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)

Capraia Night Sky 2018: How did it go?

From the two-day meeting in a small Tuscan island, an invitation to think twice before you install your next lamp, to reduce its negative impacts and to make space for opportunities in tourism, especially in rural areas.

In the stunning setting of the island of Capraia, in the Tuscan archipelago, a symposium was held on September 13 and 14 2018 on the topic of protection and promotion of night sky. The event was organized by the  National Research Council’s Institute of Biometeorology in collaboration with the University of Pisa, the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, and fondazione Clima e Sostenibilità, with patronage by Regione Toscana, Comune di Capraia Isola, the associazione Osservatori Meteorologici Storici Italiani and partial funding by the Stars4all European project.

The topics addressed covered technical aspects of  night sky quality measurement, the development of innovative sensors, the impact of light pollution in ecology, outreach and citizen science initiatives, and case of integrated promotion of territories. While some of these topics may sound complex, the negative impact of excessive artificial light at night are gradually being acknowledged by a wider audience (in Italy see for example  Repubblica 2016, Le Scienze 2017 or Prima dell’Alba, 2018).

The symposium hosted 32 presentations with authors from various Italian regions, as well as Hungary, Spain, Austria, Germany, Turkey, Canada, Malaysia, and South Korea. In fact, this was the first international meeting taking place in Italy on these topics since more than fifteen years.

During the two days an interesting array of expertise showcased its views. These included long-term experiences by well known authorities in the field of light pollution research, as well as groups that started just recently to address this topic, but have a relevant role in environmental field.
From the  symposium website  you may donwload the abstracts of the presentation, with author contact information to learn more about the topics discussed.

Next to the symposium, night-time activities were planned, with observations and measurements complementing the surveys conducted since 2017 by CNR IBIMET, University of Pisa and BuioMetria Partecipativa project.
Last but not least, on the evening of Friday, Sep. 14, an after-dark excursion led by guide of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park was proposed to symposium participants as well as tourists on the island, providing an interesting outreach moment linked to the symposium.

Nightscape of the island of Capraia. In addition to the starry sky and the Milky Way, the skyglow deriving from the village on the island and, on the right, from lights on the Tuscan coast, is clearly visible (Photo by Zoltan Kollath).

The possibility of hosting multiple experts from abroad helped us to see from a different perspective some of the critical issues related in Italy to the excess of lighting in many parts of its territory, as well as to acknowledge the opportunities deriving from night sky promotion for tourism and environmental education.

Our wish is that the symposium, in addition to helping to provide a view on the state of the art on promotion and protection of night skies may encourage public and private stakeholders related to lighting, so that they may keep in greater account in new installations the indications which are gradually being consolidated by scientists. Namely we should bear in mind the negative effects of the blue component in artificial lighting, and the containment of light to areas and hours of the day where it is really needed to insure our safety and the quality of urban environments.

Upcoming events on the same topic:

For more information: info@pibinko.org

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.