LIFE Programme

LIFE Programme
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With the LIFE Programme, the European Union contributes to the implementation, updating and development of EU environment and climate policy and legislation, by co-financing innovative projects aiming at demonstrate the effectiveness of new techniques and methodologies in the environmental field.

Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world. To overcome these challenges, Europe needs a new growth strategy that will transform the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, where

  • there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
  • economic growth is decoupled from resource use
  • no person and no place is left behind

The European Green Deal is our plan to make the EU’s economy sustainable. We can do this by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities, and making the transition just and inclusive for all.

Life programme

has two sub-programmes: Environment and Climate Action. The Environment sub-programme focuses on three priority areas Environment and resource efficiency, Nature and biodiversity, and Environmental governance and information, each of which includes several thematic priorities. The sub-programme Climate Action focuses on three priority areas, Climate Change mitigation, Climate Change adaptation and Climate governance and information.

LIFE Blue Lakes is one of the traditional Governance and Information projects in the field of Environment and out of a total budget of 2,530,927 Euros, the contribution of the European Commission is 1,391,990 Euros.

In addition to the “traditional” projects described above, the LIFE Program also finances the so-called “integrated” projects, which combine LIFE funding with other funding sources , in order to maximize their impact on large geographical areas. LIFE projects can also provide technical assistance, strengthen capacity building and carry out preparatory activities for the development of European environmental legislation.

The LIFE Programme also supports the European solidarity corps initiative, providing opportunities for young people to be involved in activities of environmental and social utility.

Since its launch in 1992, averagely four thousand projects have been co-financed in European Union, with a contribution of around 3.1 billion euros to environmental protection.

The Commission proposes policies and legislation to protect natural habitats, maintain clean air and water, ensure proper waste disposal, improve knowledge about the toxicity of chemicals and help businesses move towards a sustainable economy.

It also monitors the correct implementation of European environmental legislation by Member States, helping them to comply with the rules they have agreed to and following up on complaints from citizens and non-governmental organisations.

Nature and biodiversity protection projects aim to improve the protection of endangered species and habitats. Their aim is to contribute to the implementation of the birds and habitats directives and to the establishment of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas. They are pilot projects that pursue the EU’s objective of halting the loss of biodiversity.

By the end of 2012, the LIFE programme had co-financed more than a thousand nature and biodiversity protection projects, directly providing more than €1.5 billion since 1992 and mobilising some €2.7 billion.

Brown bears, monk seals and wolves are among the species that have benefited most from LIFE projects. More than 400 – more than a third – of the endangered species listed in the Birds and Habitats Directives have been the subject of at least one LIFE project.

LIFE Programme funds have also financed over 1,000 management plans within the Natura 2000 network. This is an important step in the fight against biodiversity loss. Other projects have created ecological corridors and urban habitats for wild species, introduced climate change adaptation measures, supported ecosystem services and raised awareness among businesses of the importance of biodiversity.

More than 100 LIFE projects have helped tackle the problem of invasive alien species, focusing on species such as the American mink, the Japanese polygon and several types of non-native crayfish.

How to apply for funding under the LIFE programme?

The LIFE programme is open to public and private bodies registered in the EU. More information on the latest call for proposals can be found on the LIFE website.

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