Improving regional policies to reduce light pollution and protect and valorise dark night skies
A satellite image of night-time Europe shows a continent that is covered in light. Over 85% of the EU territory is subject to some degree of artificial illumination. This increasing loss of natural darkness has a negative impact on biodiversity and ecosystems and on the quality of nature and the environment. Regions across Europe must intensify their policy efforts to reduce light pollution and protect areas with naturally dark night skies to help preserve their nature and vulnerable landscapes and prevent biodiversity loss. At the same time there are opportunities for sustainable economic development linked to the protection of dark skies. Several EU regions already demonstrate this by creating areas where the dark sky has a protected status and successfully positioning this as an asset to develop new eco-tourism services. In the Night Light project regional authorities from The Netherlands, Hungary, Spain, Luxemburg, Denmark, Slovenia and Italy join forces to improve their regional policies for the prevention of light pollution, preservation of dark skies and the sustainable exploitation of dark sky places. The project will introduce packages of regional policy measures for each of the partner regions that will result in a lasting reduction of light pollution, the designation of nature areas where dark skies are protected and the introduction of new services and facilities to attract eco-tourism to these dark sky areas.