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Page 1 of 15 The dark side of parks Why and how should natural darkness be managed in protected areas? David Welch Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group (IUCN)

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Presentation on theme: "Page 1 of 15 The dark side of parks Why and how should natural darkness be managed in protected areas? David Welch Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group (IUCN)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Page 1 of 15 The dark side of parks Why and how should natural darkness be managed in protected areas? David Welch Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group (IUCN) Starlight workshop, November 2009

2 Page 2 of 15 9 reasons to combat light pollution Ecological integrity Commemorative integrity Astronomy, scientific and amateur Culture, mythology and ceremony Energy efficiency Wilderness experience Preserving landscape beauty Human health Safety and security PA HS SSSI And which apply most to protected areas and sites PA : Protected Area, park, reserve HS : Historic Site, cultural monument SSSI : Site of Special Scientific Interest

3 Page 3 of 15 IUCN protected area classes IStrict protection: 1aStrict Nature Reserve; 1bWilderness Area. IIEcosystem conservation and recreation (National Park). IIIConservation of natural features (Natural Monument). IVConservation through active management (Habitat/Species Management Area). VLandscape/seascape conservation and recreation (Protected Landscape/Seascape). VISustainable use of natural ecosystems (Managed Resource Protected Area). Enables comparisons across jurisdictions with different nomenclature. Underscores the diversity of protected areas. Can dark sky parks learn from this?

4 Page 4 of 15 Dark sky park classes? A proposal to start discussion IStarlight reserves in the sense of the world heritage initiative, contemporary astronomical sites of special scientific interest (world significance). IISites and areas with outstanding values that include darkness, e.g. historic and archaeological astronomy sites, or critical habitats for sensitive species. IIISites and areas of local, regional and national significance for astronomy, both amateur and scientific. IVSites and areas where natural darkness is critical to EI and CI. VUrban and peri-urban parks with sky glow but without glare and which maintain interpretive and outreach programmes about light pollution abatement.

5 Page 5 of 15 Dark sky management in protected areas What does being a dark sky park imply? Management policies in place to set light pollution objectives. Outdoor lighting standards. Darkness monitoring appropriate to the dark sky class. Scotobiology research, monitoring and science outreach. Community outreach programmes to abate light pollution in the viewshed. Visitor activity programmes, e.g.: star parties; night sky talks; scotobiology talks and hikes; travelling planetaria; audio- visual presentations; static displays.

6 Page 6 of 15 Canadian national park zones Restricted access No facilities Most of a park's area Controlled motor access Primitive facilities Motorized access Buildings, roads Special Preservation Wilderness Natural Environment Outdoor recreation Park Services I II III IV V

7 Page 7 of 15 Lighting zones for protected areas? INo in situ lighting, no glare, no significant sky glow for science. IINo in situ lighting, no glare, no significant sky glow for amateurs. IIINo in situ lighting, no glare. IVLimited in situ lighting; conforming to outdoor lighting standards and bylaws. VNon-conforming, i.e. permitted exceptions to be addressed through ongoing management. A proposal to assist dark sky park establishment and management

8 Page 8 of 15 Whats in a name, and does it matter? Starlight reserve Dark sky park Dark sky reserve Dark sky preserve International dark sky preserve Other?

9 Page 9 of 15 IUCN Dark Skies Advisory Group Organizational relationship International Union for Conservation of Nature World Commission on Protected Areas Cities and Protected Areas Specialist Group Objectives Pool of expertise related to protected areas, biodiversity and public enjoyment. Advice to IUCN members. Advice to the IUCN Secretariat in regards to related World Heritage studies and nominations. Advice to other bodies on behalf of the IUCN. Promotion of dark skies as an integral component of protected area management.

10 Page 10 of 15 IUCN Dark Skies Advisory Group members George Davis, South African National Biodiversity Institute Maguelonne Déjeant-Pons, Council of Europe Eduardo Fayos-Solà, World Tourism Organization István Gyarmathy, Hortobágy National Park, Hungary John Hearnshaw, University of Canterbury, New Zealand Dan Laffoley, Natural England Travis Longcore, The Urban Wildlands Group, USA Cipriano Marin, UNESCO Starlight Initiative, Spain Chad Moore, National Park Service, USA Juan José Negro, Doñana Biological Station, Spain Erika Pogačnik, International Association for Dark Sky Parks Clive Ruggles, IAU Working Group on Astronomy and World Heritage Neil Sinden, Campaign to Protect Rural England Ted Trzyna, IUCN Cities and Protected Areas Specialist Group John Waugh, Semaphore Inc., USA David Welch, Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group, IUCN

11 Page 11 of 15 IUCN Dark Skies Advisory Group action plan Advice to: Starlight initiative; world heritage proposals; other bodies Web site to show endorsement of dark skies concepts Home page: general introduction and links to the following possibilities, each equivalent to 2-3 pages, in turn linking to selected existing web sites. Dark sky rationale, with focus on protected areas and conservation. Ecological consequences of artificial lighting. Darkness and sky glow measurement and monitoring systems. Lighting guidelines for protected areas. Park visitor activity and learning programmes. Outreach and education programmes. Case studies of dark sky preserves (see below). Case studies of ecosystem conservation light pollution abatement programmes. Case studies of community-based dark sky programmes. IUCN DSAG profile. Selected references and web links. Upcoming conferences and related events.

12 Page 12 of 15 Towards a world list of dark sky preserves A proposal for discussion Country Name Location (central latitude and longitude) Constituent sites and areas Management jurisdiction Recognizing body (or self-declared?) Date of recognition Web site or other appopriate link

13 Page 13 of 15 Sample listing Canada Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve , Elk Island National Park, Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area Parks Canada Agency, Alberta Parks and Protected Areas Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 2006 Web site: Country Name Lat/long Constituents Management Recognition Date Web link

14 Page 14 of 15 Summary Reasons for natural darkness in protected areas Potential dark sky park classes and zones Management tools Naming and listing DSAG roles and action plan

15 Page 15 of 15 Discussion topics for expert meeting session 2 Criteria for dark sky preserves/starlight reserves, regardless of world heritage status. Case studies. Management practices for all parks and reserves, e.g. outdoor lighting standards. Promotion of scotobiology/ecology of the night research. Interpretive and educational opportunities. Community outreach using protected area values to help reduce sky glow and glare sources. Procedures for delivering advice on behalf of the IUCN. Prospects for World Heritage proposals. DSAG action plan items.

16 Page 16 of 15 Copyright notice © D. Welch, 2009 This presentation may be freely copied and presented in part or in whole provided that the appropriate credit is included as shown in the title slide or in a specific slide from which material is copied.


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