The European Commission has approved funding for 196 new projects under the second call for the LIFE+ program (2007-2013), the European fund for the environment. The projects are from across the EU and cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy, and information and communication. Overall, they represent a total investment of €431 million, of which the EU will provide €207.5 million.
Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "I am convinced that these projects will make a significant contribution to nature conservation and to improving the environment. They will also help raise awareness across the EU of the key environmental challenges facing us, notably climate change and the loss of biodiversity."
Following the call for proposals, which closed in November 2008, the Commission received more than 600 proposals from public or private bodies from the 27 EU Member States. Of these, 196 were selected for co-funding through the program’s three components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance and LIFE+ Information and Communication.
LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity projects improve the conservation status of endangered species and habitats . Of the 227 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 80 projects from partnerships of conservation bodies, government authorities and other parties. Situated in 22 Member States, they represent a total investment of €199 million, of which the EU will provide some €107 million. The majority (74) are Nature projects, contributing to the implementation of the Birds and/or Habitats Directives and the Natura 2000 network. The other six are Biodiversity projects, a LIFE+ project category for pilot schemes that tackle wider biodiversity issues.
LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance projects are pilot projects that contribute to the development of innovative policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. Of the 288 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 99 projects from a wide range of public and private sector organizations. The winning projects, situated in 19 Member States, represent a total investment of €211 million of which the EU will provide some €90 million. Projects targeting waste and natural resources (28 projects) account for the largest share of EU funding (some €26 million). Climate change is the second most targeted priority area with 24 projects (some €25 million), followed by water (17 projects). The remaining 30 projects cover various topics including air, chemicals, environment and health, forests, innovation, noise, soil, strategic approaches, and the urban environment.
LIFE+ Information and Communication projects disseminate information and raise the profile of environmental issues, and provide training and awareness-raising for the prevention of forest fires . Of the 98 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 17 projects from a range of public and private sector nature and/or environment organisations. The projects are situated in 12 Member States and represent a total investment of €21 million of which the EU will provide some €10 million.