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.
Niue is the world&rsquos first country to become an official DARK SKY placeâÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£ âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£ âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£We&rsquove received formal accreditation from the @idadarksky as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary and International Dark Sky Community, covering the whole country with Dark Sky protection and recognition and deeming it a &lsquodark sky nation&rdquo.âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£ âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£ âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£The stars and night sky have a huge significance to the Niuean way of life, from a cultural, environmental and health perspective. Niueans have a long history of star navigation and a life regulated by lunar cycles and star positions. The knowledge of the night skies, held by the elders in the community, has been passed down through the generations. Niuean elders now hope the passion to learn the cultural history of the stars is reignited in younger generations.âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£ âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£ âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£#pacifictalk feature, with many thanks to @niueisland xxâÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£ âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£ âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£#niue #nightskyphotography #nightskies #nightskiesarethebest #darksky #darkskysanctuary #astrophotography #universetoday #islandnights #islandlife #islandhome #islandliving #islandhopping #timeoutsociety #heavenonearth #momentslikethese #takemetotheisland #milkywayphotography #nowherelikeniue #natgeospace #nightphotos #pasifika #oceania #whatalife #simplelifehappylife #ig_coeania #beautifuldestinations #voielactée #milkywaychasers
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.
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.