ann20042 — Announcement

The Astrostays project, an OAD Flagship
2 December 2020
Office of Astronomy for Development Partner Wins United Nations Global Climate Action Award

Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), a partner of the IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), has been announced as a winner of the 2020 United Nations Global Climate Action Awards. Based in India, GHE is one of the world’s first organisations to combine the power of tourism with technology, bringing solar power to people in remote communities. They earned this recognition from the UN for their financing of climate-friendly investment.

In 2018, GHE collaborated with the OAD to create a community-led astrotourism model, to promote and support livelihoods for communities in remote and rural areas. So far, GHE has provided solar electricity to more than 60 000 people across 131 villages. More than 1 300 travellers have participated in their expedition programme, generating a 45% increase in the villagers’ household income. With the success of the pilot project in India, the model is being expanded internationally to other locations.

The UN Global Climate Action Awards form part of the UN’s action on the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. These prestigious awards recognise projects that address climate change while working towards sustainable development. As the first organisation to use astrotourism to benefit the local community through the provision of solar energy, GHE exemplifies innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges.

The IAU congratulates GHE on receiving this well-deserved recognition, and looks forward to continuing a fruitful collaboration, harnessing the potential of astronomy to drive positive change.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together almost 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.


Ramasamy Venugopal
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
Tel: +27 21 460 9350

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



The Astrostays project, an OAD Flagship
The Astrostays project, an OAD Flagship