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[DRAFT] Dark Sky Preserve Creation Act

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Boston Castle
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[DRAFT] Dark Sky Preserve Creation Act

Postby Boston Castle » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:50 pm

OOC: A few quick notes.

1. Unsure about the category here. GA #460, where this legislation derives from (like two puzzle pieces in my opinion) is in the category as noted in the box, but there might be an Environmental category this fits in better. (Other ones that could work: Environmental-All Businesses-Strong; Regulation-Mild? Opinions welcome.)

2. Depending on how long drafting takes, there's a decent chance this could be submitted on my other main nation Hulldom, so...don't worry too much about if it ends up being submitted there.

3. Content-wise, unless someone can prove me wrong, I think this is about as far as I can go without potentially crossing into IRL-reference territory.

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Dark Sky Preserve Creation Act

Category: Environment | Strength: All Businesses-Mild


Observing this august assembly’s efforts to compile astronomical data in [resolution=GA#460]Astronomical Data Repository[/resolution] and shocked that there have not been efforts to ensure that data compiled under the terms of this resolution can reasonably be obtained,

Further observing that only certain areas are suitable to undertake astronomical observations and that dark sky preserves are some of the most suitable areas to undertake astronomical observations, be it enacted as follows:

  1. Member nations must work to identify areas that are suitable to be designated as dark sky preserves.
    1. Criteria for designation as a dark sky preserve shall be up to the discretion of the Astronomical Science and Technical Research Organization, hereafter referred to as ASTRO, and will include factors including, overall light pollution, light pollution's impact on local flora and fauna, and radio spectrum pollution (to measure suitability for radio astronomy).
    2. Member nations may also work to identify potential dark sky preserves should that be their wish.
  2. Upon report by the government of a member nation of a potential site that could be designated as a dark sky preserve and an investigation by ASTRO, ASTRO will have the final say over which areas submitted for scrutiny are identified as dark sky preserves.
    1. When government assent is communicated, ASTRO will investigate the site to determine if criteria determined by ASTRO are met.
    2. If the government of a member nation does not assent to an affirmative investigation, ASTRO will decline to designate the site as a dark sky preserve,
  3. Once an area is designated as a preserve, the designated space must be maintained by the member state and its existence acknowledged until, and unless, an event as described in clause 5 or 6 occurs.
  4. ASTRO is required to keep a public registry of lands designated as dark sky preserves as well as a log of their accessibility and terms of usage of said lands.
  5. In the event a dark sky preserve no longer meets the criteria as specified by ASTRO, member nations must provide evidence to ASTRO which shows that requirements are no longer fulfilled.
    1. The removal of designation may be challenged by ASTRO and ASTRO may investigate to determine if the designation should be removed.
  6. A member state may not undertake action to alter the conditions in a dark sky preserve such that it no longer fulfills criteria as set by ASTRO without giving ASTRO advance warning of such.
Last edited by Boston Castle on Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:26 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:54 pm

Uhh, naw, even I think it's a bit micromanage-y to say you can't build on this land merely because we'd like it to be dedicated to radio astronomy or something like that. There are lots of reasons for land development and a lot of them have far better impacts on society than forcing them to remain fallow because some lab coats want to gaze into the heavens. If governments really want to support telescopes or radio astronomy, they can choose to do so.

Boston Castle wrote:
OOC: A few quick notes.

1. Unsure about the category here. GA #460, where this legislation derives from (like two puzzle pieces in my opinion) is in the category as noted in the box, but there might be an Environmental category this fits in better. (Other ones that could work: Environmental-All Businesses-Strong; Regulation-Mild? Opinions welcome.)

2. Depending on how long drafting takes, there's a decent chance this could be submitted on my other main nation Hulldom, so...don't worry too much about if it ends up being submitted there.

3. Content-wise, unless someone can prove me wrong, I think this is about as far as I can go without potentially crossing into IRL-reference territory.


