises the importance and multi-faced value of the night sky and provides a plan for action.
The Initiative for an International Association of Dark-sky Parks aims to implement the principles of the Declaration, in particular through its 10th principle:
“[a]ll those protected areas which combine exceptional landscape and natural values relying on the quality of their night sky, are called to include protection of clear night skies as a key factor strengthening their mission in conserving nature.”
The 2010 Symposium
The aim of the 2010 Symposium on Dark-sky Parks is to establish an effective long-term framework for reducing light pollution internationally. It will do so by bringing together key players that will determine with the appropriate course of action. The Symposium not only provides a setting for individuals to present their knowledge or attend presentations by leading experts in the light-pollution field. It also creates an opportunity for networking, collaboration, sharing of information and the building of trust relationships. Dark-sky movement continues to enjoy a steady increase in membership internationally and is represented by individuals from tourism, research, educational, management, government, student and other communities.
The symposium is a five-day event, comprising of quality lectures, field-trips and night observations.
The symposium language is English.