12th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky

Bielsko-Biala, 13-15.09.2012r., POLAND



12th European Symposium for Dark-Sky Protection in Bielsko-Biała organized by POLARIS-OPP Association and Institute of Astronomy from University of Wrocław took place on 12-13 September, 2012 with guardianship of International Dark-Sky Association.

Topics of symposium included light pollution – its causes, negative effects and prevention. This event has gathered scientists, activists from organizations fighting with light pollution, representatives of authorities and lighting industry. This unusual meeting took place in Parkhotel Vienna, located in the center of Bielsko-Biała, thanks to which it was easy for participants to commute or arrive by their own means of transport.

First day focused on visiting the biggest in central Europe fair of energetic and lighting – ENERGETAB 2012, on which guests had a chance to see many lighting appliances. Over forty different organizations, companies, institutes and other subjects reported its representatives, which gave almost one hundred participants registered on conference. Dark-Sky Polska and co-hosts had a pleasure to entertain guests not only from Poland and Europe, but also from USA, Japan and Saudi Arabia.  Tens of additional guests had opportunity to participate via Internet, because all sessions and discussions were available on webpage: www.ciemneniebo.pl




Conference was divided into sessions focused on certain topics involving protection of the dark sky, education and more. Many lectures applied astronomy, but there also were lectures on traffic safety, ecology, development of astroturistics and even lighting appliances. In course of the sessions, two important agreements of dark-sky activists from Europe were worked out. First one concerned the topic of creating international standard for light pollution measurements, while the other, which was signed by over a dozen people and institutions, was some sort of appeal concerning human rights for darkness.




 [Read official programme and PDF materials of 12th European Symposium for Dark-Sky Protection]



On Saturday’s evening small trip to Sopotnia Wielka was organized, so participants could actually see renovated street lighting which was designed to protect dark-sky area CN-001 and which was completed in 2011 under the project PROV, oś IV LEADER. For many guests it was a big surprise that even though there were almost 170 street lamps lightened, the glow over the village was hard to see, even though cloudy weather focused light pollution even more than when the weather is clear. Foreign guests show interest in this project, much because of the fact that many of them had no clue that in the middle of the Europe the area of dark-sky protection with buffer zone has been already created.

Many activists encouraged the hosts to create reserve of dark sky in Pilsko area, as street lighting in Sopotnia Wielka have been already renovated to prevent light pollution. At the end of the tour the guests visited mockup of the village made in HO scale, located in headquarter of POLARIS-OPP Association. This mockup was a really big surprise for the guests of the conference, because, in their opinion, it’s a great way to teach about protection of the dark sky. As it’s quite normal for our events, the meeting finished after 2AM.






The last day of the symposium was focused on conclusions, discussions, plans for future actions and presenting location of the next IDA EU meeting in Spain, which will be conducted in 2013. 12th Symposium in Bielsko-Biala was reported by many different media such as TVP3, TVR, Gazeta Wyborcza or Radio Bielsko. The event could be held thanks to ES-System S.A. sponsorship and co-financing by Voivodeship Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management of Katowice and under auspices of Silesian Voivodeship Marshal. Support was also given by LGD Żywiecki Raj, Krajową Sieć Obszarów Wiejskich, AKSAM Sp. Z. o.o. Sp. kom., Astroprocent.pl and others.





"The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the official position of Voivodeship Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management of Katowice."

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