Island of Niue becomes world's first 'dark sky' nation

dark sky
iStock / Archivo

Known as the Rock of Polynesia, the Pacific island of Niue is the first country to be officially granted the title of ‘dark sky nation’, by the International Dark-Sky Association. 

Niue is home to around 1,600 inhabitants and is one of the world's smallest independent nations.

Across the Island of Niue, inhabitants are able to benefit from clear and unpolluted views of the stars during the nighttime. 

As light pollution swamps our planet - clear and unpolluted night sky views are becoming a rarity in the world.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is a conservation not-for-profit organisation with the mission to preserve the natural dark night-time environment, fighting to defend it from intrusive disturbances of artificial light pollution.

Niue is located about 2,400 kilometres northeast of New Zealand and its dark nation classification confirms that from this week it is officially the best country in the world to view the stars. 

"The people of Niue are understandably proud and delighted to receive such an important acknowledgement from the International Dark-Sky Association," says Niue Tourism CEO Felicity Bollen.

International Dark Sky Places are spaces recognised for responsible lighting policies that keep the night-time environment naturally dark. There are over 130 accredited dark sky sites across the world, including parks, reserves, and local communities, but the organisation has never awarded the status to a whole country before.

Adam Dalton, Manager of the International Dark Sky Places Programme said: "Following a rigorous application and approval process, I would like to formally congratulate Niue on becoming the latest addition to IDA's International Dark Sky Places Programme.

To achieve dark sky nation status, Niue replaced all street lights across the whole of the island, along with helping residents to improve domestic lighting. Both these measures serve to eliminate unnecessary light pollution and keep traditional, timeless customs of stargazing alive.

niue
iStock - this is what Niue looks like in the daytime.

To achieve dark sky nation status, Niue replaced all street lights across the whole of the island, along with helping residents to improve domestic lighting. Both these measures serve to eliminate unnecessary light pollution and keep traditional, timeless customs of stargazing alive.

Reference: International Dark Sky Association

 

 

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