International Dark Sky Reserve
The Pic du Midi and all the villages of the Gavarnie Valleys are labeled International Starry Sky Reserve (RICE). RICE preserves the night through public education and the establishment of a responsible lighting. Thanks to this label, the night sky is protected and recognized as exceptionally pure.
An exceptional labelto preserve the night sky
The International Starry Sky Reserve (RICE) label is awarded by the International Dark Sky Association, based in the United States. Protected from the scourge of light pollution, there are 20 starry reserves in the world, including 4 in France. That of the Pic du Midi was the first to be labeled in 2013. This label rewards a sky quality exceptional night time and commits the territories to carry out actions to reduce light pollution. This unique territory brings together 247 municipalities involved and covers 65% of the Hautes-Pyrénées, i.e. 3 km².
Goalsfor today…and for tomorrow
Since the birth of the project, RICE has worked to protect the quality of the Pyrenean night. To do this, it targets its actions according to five goals :
- Set up a responsible lighting, economical and durable.
- Encourage residents and visitors to become Star Guardians by carrying out steps of the sky quality via the Sky in Peril mobile application.
- To be an innovative territory for research on biodiversity night time with regard to light pollution.
- To be a driver of territorial development through, in particular, the awareness public.
- Do know the RICE label at the national level.
The starry skya unique heritage to safeguard
The RICE testifies to the purity of the Pyrenean night and the commitment of local stakeholders to preserve it by reducing light pollution for sustainable development of mountain ranges. The reserve includes a core zone which is characterized by the total absence of public lighting, and a peripheral zone which includes the 247 municipalities committed to reducing their light impact. And it works ! Just look up to gaze at the sky. And thus understand the importance of safeguarding this unique heritage.