Monday 27th of June

15:00 – 16:00 Registration

16:00 – Official Opening
          * Sr. Ramon Farré, Vicepresident of Consorci del Montsec and
          High-representative of Government of Catalonia in Lleida region.
          * Sr. Albert Alins, High-representative of
          Government of Catalonia in Pyrenees region.
          * Sra. M. Assumpta Farran, Head of Environment Quality Area of
          Government of Catalonia.
          * Sr. Josep Castells, Mayor of Castell de Mur municipality
          * Sr. Salvador J. Ribas, Science Manager of Consorci del Montsec

16:30 – Invited Talk: 
           “Preserving the Starlight: A new challenge for environment 
          by Cipriano Marin (Coordinator Starlight Initiative / UNESCO Urban
          Futures Programme)

17:15 – Coffee Break

17:45 – Contributions:
          – “The Starlight Initiative in the Reserve of Biosphere of La

          Jesús Ruiz Tutor & Susana Gómez Urizarna (Government of Rioja)
          and Alberto Bañuelos & Susana Malón (AAC Acustica+Luminica)
          – “Dark Sky Protection in Catalonia”
          Sergi Paricio (Servei per a la Prevenció de la Contaminació Acústica i
          Lluminosa, Government of Catalonia)
         –  “International Dark Sky Reserve Project in French Pyrenees:
          starry nights and sustainable development”
          Association PIRENE (Observatoire Pic du Midi)
          – “Light Problems in a protected area: Montsec”
          Salvador J. Ribas (Parc Astronòmic Montsec)

20:00 Welcome Cocktail sponsored by Consorci del Montsec

23:00 Visit to “Centre d’Observació de l’Univers”

Tuesday 28th of June

              Visit to Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec

16:00 – Invited Talk:
          “The Andalusian Sky: Legislation, Protection, Appreciation
          and Awareness”
          by Ángela Ranea (Government of Andalucia)

16:45 – Contributions (coffee break around 17:15 sponsored by
          AAC Acústica+Lumínica):
          – “Slovenian Light Pollution Legislation”
          Gregor Vertacnik (Dark-Sky Slovenia)
          – “The Mena Valley Project: Starting the actions”
         Javier Mardones (Ayuntamiento Valle de Mena) and Alberto Bañuelos
          & Susana Malón (AAC Acustica+Luminica)
          – “Oasis Starlight/Urban Star Park project in the city of Pau:
          starry nights, astronomy and urban policy”
         Bruno Charlier and Nicolas Bourgeois (Université de Pau)
          – “Light Pollution in the Environment of the Turia Natural
          Enric Marco and Angel Morales (Universitat de València)
          – “Dark Sky Protection at Calar Alto Observatory (Spain)”
         David Galadí-Enríquez (Calar Alto Observatory)
          – “The Road Runner System: A Light Pollution measuring
          Daniel Rosa Infantes (Sociedad Malagueña de Astronomía)

20:00 – Preparation of night measurements

22:00 – Measurements of Light Pollution / Observations

Wednesday 29th of June

              Visit to Castell de Mur (“Castle of Mur”) offered by municipality of Castell de Mur

16:00 – Invited Talk:
          “Biodiversity at night”
          by Juan José Negro (Biological Station of Doñana / CSIC)

16:45 – Contributions (coffee break around 17:15):
          – “A Biosphere Reserve under the stars”
          Tony Gallardo (Reserva de Biosfera de Fuerteventura / MaB)
          – “Night species (title to be confirmed)” (Spanish lecture)
          Alfons G. Dolsa (Museu de les Papallones)
          – “Cel Fosc organization (title to be confirmed)”
          Josep M. Bosch (CelFosc – Spanish Dark Sky Association)
          – “Dark sky parks and places in Canada and the World”
          (remote talk)
          David Welch (DSAG, IUCN)
          – “The New Canadian Jasper Dark Sky Preserve” (remote talk)
          Robert Dick (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada)
         – “Dark-sky Parks and Light Pollution in TV shows and
          Valentin Grigore (Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)

22:00 Observations

Thursday 30th of June

          Excursion trip to Mont-Rebei canyon sponsored by Catalunya Caixa

16:00 – Invited Talk:
          “Identification and verification of potential dark sky parks in
          by Andreas Haenel (Dark Sky Germany and  Museum Osnabrueck)

