Gran Canaria is an extraordinary window to heaven. The defense of the quality of the night sky as a right of all and of the cultural, natural and landscape values associated with the vision of the firmament, as well as the promotion of tourism related to the observation of the stars, has become an axis of action of the Government of Gran Canaria to advance in the diversification of the tourist offer and to promote new attractions for the men and women of this island and for those who visit us.
Giant steps have been taken in this line, starting with the process of including a good part of the central zone of the island, under the name of “Cultural Landscape of Risco Caído and the sacred mountain spaces of Gran Canaria” in the List UNESCO World Heritage. The cultural values associated with astronomy, the sky of the ancient Canaries, constitute one of the central nuclei of the candidacy. The first settlers of this land sought answers to their religious concerns in places full of mysticism, spirituality and related to the stars. Risco Caído, the Arteara necropolis, the Bentayga or Cuatro Puertas are some significant examples. As the Starlight Declaration says: “Humanity has always observed the sky to interpret it and to understand the physical laws that govern the universe and this interest in astronomy has had profound implications in science, philosophy, customs, and in our conception of the world”.
Consistent with this line of defense of the night sky and its cultural and spiritual values, the Plenary of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria approved, on October 28, 2016, the motion related to the adoption of the principles of the Starlight Declaration (Declaration of La Palma 2007) and the commitment to initiate a process for the certification of a large area of the mountainous center of the island as a Starlight Destination. All the town halls and many social organizations have also supported it. Thus, we assume, as the manifesto points out, that “The right to an uncontaminated night sky that allows one to enjoy the contemplation of the firmament, must be considered as an inalienable right of Humanity, comparable to the rest of the environmental, social and cultural rights”. And we meet the conditions for this: they are spaces that can be visited, at least 50% of their nights are clear, the sky is dark, the stars are clearly visible.