The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), an organization working to prevent light pollution and protecting the night skies, has named the Ramon Crater Nature Reserve as the latest International Dark Sky Park, the first destination to be recognized in the Middle East. The title has so far been awarded to 54 global nature reserves and parks, and recognizes sites which maintain and preserve the night sky in its natural state.

The Ramon Crater is a geological formation within the Negev region forming a section of nature reserves at the top of Mount Negev and has been identified as having an undisrupted environment at night.

Shaul Goldstein, General Director of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said: “Among the conservation priorities for the Negev’s ecosystems and landscapes is the very important task of preserving the night, dark skies and the very special starlight of the Negev. The recognition will enable the preservation of the important values represented by the Ramon Crater in ecological, scientific, cultural and experiential terms for the general public.”

Image credit: Marik Sh