Declaration of Venice

La versione inglese del convegno del 3 Maggio 2002 tenutosi a Venezia.
Presto sarà disponibile anche un resoconto bilingue. We the participants at the IDA/ISTIL/VenetoStellato Regional Meeting “Light
pollution and the protection of the night environment – Venice: Save the
night” held in Venice the May 3, 2002 under the patronage of UNESCO Regional
Office for Science in Europe (ROSTE) and the Veneto Region,

– noting the serious degradation of the night sky and the high levels of
light pollution in Italy, in Europe and in the World, as documented by the
satellite measurements, the Report of the Light Pollution Science and
Technology Institute (ISTIL – Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologia dell’
Inquinamento Luminoso), the project of the Italian Ministry of Education
“Gli studenti fanno vedere le stelle” and the documents of the International
Dark-Sky Association;

– noting the Declaration on the Reduction of Adverse Environmental Impacts
on Astronomy of the meeting IAU/ICSU/UNESCO (Paris, June 30 – July 2, 1992)
which declared the night sky, with its beautiful stars and its message of
our place in the Universe, a precious treasure of all humanity and an
heritage belonging to all of humanity to be preserved, visible and clean, to
the actual and future generations;

– noting the declaration of the IAU/COSPAR/UN Special Environmental
Symposium “Preserving the astronomical sky” (Vienna, Austria, July 12 -16,
1999) held as Technical Forum of the Third United Nations Conference on the
Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III) which recalled
that outer space has been defined as the province of all mankind to be
protected from harmful contamination and adverse changes of all kinds and
recommended that member states should act to control pollution of the sky by
light and other causes;

– noting the repeated appeals of the International Dark-Sky Association to
all countries of the world to preserve our heritage of starry skies and to
protect the nighttime environment by using only quality outdoor lighting,
thereby conserving energy;

(I) ask all the World’s heads of government

to protect the nighttime environment from light pollution so that future
generations will be able to see our magnificent starry skies, our only
window to the infinite universe where we live, a priceless heritage for all
of humanity, for countless centuries the companion of life of our
grandfathers, an inspiration for humanity’s culture, art, literature,
philosophy and religion, fundamental object of scientific studies, a key
element of educational growth;

(II) ask UNESCO and UN

to restart the process to declare the night sky a Heritage of Humanity;
in particular, with the aim to protect the integrity of the night sky and
our perception of the universe, to preserve professional and amateur
astronomical research and scientific study, to rationalise and improve the
quality of outdoor lighting, to reduce the phenomena of dazzle and visual
fatigue produced by light pollution, improving the safety of highway
travel, to reduce energy consumption for outdoor night lighting, to
safeguard the natural biological cycles of the man and the other living
creatures, to conserve the ecological equilibrium and the natural nocturnal
landscape,

(III) ask all the World’s governmental assemblies

to adopt laws against light pollution and for the control of the night sky
brightness, with effective provisions like those of the law of the Regione
Lombardia n. 17 of March 27, 2000 “Misure urgenti in tema di risparmio
energetico ad uso di illuminazione esterna e di lotta all’inquinamento
luminoso” and the relative Regulations D.G.R. n. 7/6162 of September 20,
2001, recognized for protecting the nighttime environment, for saving
energy, and for improving safety and visibility,

(IV) and finally, ask the Venice authorities

that the nocturnal environment of the City of Venice be considered part of
the historical, artistic and environmental heritage of the city and that it
be protected and safeguarded, with its characteristics that make it unique;
that its night external lighting systems, both public and private, be
planned and installed not only in the full respect of the law for the
prevention of the light pollution of the Veneto Region, but also adopting
the most effective measures in order to limit the effects of the light
pollution and adopting great care to the tradition when choosing the light
levels, as deserved by such a world renowned historical city; that the
installation of mercury vapor lamps be suspended and those already installed
be replaced in accordance with previous points.

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