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Conservation of natural habitats and of wild
Regulation (EC) No 1655/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000 concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE), OJ L192 of 28.7.2000.
The purpose of LIFE-Nature is to contribute to the maintenance or restoration of natural habitats and the population of species of wild fauna and flora. More specifically, it aims to contribute to the implementation of the “Birds” (79/409/EEC) and “Habitats” (92/43/EEC) Community directives and, in particular, to the establishment of the European network of protected areas - NATURA 2000 - aiming at the on-site management and conservation of the most valuable fauna and flora species and habitats in the Union.
In the Candidate countries associated to LIFE, LIFE- Nature shall have similar objectives, applied to sites of international importance. It shall also pave the way towards setting up NATURA 2000 in those countries.
Target Public / beneficiaries
All natural and legal persons established in the European Union who wish to propose and implement projects within the territory of the Member States.
It is also open to the Accession Candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe in accordance with the conditions referred to in the Association agreements concluded with those countries and on the basis of provisions of the decision of the Association Council competent for each country concerned. The Candidate countries are: Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic.
All projects shall be submitted to the national competent authorities at the latest by 30 September 2000.
Projects will then be submitted by the national authorities to the Commission at the latest by 31 October 2000.
The Commission shall fix annually the date of forwarding proposals.
Eligible measures / nature of activities
The following projects and/or measures shall be considered eligible for funding under LIFE-Nature:
1. Nature conservation projects which contribute to maintaining or restoring natural habitats and/or species populations to a favourable conservation status within the meaning of Directive 92/43/EEC.
Projects submitted under LIFE within the European territory of the Member States must aim at the conservation of:
Projects in the Accession Candidate Countries shall be considered for financial support only if they meet the following criteria:
2. Accompanying measures which lead to the preparation of projects involving partners in several Member States (‘starter’ measure); exchanges of experiences between projects (‘co-op’ measure) and the monitoring, evaluation and dissemination of the results of projects (‘assist’ measure). These projects will be the subject of a separate call for interest.
Rural dimension/Example of action in rural area
Rhön Biotope region - Building Block for Natura 2000
Lakeside overdevelopment and hunting continue to threaten the natural balance and diversity of the western shores of Lake Constance despite the designation of much of the area as SCIs and SPAs. Furthermore, intensive farming and biotope drainage which had been practised in this area in the past, have negatively altered the face of the region. This project, which runs from 1 October 1999 to 1 October 2003, aims to restore calm to the area by eliminating sources of interference. Car parks, moorings and bathing areas will be relocated and cut back, hunting concessions will not be renewed.
The remains of riverside forests will be allowed to flourish once more while the Laddfzeller Aach river will be restored to its natural course. The project is being supported by a range of bodies: three municipal authorities, the local water authority and forest office, the Lands Historic Monument office and NABU (Nature, Species, Biotope and Environmental Protection Association). Their primary objective is to ensure the continuing improvement of a sound balance between nature conservation and tourism. The project has been awarded 50% of its eligible costs under LIFE-Nature funding which amounts to EUR 1, 009 290.17. More information on all LIFE- Nature projects financed so far may be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/life/nature/databas.htm.
Nature and amount of financial support
Financial assistance shall be provided by co-financing of projects and accompanying measures and is subject to the following limits:
Projects, which benefit or will benefit from aid under another Community budgetary instrument (Structural funds, Cohesion funds), are not eligible under LIFE-Nature.
European Union funding
Of the total budget for the third phase of LIFE 2000-2004 (EUR 640 m), 47% has been earmarked for LIFE-Nature.
Nature conservation projects must be presented to the competent national authority before 30 September 2000. The Member States or Candidate countries shall then submit proposals for projects to the Commission before the final date of submission (31 October 2000).
When more than one country is involved in the project, the country in which the project co-ordinating body is located shall forward proposals. The “Nature Protection Unit” of the Environment Directorate General is responsible for the evaluation process.
During the implementation process, the project co-ordinators are obliged to provide the Commission with:
These reports must be presented to the Commission and the external project monitoring team designated by the Commission. The Commission is assisted by the external teams to ensure the correct implementation of the LIFE projects.
Accompanying measures shall be the subject of calls for expressions of interest to be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
Additional Sources of Information
The addresses for the External Teams for LIFE-Nature Conservation are as follows:
date of publication: 09/2000