Dark Sky Preserve Creation Act

Category: Education | Strength: Educational


Observing this august assembly’s efforts to compile and divulge astronomical data in [resolution=GA#460]Astronomical Data Repository[/resolution] and shocked that there have not been efforts to ensure that data compiled under the terms of this resolution can reasonably be obtained, be it enacted as follows:

  1. In this resolution:
    1. ”Light pollution” means any source of light which brightens the night sky and which hampers efforts at astronomical observations;
    2. ”Dark sky preserve” means any geographically area in which astronomical observations are not hampered by light pollution and can be accomplished with the aid of devices that are readily available to sapient beings;
    3. ”Public lands” means any area of land that is owned by the government and set aside for enjoyment by the populace of a nation.
  2. Member nations must monitor and work to identify areas that are suitable to be designated as dark sky preserves.
    1. Criterion for designation as a dark sky preserve shall be up to the discretion of the Astronomical Science and Technical Research Organization, hereafter referred to as ASTRO, and will include factors such as light pollution and potential suitability for radio astronomy.
  3. Upon report by the government of a member nation of a potential site that could be designated as a dark sky preserve and an investigation by ASTRO, ASTRO will have the final say over which areas submitted for scrutiny are identified as dark sky preserves.
  4. Once an area is designated as a preserve, member nations are not required to delineate these lands with markers, but it must be maintained by the member state and its existence acknowledged until, and unless, an event as described in clause 7 or 8 occurs.
  5. If nations, with the assent of ASTRO, identify non-public lands as dark sky preserves, they should either provide an above-market price for said lands as compensation for the previous owner, such that these become public lands in perpetuity or, failing sale of non-public dark sky preserves, nations must allow the owner of said lands to continue to control the lands as they had previously.
  6. ASTRO is also required to keep a public registry of lands designated as dark sky preserves as well as a log of their accessibility and terms of usage, if any restrictions exist, on the usage of said lands.
  7. In the event dark sky preserves no longer meet criteria as specified by ASTRO, member nations must provide evidence to ASTRO which shows that requirements are no longer fulfilled, especially in regards to light pollution.
    1. The removal of designation, especially when deteriorating observation conditions are the reason for the potential removal, may be challenged by ASTRO and ASTRO may investigate to determine if the designation should be removed.
  8. In the event the land of a dark sky preserve is to be privatized or in some other way to be altered such that it no longer will fulfill requirements via intentional and sudden government action, member nations must inform ASTRO of such so that the designation may be removed.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Boston Castle
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Postby Boston Castle » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:00 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Uhh, naw, even I think it's a bit micromanage-y to say you can't build on this land merely because we'd like it to be dedicated to radio astronomy or something like that. There are lots of reasons for land development and a lot of them have far better impacts on society than forcing them to remain fallow because some lab coats want to gaze into the heavens. If governments really want to support telescopes or radio astronomy, they can choose to do so.

Boston Castle wrote:
OOC: A few quick notes.

1. Unsure about the category here. GA #460, where this legislation derives from (like two puzzle pieces in my opinion) is in the category as noted in the box, but there might be an Environmental category this fits in better. (Other ones that could work: Environmental-All Businesses-Strong; Regulation-Mild? Opinions welcome.)

2. Depending on how long drafting takes, there's a decent chance this could be submitted on my other main nation Hulldom, so...don't worry too much about if it ends up being submitted there.

3. Content-wise, unless someone can prove me wrong, I think this is about as far as I can go without potentially crossing into IRL-reference territory.


