Category Archives: Announcements

Here’s a petition to the European Parliament on light pollution, for you to consider..

…and maybe sign.

Since 2008 with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project we work on protection and promotion of night sky as a resource and on awareness raising on light pollution.

Since 2013 we collaborate with various organisations in Europe on the same topics. Some of these organisations, currently active on the Stars4all project, have drafted a petition to the European Parliament, advocating a European Directive on light pollution.

With the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, in over eleven years we held almost 130 outreach events at various latitudes, obtained recurring national media coverage, conducted scientific activities, contributed to the creation of networks involving citizens, public and private sector organisations. Above all, we invited a lot of people to think about how much light (and which lights) they use. We are writing primarily to those who followed us on the events, and more in general to whoever is interested to the light pollution topic.

We encourage you to review the petition drafted by th Stars4all team. If you agree, sign it, and let us know you did (please write to bmp@pibinko.org). If you don’t agree with the petition, or you have any doubt, we would like to hear from you (again, write to bmp@pibinko.org).

 

Recommended steps

  1. Check out the full petition text
  2. Register on the European Parliament petition portal
  3. Once you have registered, log in to the petition portal, go to the petition page (look for n. 362/2018, or click here once you are logged in to go there directly) and click on the bottom right button to sign the petition.
  4. Write to bmp@pibinko.org to let us know how it went

European Parliament Petition No 0362/2018 on the possible adoption of European legislation against light pollution

The petition text was kindly provided by Sibylle Schroer from the Stars4all project – please see THIS PAGE for a presentation of the initiative related to the petition, which we translated into Italian for promotion by the BuioMetria Partecipativa project

The brightening of nightscapes is increasing globally by 2-6 % per annum with unforeseen
consequences for ecosystems and human well-being. The EU directives and norms, like the eco-design directive and the EN 13201 recommend to using most energy efficient light devices and providing a minimum brightness for certain classes of infrastructure. The sole focus on the factors energy efficiency and visual effectiveness will result in an increasing emission of blue light at night and even increase the rate of brightening of nightscapes. The lack of regulations for outdoor light installations can cause additional rebound effects, when efficient lighting becomes available at low cost. Today EU regulations on outdoor lighting lack scientific evidence for minimum and maximum light levels.

Furthermore, thresholds for non-intended light emission into habitat of flora and  fauna and into living areas are often complicated to be enforced. Manifold studies indicate that the ongoing waste and misuse of light, the so called light pollution,

affects human well-being and
health

threatens light sensitive species and their habitat, causing disruptions in ecosystems and loss of biodiversity

destroys nighttime landscapes and the cultural heritage of the starry night scape

is making the observation of the universe impossible.

Therefore, the EU standards on outdoor lighting stand in contradiction to the European legislation for the protection of the environment, the EU Environmental Liability Directive (Directive 2004/35/EC) and in particular the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC).

We advocate:
• To regulate the maximal intensity for outdoor lighting and to support research in defining
scientifically justification for minimal illumination levels in public lighting standards (e.g. EN13201)
• To limit the light emission directed in the horizontal and above and in shallow downward angles
• To limit the exposure of bright light and particularly light with short wavelength, such as blue and UV-light.

Examples of comparable national / regional legislations within the EU:
• Law for the Protection of the Astronomical Quality of the IAC Observatories (Law 31/1988).
Slovenian national law against light pollution
French Order of 25 January 2013 relating to the night lighting of non-residential buildings in order to limit the light pollution and energy consumption
Regional Lombardy law against light pollution (2015)

Why do we need a European regulation of outdoor lighting?
• To protect citizens from lighting trespasses into their homes, which might have an impact on the circadian rhythm and consequently can increase the risk for health issues like insomnia, obesity and cancer.
• To reduce glare and thus improving safety in European infrastructures.
• To protect Europe’s natural capital and rich biodiversity.

• To support efforts to reach climate protection goals in reducing energy consumption and
associated pollution, carbon dioxide emissions and land-use changes associated with the production
of electricity.
• To protect astronomical viewing sites, for both professional and amateur astronomers.
• To promote the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Future Generations (UNESCO): “Future generations have the right to inherit an unharmed and unpolluted earth, and this includes the right to a pure sky.” (1994, Cousteau-UNESCO group).

More information: http://stars4all.eu/

==========================

Here’s a petition to the European Parliament on light pollution, for you to consider…

…and maybe sign.

Since 2008 with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project we work on protection and promotion of night sky as a resource and on awareness raising on light pollution.

Since 2013 we collaborate with various organisations in Europe on the same topics. Some of these organisations, currently active on the Stars4all project, have drafted a petition to the European Parliament, advocating a European Directive on light pollution.

With the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, in over eleven years we held almost 130 outreach events at various latitudes, obtained recurring national media coverage, conducted scientific activities, contributed to the creation of networks involving citizens, public and private sector organisations. Above all, we invited a lot of people to think about how much light (and which lights) they use. We are writing primarily to those who followed us on the events, and more in general to whoever is interested to the light pollution topic.

We encourage you to review the petition drafted by th Stars4all team. If you agree, sign it, and let us know you did (please write to bmp@pibinko.org). If you don’t agree with the petition, or you have any doubt, we would like to hear from you (again, write to bmp@pibinko.org).

 

Recommended steps

  1. Check out the full petition text
  2. Register on the European Parliament petition portal
  3. Once you have registered, log in to the petition portal, go to the petition page (look for n. 362/2018, or click here once you are logged in to go there directly) and click on the bottom right button to sign the petition.
  4. Write to bmp@pibinko.org to let us know how it went

Aktionsprogramm INSEKTENSCHUTZ! (don’t be scared)

Below is the translation of a press release issued by the German Ministry of Environment on June 20, 2018 (original source here). From the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, it is important that this news circulates.

