DARKER SKY – Reducing light pollution in the NSR

The project “DARKER SKY – Reducing light pollution in the NSR contributing to biodiversity and dark ecological corridors” helps reduce light pollution and thereby increase biodiversity and ecological connectivity in the North Sea region.

Light pollution, the excessive, misdirected or inappropriate use of artificial light at night, is increasingly recognised as a cross-regional challenge and serious environmental stressor causing biodiversity loss & habitat fragmentation. A proper reduction of light pollution & biodiversity protection calls out for transnational exchange & intergovernmental management.

Several EU countries, for the first time, consider light pollution in national legislation and strengthen its containment as a mandatory task for municipalities. However, no technical specifications for concrete environmentally sound, cost- & energy-efficient lighting solutions for urban planners & lighting engineers nor a cross-regional strategy guiding public authorities in maintaining/restoring ecological connectivity across the North Sea Region are given.

This is where the Interreg North Sea project DARKER SKY comes in. 13 partner organisations consisting of universities, national park, port and municipal administrations from 4 North Sea states (FR, NL, DE, DK) will be involved in the next 3 1/2 years to

  • develop and provide innovative measurement, monitoring and co-design methods for municipalities and ports to implement new light reduction solutions,
  • promote interdisciplinary transnational exchange with best practices,
  • implement light reduction solutions at 8 locations in Brest (FR), Groningen (NL), Friesland (NL), Lower Saxony (DE) and Hamburg (DE), which are intended to serve as lighthouse demonstrators for replication in other municipalities and Wadden Sea ports,
  • and promote dialogue between local, regional and national authorities to develop concrete regional action plans and a transnational strategy towards a sustainable political agenda for light reduction across the North Sea region.

By doing so, DARKER SKY joins efforts among geographically scattered regions & initiatives to create/strengthen wider transnational dark ecological corridors, thus following the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan & EU Biodiversity Strategy to mitigate the fragmentation of natural habitats.

DARKER SKY is co-financed by the Interreg North Sea Program 2021-2027 and was approved in April 2023. REM Consult was commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality as part of the “Program towards a Rich Wadden Sea (Programma naar een Rijke Waddenzee, PRW)” to lead the development and application of the project. Since September 2023, REM Consult supports the lead partner, the Université de Bretagne Occidental – Brest University, in the project and financial management.