Dark Sky Preserve Creation Act

Category: Education | Strength: Educational


Observing this august assembly’s efforts to compile and divulge astronomical data in [resolution=GA#460]Astronomical Data Repository[/resolution] and shocked that there have not been efforts to ensure that data compiled under the terms of this resolution can reasonably be obtained, be it enacted as follows:

  1. In this resolution:
    1. ”Light pollution” means any source of light which brightens the night sky and which hampers efforts at astronomical observations;
    2. ”Dark sky preserve” means any geographically area in which astronomical observations are not hampered by light pollution and can be accomplished with the aid of devices that are readily available to sapient beings;
    3. ”Public lands” means any area of land that is owned by the government and set aside for enjoyment by the populace of a nation.
  2. Member nations must monitor and work to identify areas that are suitable to be designated as dark sky preserves.
    1. Criterion for designation as a dark sky preserve shall be up to the discretion of the Astronomical Science and Technical Research Organization, hereafter referred to as ASTRO, and will include factors such as light pollution and potential suitability for radio astronomy.
  3. Upon report by the government of a member nation of a potential site that could be designated as a dark sky preserve and an investigation by ASTRO, ASTRO will have the final say over which areas submitted for scrutiny are identified as dark sky preserves.
  4. Once an area is designated as a preserve, member nations are not required to delineate these lands with markers, but it must be maintained by the member state and its existence acknowledged until, and unless, an event as described in clause 7 or 8 occurs.
  5. If nations, with the assent of ASTRO, identify non-public lands as dark sky preserves, they should either provide an above-market price for said lands as compensation for the previous owner, such that these become public lands in perpetuity or, failing sale of non-public dark sky preserves, nations must allow the owner of said lands to continue to control the lands as they had previously.
  6. ASTRO is also required to keep a public registry of lands designated as dark sky preserves as well as a log of their accessibility and terms of usage, if any restrictions exist, on the usage of said lands.
  7. In the event dark sky preserves no longer meet criteria as specified by ASTRO, member nations must provide evidence to ASTRO which shows that requirements are no longer fulfilled, especially in regards to light pollution.
    1. The removal of designation, especially when deteriorating observation conditions are the reason for the potential removal, may be challenged by ASTRO and ASTRO may investigate to determine if the designation should be removed.
  8. In the event the land of a dark sky preserve is to be privatized or in some other way to be altered such that it no longer will fulfill requirements via intentional and sudden government action, member nations must inform ASTRO of such so that the designation may be removed.

"Respectfully, while there were requirements for nations to identify suitable areas, they aren't even required to work towards creating them. But I do think this legislation is necessary, light pollution is an issue which affects all of our nations, and I really don't think this imposes any undue burden on member nations other than to say "this is a good thing, if you have them, we'd like to confirm they exist and make note of them"."

OOC: Oop, I can't read. Reflects the reality now, but I don't see this as micromanage-y, IA.
Last edited by Boston Castle on Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bhang Bhang Duc » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:22 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Uhh, naw, even I think it's a bit micromanage-y to say you can't build on this land merely because we'd like it to be dedicated to radio astronomy or something like that. There are lots of reasons for land development and a lot of them have far better impacts on society than forcing them to remain fallow because some lab coats want to gaze into the heavens. If governments really want to support telescopes or radio astronomy, they can choose to do so.

OOC - oddly enough radio telescopes do not require dark skies. The name is the giveaway.
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Postby Boston Castle » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:41 pm

Bhang Bhang Duc wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:Uhh, naw, even I think it's a bit micromanage-y to say you can't build on this land merely because we'd like it to be dedicated to radio astronomy or something like that. There are lots of reasons for land development and a lot of them have far better impacts on society than forcing them to remain fallow because some lab coats want to gaze into the heavens. If governments really want to support telescopes or radio astronomy, they can choose to do so.

OOC - oddly enough radio telescopes do not require dark skies. The name is the giveaway.

OOC: that's actually quite interesting! I live sort of near the Green Bank Observatory in WV when I'm at home (near the edge of the radio quiet zone there), and I'd sort of assumed that it was the dark skies that made that location perfect for observations. (Since Pocahontas County, WV has some of the clearest skies on the East Coast.)
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Postby Bhang Bhang Duc » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:09 pm

Boston Castle wrote:
Bhang Bhang Duc wrote:OOC - oddly enough radio telescopes do not require dark skies. The name is the giveaway.

OOC: that's actually quite interesting! I live sort of near the Green Bank Observatory in WV when I'm at home (near the edge of the radio quiet zone there), and I'd sort of assumed that it was the dark skies that made that location perfect for observations. (Since Pocahontas County, WV has some of the clearest skies on the East Coast.)

