NamibRand Nature Reserve – Africa’s First International Dark Sky Reserve
Conservation is needed not just on the ground but above us in the sky. Namibia’s NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of Africa’s largest private nature reserves and has expanded its conservation role to include the preserving of the star filled sky above its famous dunes and mountains…
The efforts shown by NamibRand Nature Reserve have earned themselves high honors as the International Dark-Sky Association have announced the NamibRand Reserve as the worlds newest International Dark Sky Reserve. The Executive Director of the International Dark Sky Association, Bob Parks explains:
“The night sky over the NamibRand Nature Reserve is exceptional, as are the efforts the reserve has taken to modifying its lighting for the sake of its wildlife and visitors”
Dr George Tucker, a retired professor of Physics from the USA identified the NamibRand as a potential Dark Sky Reserve said:
“Viewing the pristine night sky over the NamibRand is an unforgettable experience. Being recognized as a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Reserve will serve to promote and protect this valuable resource. Achieving this status is a significant accomplishment not just for the NamibRand, but also for Namibia and all of Africa”
Gold Tier is the term used to describe reserves with nighttime environments that have little to no impact from light pollution and artificial light. NamibRand’s nearest neighboring communities are small and lie some 60 miles distant, so the reserve’s sky is one of the darkest yet measured.
The importance of education is personified with a dedicated centre running education programs. Among the recipients of these programs are local school children who have the chance to sleep in specially designed units allowing them to view the night sky from their beds. Outreach programs are also in place for those unable to get to the centre.
With continued education children will begin to realise just how unique it is to have such a dark sky.
Nils Odendaal, the Chief Executive Officer of the NamibRand Nature Reserve realises just important this issue is:
“We hope to use our influence as a leader of tourism and conservation, not only in our area, but also on a national level to change this and raise the awareness of this important environmental concern.”
He continues to say:
“We hope that this IDA designation will generate international support, publicity and targeted research both for the NamibRand and for Namibia as a whole”
Other Dark Sky Reserves can be found in Exmoor National Park in Devon and Somerset counties, and also in Mont Megantic in Quebec.
To learn more about the IDSPlaces program please visit: http://www.darksky.org/IDSPlaces
Helping Namibian’s to live sustainably is the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust, for more information visit: http://www.nadeet.org
The NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of the largest in Southern Africa and is of great local significance. To learn more please visit: http://www.namibrand.org
For the full press release and more, visit: http://www.darksky.org/pressreleases
Tourism is financing the excellent work being done in the reserve, if this article has inspired you to see the amazing dark skies from Sossusvlei Desert Lodge then why not contact one of our consultants on 020 7622 5114, email email@example.com or visit www.imagineafrica.co.uk