Objectives of the Starlight Initiative
The initiative is designed as an international action in defence of the values associated with the night sky and the general right to observe the stars. It is open to the participation of all scientific, cultural, environmental, and citizens' organizations and associations, as well as public institutions and other public and private bodies willing to effectively cooperate in the conservation of clear skies and the dissemination of the knowledge related with their observation. The final aim of the initiative is to strengthen the importance of clear skies for humankind, emphasizing and introducing the value of this endangered heritage for science, education, culture, technological development, nature conservation, tourism and, obviously, as a quality-of-life factor.
The Starlight initiative was launched in 2007 at the proposal of IAC (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias) in partnership with UNESCO and other international organizations as IAU (International Astronomical Union), UNWTO (World Tourism Orgatization) or Ramsar Convention Secretariat.
Objectives of the Starlight Initiative - 2007
- Promote the World Declaration on the Right to the Starlight as a common heritage of mankind.
- Promote international action in defence of the quality of the night sky and the observation of the stars, reinforcing the right to their enjoyment and use as a scientific, cultural and environmental resource and a vector of technological development to the benefit of mankind.
- Help to spread the culture of valuing starlight, guaranteeing access to it for present and future generations.
- Make an international call on the need to limit impacts on the quality of observing the sky associated with light, radio-electric and air pollution, including the impact of air traffic, in the areas of astrophysical observation.
- Promote public awareness of the personal right to contemplate the stars and to the conservation of nocturnal landscapes. Identify and promote initiatives to enhance the value of material and intangible cultural heritage associated with astronomy, hence reinforcing our knowledge of the skies and of the associated cultural expression diversity.
- Open a window on the new forms of sustainable and creative tourism promoting starlight and the firmament as basic resources in responsible tourism destinations, with special emphasis on actions taken in mankind heritage sites, biosphere reserves and areas of astrophysical observation.
- Generate proposals aimed at the protection of night sky quality, promoting the creation of privileged areas for star observation and launching international campaigns and agreements aimed at consolidating genuine “Starlight Reserves” as windows to the firmament.
- Promote the concept of Starlight Reserves in protected natural areas and surrounding zones, as an element of the strategy to conserve biodiversity and the manifestations of night life: “life manifests itself 24 hours a day”.
- Develop the clean skies initiative within the framework of UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves, as they are laboratories for science and sustainable development and they can act as worldwide benchmarks for enhancing the value of environmental resources.
- Develop the proposal to create an international network of institutions and bodies supporting the quality of the light of the night sky and the right to observe the stars. Identify, disseminate and promote local, national and international legislative initiatives aimed at protecting this legacy for science, development and culture.
- Help to disseminate the benefits associated with the development of astrophysics and observatories, in the technological and industrial dimensions and in the area of job creation and the influence they have on the advancement of other socially interesting applications.
The Initiative: Origin, objectives, organization and support
Resolution B5 in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to StarlightThe International Astronomical Union XXVII General Assembly, Recalling
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