OOC - different parts of the e-m spectrum have different requirements. Green Bank requires a radio quiet zone to stop them picking up microwave ovens as ET (an exaggeration, but you get my drift), while optical astronomers require dark, clear skies. This is why the big observatories are built high up on mountains or deserts e.g. Mauna Kea or Atacama or Mt Teide.

Dark sky reserves are most important to us amateur astronomers, providing us with a place to go to, to carry out observations and photography under pristine conditions.
Last edited by Bhang Bhang Duc on Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cretox State » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:33 pm

Boston Castle wrote:1. Unsure about the category here. GA #460, where this legislation derives from (like two puzzle pieces in my opinion) is in the category as noted in the box, but there might be an Environmental category this fits in better. (Other ones that could work: Environmental-All Businesses-Strong; Regulation-Mild? Opinions welcome.)

Environmental | All Businesses - Mild is a safe choice.

Boston Castle wrote:Observing this august assembly’s efforts to compile and divulge astronomical data in [resolution=GA#460]Astronomical Data Repository[/resolution] and shocked that there have not been efforts to ensure that data compiled under the terms of this resolution can reasonably be obtained, be it enacted as follows:

Could be worded more clearly. This could easily be interpreted as referring to ASTRO's data, not data being fed to ASTRO.

Boston Castle wrote:”Light pollution” means any source of light which brightens the night sky and which hampers efforts at astronomical observations;

Mind the smart-quotes.

Boston Castle wrote:”Dark sky preserve” means any geographically area in which astronomical observations are not hampered by light pollution and can be accomplished with the aid of devices that are readily available to sapient beings; [emphasis mine]

Grammar. Also an errant space between "hampered" and "by."

Boston Castle wrote:”Public lands” means any area of land that is owned by the government and set aside for enjoyment by the populace of a nation.

Is the second part of this necessary?

Boston Castle wrote:Member nations must monitor and work to identify areas that are suitable to be designated as dark sky preserves.

You're defining a dark sky preserve as an area with specific characteristics. Now you're instructing members to designate areas as dark sky preserves. It just doesn't sit well with me.

Boston Castle wrote:Criterion for designation as a dark sky preserve shall be up to the discretion of the Astronomical Science and Technical Research Organization, hereafter referred to as ASTRO, and will include factors such as light pollution and potential suitability for radio astronomy. [emphasis mine]

Criteria is plural. Criterion is singular. Again, you're concretely defining dark sky preserves, then saying that the criteria for dark sky preserves are up to ASTRO. This is contradictory.

Boston Castle wrote:Upon report by the government of a member nation of a potential site that could be designated as a dark sky preserve and an investigation by ASTRO, ASTRO will have the final say over which areas submitted for scrutiny are identified as dark sky preserves.

What is the nature of this investigation?

Boston Castle wrote:Once an area is designated as a preserve, member nations are not required to delineate these lands with markers, but it must be maintained by the member state and its existence acknowledged until, and unless, an event as described in clause 7 or 8 occurs.

I don't see the purpose of the markers part.

Boston Castle wrote:If nations, with the assent of ASTRO, identify non-public lands as dark sky preserves, they should either provide an above-market price for said lands as compensation for the previous owner, such that these become public lands in perpetuity or, failing sale of non-public dark sky preserves, nations must allow the owner of said lands to continue to control the lands as they had previously.

"In perpetuity"? I'm not sure how I feel about a light pollution proposal legislating on eminent domain.

Boston Castle wrote:ASTRO is also required to keep a public registry of lands designated as dark sky preserves as well as a log of their accessibility and terms of usage, if any restrictions exist, on the usage of said lands.

Wait a minute... nations don't actually have to let people use these lands?

Boston Castle wrote:In the event a dark sky preserve no longer meets the criteria as specified by ASTRO, member nations must provide evidence to ASTRO which shows that requirements are no longer fulfilled, especially in regards to light pollution.