16:45 – Contributions (coffee break at 17:15):
          – “Ignite for Starry Night” – Getting Started to Achieve and
          Protect a Natural Night Sky above Eifel National Park.”
          Harald Bardenhagen (Astronomie-Werkstatt “Sterne ohne
          – “The observatories of the Agrupación Astronómica de
          Sabadell (AAS) in Montsec”
          Carles Schnabel (Agrupación Astronómica de Sabadell)
          – “ASTMON: A robotic all sky transmission monitor”
          Jesús Aceituno (AstroItec) and David Galadí (Calar Alto Observatory)
          – “The best way for ranking of dark sky parks”
          Kambiz Khaleghi (Iran Amateur Astronomy Society)
          – “Starlight & Lighting Master Plan in Amurrio (Spain)”
          Alberto Bañuelos and Susana Malón (AAC Acústica+Lumínica)
          – “Poetry against Light Pollution”
          Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (Romanian Society for Meteors and

22:00 Observations

Friday 1st of July

10:30 – Contributions:
          – “Survey of Illumination Intensities–A Comparison Between
& States”
          Andrej Mohar (Dark-Sky Slovenia)
          – “The control of light pollution in Italy” (remote talk)
          Fabio Falchi (Cielo Buio, Italy)

11:30 – Measurements test review

12:00 – Invited talk:
          “Professional Lighting in front Light Pollution: Problematics,
          Evolution, Opportunities?”
by Ramon Sanmartin, Manuel Garcia
          and Hector Solano (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)

13:00 – Conclusions

Free Afternoon
It’s possible to do free of charge a diurnal visit to Centre d’Observació de l’Univers



 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 Initiative builds a strong network of people who will in their respective countries work to reduce light pollution. Their role may be in establishing effective regulatory framework for protection from growing light pollution and its reduction, in providing scientific input to the efforts and raising awareness. It brings together all those that have knowledge, experience, responsibilities or motivation to contribute to a positive change.
The 2011 Symposium

The aim of the 2011 Symposium on Dark-sky Parks is to analyze the situation of Dark Sky Parks and the effects of the artificial light from the cities to these natural areas. 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 environment tourism, research, educational, natural protected areas management, planning, government, student and other communities.
Symposium participants are site managers, representatives of international and national (non-governmental) organizations, experts in light pollution, biology, astronomy, human health, (eco)tourism, natural and cultural heritage, lighting industry, etc.
The symposium is a five-day event, comprising of quality lectures, field-trips and night observations.
The symposium language is English.

Symposium 2011

4th International Symposium for Dark-sky Parks and 4th International Dark-sky Camp

27th June – 1st July 2011

Parc Astronomic Montsec, Catalonia, SPAIN

The symposium provides both a setting for individuals to present their knowledge or attend presentations by leading experts in the light-pollution field, and creates an opportunity for networking, collaboration, sharing of information and the building of trust relationships.

Symposium will bring together managers of protected areas, experts in biology, (eco) tourism, natural and cultural heritage, lighting industry and others to further the action plan on reducing light pollution.

The symposium is a five-day event, comprising of lectures, field-trips and night observations.


INVITATION (in Spanish)

INVITATION (in Catalan)

INVITATION (in French)

Call for papers is open. Please contact us if you wish to present a paper
Register now!


Dark-sky video made on the symposium on Lastovo Island, 2010 (available in several different languages):

Power Point presentations presented on 3rd International Symposium for Dark-sky Parks and 3rd International Dark-sky Camp:

– dr. Željko Andreić, Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering, University of Zagreb and Doroteja Andreić, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb: Some Aspects of Light Pollution in the Near Infrared

Alberto Bañuelos Irusta, Susana Malón Giménez, AAC Centro de Acústica Aplicada S.L.: The MENA Valley Project: Urban and Rural Lighting Renew to Improve the Night Sky of a Protected Forest

dr. Zdenka Čebašek-Travnik, Slovenian Human Rights Ombudsman: The Right to a Healthy Living Environment – Within the Framework of the Slovenian Legislation

Robert Dick, RASC Light Pollution Abatement Program: Designation of Dark Sky Preserves in Canada

Valentin Grigore, The Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy: Dark-Sky Romania: Dark-Sky for Our Generation

