The municipality of Jelsa before submitting its candidacy for the title of the first International Dark Sky Community in Croatia.
Today, in the municipal hall in Jelsa, local governments on Hvar, ie the Municipality of Jelsa, the Municipality of Sucuraj, the City of Stari Grad and the City of Hvar and the Municipality of Bol from Brac signed a memorandum of cooperation to reduce light pollution and preserve the natural starry sky.
Thus, the mayors of Jelsa Nikša Peronja, Sućuraj Ivan Slavić, Bol Municipality Katarina Marčić and the mayors of Stari Grad Antonio Škarpa and Hvar Rikardo Novak aware of the harmfulness of light pollution for the natural environment, human health and the need to preserve the natural starry sky for future generations Memorandum of Cooperation to reduce light pollution and preserve the natural starry sky.
By signing this document, the mentioned local governments stated that they would cooperate and consult with the Croatian Astronomical Union as a guarantor of this agreement in the construction and reconstruction of outdoor lighting and that they would strive to respect five basic principles of good practice for outdoor lighting: usefulness, focus, low light and warm light color.
When signing the agreement, the mayor of Jelsa Nikša Peronja expressed satisfaction that the neighboring local governments have shown willingness to cooperate and the desire to follow the good example of the Municipality of Jelsa in terms of ecological arrangement of public lighting since the Municipality of Jelsa will soon apply for the title of International Dark Sky at the International Dark Sky Association) and should become the first such community in Croatia.
Jelsa should gain status by the end of the year The International Dark Sky Community and become the first municipality / city in Croatia to proudly bear that title. This title confirms Jelsa as a destination that has an exceptional quality of the night sky and respects high environmental standards in terms of light pollution, which together make a big step towards creating an astro-tourist offer in the area of Jelsa.
The Dark Sky Park is defined by the strict criteria of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), the only non-profit organization in the world whose task is to preserve and protect the night environment and the heritage of the night sky through quality exterior lighting. , with the aim of preserving the natural treasures and great potential of the unpolluted night landscape and almost untouched nature.
Dorian Božičević, Secretary General of the Croatian Astronomical Association, which is leading the application process of the Municipality of Jelsa for the title of International Dark Sky Community, emphasized the importance of the five basic principles of good practice for outdoor lighting. “If they are respected, we save energy and reduce our energy footprint and thus reduce the impact on climate change, save the budget, and in addition protect the environment and human health and the starry sky as a heritage that needs to be preserved for future generations so that people the future could admire the beauties of the starry sky and the Milky Way. It is this heritage value of the night sky that has been in the center of attention since the preserved natural starry sky is today a tourist product and provides additional tourist offer in the direction of astrotourism because we need to be aware of the fact that nowadays, due to heavy light pollution, to see only every tenth inhabitant of the planet Earth. ” Božičević points out.
Photo: Croatian Astronomical Union