What if requirements are still met, but nations want to remove designation for another reason? Also, how are nations supposed to definitively know that criteria are no longer met prior to ASTRO's decision, considering that ASTRO has sole jurisdiction over the matter? This can be handled with more finesse.

Boston Castle wrote:The removal of designation, especially when deteriorating observation conditions are the reason for the potential removal, may be challenged by ASTRO and ASTRO may investigate to determine if the designation should be removed.

Why do you need the "especially" part? Same question applies to the preceding clause.

Boston Castle wrote:In the event the land of a dark sky preserve is to be privatized or in some other way to be altered such that it no longer will fulfill requirements via intentional and sudden government action, member nations must inform ASTRO of such so that the designation may be removed.

So... nations can just override ASTRO whenever they please? What's the point, then?
Last edited by Cretox State on Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Kranostav » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:26 am

I feel that I should give my two cents here since I authored ADR after all.

Very interesting use of ASTRO, not how I originally intended it to be used but could be cool. My only issue is the purchasing of private land bit. I would prefer that the government's ability to eminent domain specific pieces of land exist outside the scope of this proposal.

Does ASTRO have the capability to do what you're asking of it? From an IC point maybe? Seems like an out of the box use but applicable nonetheless.
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Boston Castle
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Postby Boston Castle » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:32 am

Edits post [thanks Cretox State for the advice/feedback].

Edits 3: added a second introductory clause, 1(a) amended to be a bit more specific in terms of criteria to be considered, 1(b) amended to say "identify potential dark sky preserves".

Edits 2: introductory definitions clause deleted, both for parsimony's sake and because it was no longer needed; " in regards to light pollution" removed from clause 6; ", when deteriorating observation conditions are the reason for the potential removal," removed from clause 6(a).

Edits 1: "and divulge" removed from introductory clause; definition of "dark sky preserve" removed; "and set aside for enjoyment by the populace of a nation." removed from definition of public lands; "monitor" removed from clause 2; clause 2(b) added; clause 3(a) and 3(b) added; "markers" bit removed from clause 4; ", if any restrictions exist, on the usage" removed from clause 5; clause 6 [see below] removed; Clause 8 (in first draft) [see below] altered.

If nations, with the assent of ASTRO, identify non-public lands as dark sky preserves, they should either provide an above-market price for said lands as compensation for the previous owner, such that these become public lands in perpetuity or, failing sale of non-public dark sky preserves, nations must allow the owner of said lands to continue to control the lands as they had previously.


In the event the land of a dark sky preserve is to be privatized or in some other way to be altered such that it no longer will fulfill requirements via intentional and sudden government action, member nations must inform ASTRO of such so that the designation may be removed.
Last edited by Boston Castle on Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Boston Castle » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:33 am

Kranostav wrote:I feel that I should give my two cents here since I authored ADR after all.

Very interesting use of ASTRO, not how I originally intended it to be used but could be cool. My only issue is the purchasing of private land bit. I would prefer that the government's ability to eminent domain specific pieces of land exist outside the scope of this proposal.

Does ASTRO have the capability to do what you're asking of it? From an IC point maybe? Seems like an out of the box use but applicable nonetheless.

Thanks Tlomz. Actually worked on that as you were reading over everything. The altered draft should be up in a second.
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Postby Tinfect » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:43 am

"This legislation proposes almost no measures to protect any such 'dark sky preserves', nor do we see why any legislation on the subject is remotely necessary. This is not an issue of international import, or, even national import, even if it were to effectively serve its purpose. The Imperium is opposed."
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Postby Boston Castle » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:58 am

Tinfect wrote:"This legislation proposes almost no measures to protect any such 'dark sky preserves', nor do we see why any legislation on the subject is remotely necessary. This is not an issue of international import, or, even national import, even if it were to effectively serve its purpose. The Imperium is opposed."

"That's completely fair, we thank the Imperium for their honest opinion."

