Niue is the Worlds First Whole Country to Become an Dark Sky Place

This tiny country in the Pacific is the best place to watch the night sky
Representative Image You can enjoy unfiltered night sky at Niue
Representative Image You can enjoy unfiltered night sky at Niue

Niue, an island nation in the South Pacific, has earned the distinction of being the world&rsquos first whole country to become an International Dark Sky Place.

According to a press release from the US-based International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), an organisation which is known for battling light pollution and promoting dark skies, the island nation of Niue &ldquohas received formal accreditation from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary and International Dark Sky Community, thus covering the whole country with Dark Sky protection and recognition and deeming it a &lsquodark sky nation&rsquo.&rdquo

A culture of studying the sky and the stars have helped Niueans appreciate the importance of the dark sky. The recognition &lsquowill help protect Niue&rsquos skies for the future generations&rsquo the IDA release quoted Felicity Bollen, CEO of Niue Tourism, as saying. To ensure that the night sky over Niue remains unpolluted, the government had replaced the streetlights and private homes too adjusted their lighting systems, according to reports. The release also quoted a Niuean elder who believes the recognition will encourage residents to share and preserve the traditional knowledge.

The recognition is also expected to boost tourism in this island nation. Trained residents will guide visitors around the island to enjoy the night sky and the sight of the various stars, constellations and other astronomical phenomenon.

According to the IDA, preserving a dark sky is necessary for various reasons. Light pollution can cause harm to human health as well as the animal world. Too much light emission also results in energy wastage.

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Niue Tourism collaborated with Richard and Gendie Somerville-Ryan (from New Zealand) to form a project research team for making the formal application. The couple had previously carried out a successful bid for Great Barrier Island (New Zealand) to become a Dark Sky Sanctuary. 

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