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Department of Municipalities and Transport launches Abu Dhabi Dark Sky Policy

Department of Municipalities and Transport launches Abu Dhabi Dark Sky Policy
8 May 2024 10:23

ABU DHABI (ALETIHAD)

The Department of Municipalities and Transport - Abu Dhabi has launched the Abu Dhabi Dark Sky Policy to preserve the night sky and foster a sustainable future for communities throughout the emirate.

As part of the endeavour’s rollout, an extensive awareness campaign will be launched under the theme "Discover the Beauty of Abu Dhabi’s Sky" to educate residents and visitors about the importance of preserving the night sky.

The initiative is the first of its kind in the region and seeks to address the escalating concern of light pollution by presenting a blueprint for responsible lighting practices. Aligned with the global endeavours of the International Dark Sky Association, the policy’s multifaceted approach includes promoting sustainable lighting systems, protecting the natural environment and wildlife, supporting scientific research in astronomy, enhancing public health, and promoting sustainable development.

Dr Salem Al Kaabi, Director General of Operations Affairs at the Department of Municipalities and Transport, said: "The Abu Dhabi Dark Sky Policy embodies our commitment to a future where the beauty of the night sky is cherished and protected. Aligned with global environmental initiatives, the policy establishes a comprehensive framework for responsible urban development, fostering awareness and adherence to sustainable lighting practices. By creating a harmonious coexistence between our urban landscape and celestial wonders, we aim to enhance residents' quality of life and contribute to a global movement aimed at preserving natural beauty."

Applicable to both the public and private sectors – excluding cultural festivals and events - the policy’s key guidelines will target current and new outdoor lighting equipment. In private spaces, such as homes and businesses, interior lighting will also be checked to see how far it spills outside, as this contributes to light and visual pollution.

To meet the policy's objectives, cooperation is required from all relevant parties to the conditions outlined in the Abu Dhabi Dark Sky Policy, alongside applicable manuals and the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System. A methodology to address light pollution has been implemented alongside awareness programmes to educate individuals on preserving Abu Dhabi's night sky. Those who breach of the policy will be granted a grace period to adjust their lighting accordingly.

These regulations will be applied across public buildings, streets, parks, beaches, commercial organisations, open and undeveloped spaces, agricultural and industrial areas, and more. They include shielded lighting, external and facade lights, motion-activated security lighting, and a coordinated shutdown of non-security lighting at midnight.

The launch of the Abu Dhabi Dark Sky Policy underscores DMT’s profound commitment to preserving the night sky as a shared cultural and environmental asset.

Source: Aletihad - Abu Dhabi
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