Dark Skies Community Update- Amendments to Environmental Protection Ordinance

Picture Taken by Mark Westmoquette

St Helena is currently making an application to the International Dark-Sky Association for International Dark Skies Status. Dark Skies Accreditation will contribute to protecting the Island’s environment as well as increasing the Island’s attraction to potential stargazers and tourists alike. 

To meet the requirements needed for St Helena to become Dark Skies compliant, Legislative Council recently approved changes to the Environmental Protection Ordinance, 2016 to make provision for the following:

  • Protection of the natural environment and night sky from uncontrolled use of artificial light
  • Reduction of energy waste and carbon emissions
  • The development or adoption of a code of practice to regulate use of artificial light and provide educational information
  • Exemptions for certain types of lighting such as lighthouse and navigation lighting
  • Prohibition on importation and sale, installation and use of non-compliant lighting
  • Lighting zones to be specified in a development plan under the Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance with details about controls and levels of lighting for different zones, etc
  • Light reduction at prescribed times
  • Exemptions from light reduction
  • The Chief Environmental Officer to grant permission for non-compliant temporary lighting
  • Light readings to be taken
  • The Chief Environmental Officer to issue abatement notices to rectify non-compliant lighting
  • Penalties for offences – failure to comply with abatement notices
  • Regulations to be made regarding the installation and operation of artificial lighting, and for forms, fees and procedures to be adopted to give effect to the requirements within the Ordinance.

Supporting Regulations and policy will now be developed to give effect to some of these new provisions in the Ordinance.

Notes to editors

The International Dark-Sky Association is a United States based non-profit organisation incorporated in 1988.  It is the recognised authority on light pollution and is the leading organisation combating light pollution worldwide.  It promotes win-win solutions that allow people to appreciate dark, star-filled skies while enjoying the benefits of responsible outdoor lighting.

Previous updates on St Helena’s application for Dark Skies status can be found online here:

15 July 2021   

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: communications@sainthelena.gov.sh