To move from policy development to implementation, it is crucially important to have the capability to test new approaches and to demonstrate how different policy solutions can be successfully applied in different contexts. This is why LIFE, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment is so important. Since 1992, LIFE has contributed approximately €2 billion in co-financing to more than 3 100 projects, providing important guidance and leadership on the development and implementation of EU environment policy.
The current phase of the programme, LIFE + (2007-2013), continues this approach, providing a further €1.7 billion for projects linked to nature conservation, environmental technology and raising awareness and communication on environmental issues.
There are three strands to the programme: LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity supports projects that contribute to the implementation of the EU's Birds and Habitats Directives, and that contribute to the EU's goal of halting the loss of biodiversity. LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance supports the development of innovative policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. It also helps to monitor pressures (including the long-term monitoring of forests and environmental interactions) on our environment; LIFE+ Information & Communication co-finances projects relating to communication and awareness raising campaigns on environmental, nature protection or biodiversity conservation issues, as well as projects related to forest fire prevention (awareness raising, special training).
The wealth of knowledge already accumulated by the LIFE programme represents an invaluable resource of all of us with an interest in advancing the goal of environmental protection. The LIFE website is a comprehensive source of information on all aspects of the programme and includes a wide range of publications and a database of LIFE projects.
The annual call for proposals under LIFE+ is announced on the LIFE website in May each year.