István Gyarmathy, Hortobágy National Park Directorate, dr. Zoltán Kolláth, Konkoly Observatory: Dark-Sky Park Program in Hungary

dr. Andreas Hänel, Museum am Schölerberg: Tourism and Dark Sky Places in Europe

Erika Jež, Eco Vitae: Church Illumination in Primorska Region, Slovenia

José Nuno Pinto de Sampaio Fernandes, Linnaeus University, Kalmar: Urban Design Strategies: The Cities’ Users Needs and Demands, A Qualitative Approach to Public Space Light and Lighting

Kambiz Khaleghi, Iran Amateur Astronomy Society: Differences of Light Pollution on Different Climate Areas

dr. Zoltán Kolláth, Konkoly Observatory: Monitoring and Modeling Light Pollution in Dark Sky Parks

Susana Malón Giménez, Alberto Bañuelos Irusta, AAC Centro de Acústica Aplicada S.L.: Intelligent Lighting Design: Difficulties to Fulfill Low Illumination Level

Herman Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory, Univ. of Ljubljana, Department of Physics, Dark-Sky Slovenia: Night Sky Deterioration at Črni Vrh Observatory Over the Past 30 Years. Comparison of Wide-Field Night Sky Images Taken in 1981 and 2010

Andrej Mohar, Dark-Sky Slovenia: Slovene Light Pollution Legislation – 3 Years of Positive Changes

Salvador J. Ribas, Parc Astronomic Montsec – Consorci del Montsec: Mesuring Light Pollution Around P
arc Astronòmic Montsec

dr. Mojca Stojan-Dolar, Dark-Sky Slovenia: Artificial Light and Nocturnal Life

Gregor Vertačnik, Dark-Sky Slovenia: Influence of White Light Luminaries on Sky Brightness

Gregor Vertačnik, Dark-Sky Slovenia: Influence of White Luminaries on Sky BrightneesGregor Vertačnik, Dark-Sky Slovenia: Could We Use Official Weather Data to Predict Sky Brightness? The Case of Črni Vrh Observatory

dr. Günther Wuchterl, Thüringer Landessternwarte: Measuring Star-Shine: Assessing, Monitoring, Comparing and Communicating Park-Sky Quality Across Disciplines and to the Public 



14-19 September 2009, Lastovo Island, Croatia

2nd International Symposium for Dark-sky Parks and 2nd International Dark-sky Camp

The title of the symposium was “The Role of Protected Areas in Reducing Light Pollution: Strengthening the Mission in Conserving Nature.

Dark Skies Advisory Group


The web site of the IUCN Dark Skies Advisory Group


Basic statement

Advisory Group: role and members

Environmental impact of light pollution

Basic statement

We are creatures of light, but in recent centuries our technology has enabled us to push back the frontier of darkness, extending our work and leisure time well into the hours of twilight and darkness. We tend to forget, however, that ecosystems and wild species operate 24 hours each day, seven days each week. They have evolved to cope with, depend on and take advantage of natural darkness. A night sky without artificial light is therefore vital to the proper functioning of natural ecosystems. Artificial lighting affects species migration patterns, predator-prey relationships, and the circadian rhythms of many organisms, to name just a few of the consequences of light pollution. Natural darkness is also essential to a full appreciation of our surroundings, to satisfy curiosity, to appreciate our environment in all its facets, and to preserve our diverse cultural integrity. However, compared to climate change, acid rain, exotic species, habitat destruction and other stresses, the need for natural darkness and the impacts of artificial lighting are often overlooked as we strive to protecting biodiversity and to appreciate the natural world and our cultural heritage.

There are at least ten reasons to reduce light pollution and to protect a natural night sky. They go beyond nature conservation to touch upon appropriate design and land development control policies.

