"The two reserves can also be used for astronomical observations, as light pollution in big cities has resulted in the deterioration of viewing conditions at some older observatories in Beijing and Nanjing," he said. "Many observatories have become educational facilities that promote popular science."
However, the protection of dark skies is still inadequate in China and there is no government institution for regulation and research in the sector, he said
"More efforts are needed to raise people's awareness of the importance of dark skies," he said.
The two conservation areas in Tibet were established jointly in 2016 by the foundation and the regional government. The reserve in Ngari stands 4,200 meters above sea level and has a planned area of 2,500 square kilometers, while the reserve in Nagchu is situated about 4,600 meters above sea level and has a planned area of 100 sq km.
"With its high altitude, little rain and light winds, the conditions for observation are better in Tibet than any other region," Ren said.
The two reserves can also be used to promote tourism development, but the scale should be moderate so they do not hurt the environment, he said.
The foundation is also actively working on building new dark sky reserves in other provinces and regions, including Zhejiang, Shanxi, Jiangsu and Sichuan provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, he said.