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International Initiative in Defence of the Quality of the Night Sky as Mankind’s Scientific, Cultural and Environmental Heritage

Starlight Reserves and World Heritage - Fuerteventura 2009

International Workshop and Expert Meeting

Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), 10-11 March 2009


The International Workshop and expert meeting “Starlight Reserves and World Heritage: Scientific, Cultural and Environment Values”, was hosted by the Fuerteventura Island Council, and organized in cooperation with the UNESCO-World Heritage Centre, IAC (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias), and IAU (International Astronomical Union).

The International Workshop and Expert Meeting "Starlight Reserves and World. It was attended participants and experts from 10 countries including representatives of private organizations, companies, the tourism industry, NGOs, scientific bodies and research stations, as well as international organizations such as UNWTO, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the European Landscape Convention, the UNESCO MAB Programme and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, Ambassador Maria Jesús San Segundo, also participated in the workshop.

This meeting is part of the cycle of the UNESCO-World Heritage activities “Astronomy and World Heritage: across time and continents”, launched within the framework of the World Heritage Initiative on Astronomical Heritage during the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, IYA2009.

One of the most important contributions of the meeting was to provide final review of the Starlight Reserve Concept  and promote the creation of DSAG - IUCN (Dark Sky Advisory Gorup).

The expert meeting concluded with a set of recommendations for consideration by the UNESCO-MaB Programme, World Heritage Committee, States Parties, Member States of UNESCO, the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention (IUCN, ICOMOS, ICCROM), other UNESCO programmes as well as other UN organizations, scientific institutions and other relevant bodies.

"The combination of increased awareness of the need to minimize impacts of light pollution, growing need to promote energy efficiencies in rural and urban development planning for mitigating climate change consequences and greater public appreciation of the recreational and educational benefits of a clear-night sky could help to move the Starlight idea into mainstream development processes". Natarajan Ishwaran - Director, Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, UNESCO.

More information in UNESCO-World Heritage Center


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Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

The Starlight 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...

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