OOC: yeah, this is something that's kinda been bugging me about this whole thing. Protecting them is not going to be easy, but going rigorous on the protective measures will throw this one all sorts of weird places. That's why I've decided to keep it where it's at in terms of "these will now be registered by ASTRO". I personally would rather keep it there for now, because I think doing as you're asking (nothing wrong with it) would result in some kind of weird legislation which really only deals with eminent domain and uses that as a means to an end. I don't think that could, to put it frankly, ever fly.
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Postby Boston Castle » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:14 pm

[Not really bumping it so much as saying for people who'd like to read over things that I'd be open to working on a way to add in protective measures a la Tinfect's criticism.]
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Postby Maowi » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:26 am

Observing this august assembly’s efforts to compile astronomical data in [resolution=GA#460]Astronomical Data Repository[/resolution] and shocked that there have not been efforts to ensure that data compiled under the terms of this resolution can reasonably be obtained, be it enacted as follows:


OOC: In practice preambles don't really matter all that much, but you could expand on this one to really emphasise & explain the benefits of (what I perceive to be) the intention of this proposal, i.e. to collect and centralise information on dark sky preserves, rather than enforce certain environmental regulations on them.

  1. Member nations work to identify areas that are suitable to be designated as dark sky preserves.
    1. Criteria for designation as a dark sky preserve shall be up to the discretion of the Astronomical Science and Technical Research Organization, hereafter referred to as ASTRO, and will include factors such as light pollution and potential suitability for radio astronomy.
    2. Member nations may also work to create dark sky preserves should that be their wish.


OOC: I think greater precision in your language could be beneficial. If an area is designated as a dark sky preserve, must visible light pollution be restricted within that area, or also radio spectrum pollution? Why the mention of radio astronomy specifically? Can/should ASTRO also take into account e.g. the effects of light pollution on wildlife in the area?

In the main clause 1 you are missing a verb - "Member nations must work"? "Member nations may work"? I would personally rephrase that whole sentence, though - it kind of sends out a slightly different message to 1.b. and I think you could clarify that.

In 1.b. I would also replace "create dark sky preserves" with "identify potential dark sky preserves", in light of the mechanism you set up in clause 2.

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Postby Boston Castle » Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:27 pm

Maowi wrote:
Observing this august assembly’s efforts to compile astronomical data in [resolution=GA#460]Astronomical Data Repository[/resolution] and shocked that there have not been efforts to ensure that data compiled under the terms of this resolution can reasonably be obtained, be it enacted as follows:


OOC: In practice preambles don't really matter all that much, but you could expand on this one to really emphasise & explain the benefits of (what I perceive to be) the intention of this proposal, i.e. to collect and centralise information on dark sky preserves, rather than enforce certain environmental regulations on them.

  1. Member nations work to identify areas that are suitable to be designated as dark sky preserves.
    1. Criteria for designation as a dark sky preserve shall be up to the discretion of the Astronomical Science and Technical Research Organization, hereafter referred to as ASTRO, and will include factors such as light pollution and potential suitability for radio astronomy.
    2. Member nations may also work to create dark sky preserves should that be their wish.


OOC: I think greater precision in your language could be beneficial. If an area is designated as a dark sky preserve, must visible light pollution be restricted within that area, or also radio spectrum pollution? Why the mention of radio astronomy specifically? Can/should ASTRO also take into account e.g. the effects of light pollution on wildlife in the area?

In the main clause 1 you are missing a verb - "Member nations must work"? "Member nations may work"? I would personally rephrase that whole sentence, though - it kind of sends out a slightly different message to 1.b. and I think you could clarify that.

In 1.b. I would also replace "create dark sky preserves" with "identify potential dark sky preserves", in light of the mechanism you set up in clause 2.

OOC: Thanks for the feedback, Maowi, I always appreciate it!

Ambassador Rosenborg: "I have amended some things in this draft and I hope it is better in the eyes of the Maowese delegation as a result."
WA Ambassador: Avi Rosenborg
Professional dissident perpetually struggling with BBCode.

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