Hehuanshan first park in Taiwan to apply for Dark Sky Park status

Hehuanshan in central Taiwan has now become Taiwan's first official International Dark Sky Park

(Photo from Nantou Tourism Bureau)

(Photo from Nantou Tourism Bureau)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Central Taiwan's Nantou County Government yesterday (June 21) announced that it will submit a formal application to the International Dark Sky Association to have Hehuanshan designated as an International Dark Sky Park (ISDP), the first such park in Taiwan and only the third in Asia other than parks in South Korea and Japan.

The Nantou Government will formally submit the application on July 25 and it is expected to take about a year to year and a half for the certification process to be completed. If approved, it would be Taiwan's first ISDP, and only the third in Asia, after South Korea's Yeongyang Firefly Eco Park and Japan's Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park.

Liu Chi-an (劉志安), president of the Taipei Amateur Astronomers Association, said to Apple Daily that Hehuanshan's high altitude, low light pollution, and other exceptional conditions make it a sanctuary for stargazers. The government is currently working on ways to further reduce light pollution and improve the stargazing conditions on the mountain with the hopes of receiving the ISDP designation and a gold level certification.

(Photo by Taiwan Forestry Bureau)

View from Wuling on Hehuanshan. (Photo by flickr user S.R.G. - msucoo93)