Following a proposal by Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, the Federal Government today adopted key elements for an “Action Program for Insect Protection”. Based on the key points, the Federal Environment Ministry will finalize the action program after a broad public discussion until 2019 and then immediately start the measures. As an immediate measure Federal Environment Minister Schulze provides five million Euros per year from the “Federal Biological Diversity Program” for insect protection.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze: “We do not know all that about insect killing, but we know enough to act swiftly, a decision by the Cabinet  on these key points in the first 100 days of my term of office In the Federal Government was important, we now agree on the areas we will act to stop the insect killing, including a more restrictive approach to pesticides, not just glyphosate, and we need more diversity in the landscape Hedges and flowery meadows instead of monocultures are vital for insects, birds and many other animal species.

With the action program insect protection measures are to be taken in the following areas:

  • Promotion of insect habitats and structural diversity in the agricultural landscape,
  • Restoration and networking of insect habitats in other landscape areas,
  • Strengthening protected areas as habitats for insects,
  • Reducing the use of pesticides,
  • Reduction of nutrient and pollutant inputs in soils and waters,
  • Reduction of light pollution.

In addition, the action program should contribute to closing existing knowledge gaps on insect killing and to introduce a uniform nationwide insect monitoring. Also business associations and companies, research and education as well as civic actors up to the individual citizen are to be addressed, informed and encouraged to become active.

As part of the “Federal Biological Diversity Program”, the Federal Environment Ministry has today called for the submission of practical projects to promote insects and their biodiversity. For these projects, five million euros a year are provided. Over the next six to eight years, a total of 30 to 40 million euros from the BMU subsidy program will flow into insect protection.

Federal Environment Minister Schulze states: “Both the total amount of insects and the variety of insect species has declined dramatically in Germany over the past decades.” Insect killing threatens to bring nature out of balance. “Not only birds, bats and other animals disappear with the insects In the end, harming the insects also harms us humans: we lose also valuable services that insect provide to humans – from pollination, to natural pest control, water purification to the conservation of fertile soils.

(thanks to Andrea Jechow, IGB Berlin, for letting us know)

Ready for the international symposium on protection and promotion of night sky on the Island of Capraia, Italy

We are ready for the  Symposium on promotion and protection of the night sky, starting on Sep. 13 on the Island of Capraia, off the Tuscan coast and part of the Nationa Park of the Tuscan Archipelago. The event is organised by the National Research Council’s Institute of Biometeorology in collaboration with University of Pisa and the  BuioMetria Partecipativa project, with the patronage of Regione Toscana, Comune di Capraia Isola e and partial support by the Stars4all European project.

The initiative, in addition to an astonishing location, offers an additional point of interest. It is in fact the first time, at least over the past ten years, that an international meeting takes place in relation to a topic which, albeit unknown to many, has implications on many aspects of our lives, and which also has a potential which is currently under-exploited from a perspective of tourism and recreation.

A summary of the event will be proposed after the symposium.

For more information: https://capraianightsky2018.com/

Photo by Federico Giussani – Night sky from Monte Labro (Southern Tuscany)

Island of Capraia (Tuscany): Sep. 13-14, 2018 – Symposium on Promotion and Protection of the Night Sky

Note: the https://capraianightsky2018.com/ website provides additional information on the event and on registration options.

Night sky quality is attracting an increasing interest in a wide range of specialists and in general audiences, with the gradual spread of awareness on issues such as light pollution, quality of lighting, and on the tourism potential that the night sky resource can represent.

The Italian National Research Council’s Institute of Biometeorology (CNR BIMET), together with the University of Pisa and Attivarti.org are organising an international symposium on these topics, to be held on the island of Capraia, Tuscany, on Sep. 13 and 14 2018.
This initiative relates to activities that these subjects have been conducting for some time on the same issue. Namely, IBIMET with the European Loss of the Night Network, the University of Pisa with its experiments on marine biology, and with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project for Attivarti.org.

The event is organised jointly with the municipality of Capraia, under the patronage of the Tuscan Regional administration and with partial support by the Stars4all project, Fodnazione Clima e Sostenibilità and the association of historical meteorological observatories.

The symposium will deal with all aspects related to artificial light at night, spanning from enviromental light pollution issues, to socioeconomic benefits associated to night skies of good quality in rural areas and parks, with a specific focus on marine and coastal issues. In this respect, the Island of Capraia is an ideal scenario to host such a symposium, due to its naturalistic and touristic value within the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago and the presence of a very good quality of night sky.

The aim of the symposium -which will see participants from three continents and will have important keynote speakers- is to share and expand theoretical knowledge and practical experiences within all fields of science and management related to artificial light at night. The event will represent an opportunity for networking between professionals, researchers, park managers, astronomical observatories, public administrations.

For inquiries: capraianightsky2018@ibimet.cnr.it

 

Photo credits: top Luciano Massetti, middle Federico Giussani, bottom Mariella Ugolini.

Assessing the impact of street lighting on Platanus x acerifolia phenology

By Luciano Massetti, from CNR IBIMET Florence, long-time buiometrista.

Published on Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, June 5, 2018.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1618866717304181

Photo by Luciano Massetti

Highlights
• Artificial light affects leaf fall phenology of Platanus x acerifolia.
• Trees exposed to higher level of light maintained green leaves longer in winter.
• Lighting and greening should be jointly considered in the design of public spaces.
• Presence-absence protocol for phenology can be useful in real context monitoring.