• To preserve the ecological integrity of natural environments.
• To ensure the full enjoyment of a wilderness experience.
• To appreciate the integrity, character and beauty of rural landscapes.
• To protect and present the authenticity of cultural sites (tangible heritage).
• To help preserve cultural practices and ceremonies relate to the night sky.
• To help preserve the intangible heritage that relates to mythology, traditional navigation and cultural heritage related to the night sky.
• To protect human health, both medical and psychological.
• To contribute to energy efficiency.
• To benefit scientific and amateur astronomy (starlight tourism) and the right for all people to enjoy a clear, unpolluted night sky.
• To improve personal security through non-glare lighting in urban areas.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognizes the importance of natural darkness to nature conservation, the ecological integrity of protected areas, and to the sustainability of healthy lives in healthy cities. The Dark Skies Advisory Group has been established within IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas to help advance this recognition. With the support of the Initiative for an International Association of Dark Sky Parks, the Group provides this web site to encourage protected areas and communities to embrace the concept and values of dark skies. Web searches using terms like dark skies, dark sky preserve, scotobiology, ecology of the night, starlight reserve and light pollution abatement quickly reveal many useful and comprehensive web sites which provide guidance on intelligent lighting, enjoyment of the night sky, and understanding of the impacts of light pollution on humans and nature. The Dark Skies Advisory Group does not and will not try to replicate these. Rather, our aim is to promote IUCN endorsement of dark skies and to provide summaries of, and signposts to, further information.

For the International Union for Conservation of Nature:

David Welch, Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group, and
Ted Trzyna, Leader, Cities and Protected Areas Specialist Group.

Back to DSAG index

Dark Skies Advisory Group (DSAG): role and members

Established in 2009, the Group provides advice and guidance on behalf of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to other bodies in regards to light pollution and dark sky values, in particular as they relate to the ecological and commemorative integrity, visitor appreciation and public understanding of protected areas, and the long term maintenance of dark sky values for future generations. In connection with IUCN’s role as an Advisory Body to the World Heritage Convention, the Group will also advise, assess and make recommendations to the IUCN Secretariat in regards to World Heritage studies and nominations that address or touch upon dark skies and light pollution.

The group consists of members of the The Urban Specialist Group, which in turn reports to the World Commission on Protected Areas of IUCN. Depending on the nature of the group’s work, outcomes and products may be subject to approval of the Specialist Group or the Commission.

Group members volunteer their time, either within the scope of their employment or business or as private citizens. This means that the Group does not have the capacity to respond to requests for advice from individuals. Subject to its capacity and priorities as outline above, it will endeavour to respond to requests for advice directly from organizations.

As part of its advisory role, the Dark Skies Advisory Group web pages will be developed to provide summaries of key aspects of light pollution abatement and dark skies protection, such as the ecological impacts and tourism benefits. These summaries will provide links to more comprehensive web sites endorsed by the DSAG.

As of July 2014 the members are:

• Bruno Charlier, Pic du Midi International Dark Sky Reserve Project (France)
• István Gyarmathy, Hortobágy National Park (Hungary)
• John Hearnshaw, University of Canterbury (New Zealand)
• Travis Longcore, The Urban Wildlands Group (USA)
• Cipriano Marin, UNESCO Starlight Initiative (Spain)
• Juan José Negro, Donana Biological Station (Spain)
• Clive Ruggles, International Astronomical Union Working Group on Astronomy and World Heritage (UK)
• Karen Treviño, Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, National Park Service (USA)
• Jurij Stare, Initiative for an Int’l Association for Dark Sky Parks (Slovenia)
• Ted Trzyna, ex officio as Leader, IUCN WCPA Cities and Protected Areas Specialist Group (USA)
• John Waugh, Semaphore Inc. (USA)
• David Welch, Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group, IUCN (Canada)

Back to DSAG index

The environment impact of light pollution

Biological systems evolved under the influence of the day/night cycle and its annual variation. They have developed light/dark sensing techniques that ensure the integration of their behaviour into the yearly progression of the seasons. Light pollution negatively affects their ability to fit their developmental and reproductive behaviour to the appropriate time of year. Light pollution may also affect the diurnal behaviour and activities of animals, with severe or extreme consequences. The impacts of light pollution on five major groups of organisms are briefly surveyed below.

Wild animals may have their hunting, feeding and breeding activities seriously affected by light pollution. It may also negatively affect their capacity for orientation and their ability to navigate effectively through their environment. The breeding and feeding activities of fish may also be compromised.

Birds are seriously affected by light pollution. They may suffer navigation problems from night lights during migration and become seriously disoriented. They tend to fly toward bright lights, and the death toll from their collisions with lights or brightly lit windows and buildings is very large. Their feeding habits, particularly of those that eat flying insects, can suffer from the effects of light pollution on their own behaviour as well as on the behaviour of the insects on which they feed.

Insects suffer disorientation and death from attraction to lights in the night. Their numbers are also decreased because they congregate under bright lights and become easy prey for insect-eating birds. They also suffer losses due to the interruption of their normal breeding habits by light pollution.

Plants have evolved to use the seasonal cues of changing day/night lengths in order to fit their annual developmental and breeding programs to the appropriate seasons. Light pollution prevents them from using these seasonal cues so that their breeding activities are compromised or prevented, and their development, particularly in their preparation for winter, may be affected to the point that they are unable to survive seasonal changes.

Finally, humans are likely to feel that light pollution negatively affects their appreciation of the nighttime environment. It may also cause sleep deprivation as well as psychological disturbances that can have serious and sometimes lasting effects.

Overall, light pollution has no beneficial effects on the biological components of the environment: it only helps humans who wish to see in the dark. Its effects on the biological components of the environment are often seriously negative or even deadly, so lighting schemes should be developed that minimize these impacts.

Further reading
Light pollution and ecosystems.
Ecological light pollution.
Ecological consequences of artificial night lighting.

Back to DSAG index




Here you can see PowerPoint presentations, which were presented on 2nd International Symposium for Dark-sky Parks and 2nd Dark-sky Camp on Lastovo Island, Croatia.

PowerPoint presentations:

Herman Mikuž, Dark-sky Slovenia: Light Pollution Comparison: Lastovo, Cres, Višnjan, Croatia, Slovenia

Salvador J. Ribas, Parc Astronomic Montsec – Consorci del Montsec: Parc Astronomic Montsec: Research, Education and Outreach in a Dark-Sky Area

István Gyarmathy, Hortobágy National Park Directorate, Z. Kolláth, Konkoly Observatory: Dark Sky Park Program in Hungary

Robert Dick, dr. Roger G.S. Bidwell, Peter Goering and dr. David Welch: Development of Starlight Reserve Program in Canada

Erika Pogačnik, Dark-sky Slovenia: Light pollution in Triglav National Park

Andrej Mohar, Dark-sky Slovenia: Slovene Light Pollution Law and Positive Results in Last 2 years

Jure Atanackov, Ustvarjalno Astronomsko Društvo: Phenomena of Natural Dark Skies

Korado Korlević, Višnjan Observatory: Biological Consequences of Light Pollution 

Alberto Banuelos Irusta, AAC Centro de Acústica Aplicada S.L.: Synergies between Light and Noise Pollution: Benefits of Integrated Management

Gözde Saral, Master Student Ankara University: Nature and Sky Education Potential in Protected Areas Under Dark Skies in Turkey

Barbara Mertin, EUROPARC: Dark Skies and EUROPARC´s Federation Perspective

Valentin Grigore, The Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy: Light Pollution Can Be Stopped!

Ivan Budinski: Birds of Nature Park Lastovo Islands

Zrinka Jakl, Udruga Sunce: Underwater Blue Sky of Nature Park Lastovo Islands

Milena Šijan, Udruga Sunce: Croatian Womens Expedition Everest 2009

Nataša Kuburović, PhD Candidate University of Belgrade: The Optimal Designing of Energy Efficiency Outdoor Nighttime Lighting Systems for Decreasing of Energy Wastes




We do not organise accommodation for participants. All the participants are requested to make their own accommodation arrangements, but we are happy to help.

We recommend accommodation in or close to the town of Pasadur as all the lectures will take place there and also Heliodrom (where night observations take place) is a several minutes drive from Pasadur.

Accommodation may be found also in other towns, but they are far from Pasadur.

1. In Pasadur is the only hotel on the island – Solitudo. Most of the lectures and meetings will take place in the hotel.

Hotel Solitudo has a special prices for the participants of the symposium. Please contact us ( for further informations.

Tel: +385 20 80 21 00

2. The island has a nice range of private apartments. Several apartments offer food, as well, which allows you to explore the local cuisine and enjoy some great food. The Lastovo Tourist Office has a list of all the aparements and will help you with booking arrangements.
Tel/fax: +385 20 801 018             

3. At Lastovo there is also a campsite Camping Skriveni, Skrivena Luka, rather far from Pasadur. /