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LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed more than 4500 projects. For the 2014-2020 funding period, LIFE will contribute approximately €3.4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate.Read more >>
01 June 2018 For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing to increase funding by almost 60% for LIFE, the EU programme for the environment and climate action.
18 April 2018 The LIFE programme has launched its 2018 call for project proposals. This year, we are investing close to €400 million in nature conservation, environmental protection and climate action. We are also introducing a streamlined application process to make it easier for you to request LIFE funds.
As a bottom-up funding instrument, LIFE provides applicants with flexibility to truly innovate. We support projects that are either tackling climate change, or protecting nature and the environment.
10 August 2018The food processing industry’s biggest impact on the environment comes from cleaning and disinfection. While this is vital for food hygiene and safety, it consumes vast amounts of water, energy and chemicals. Cleaning and sanitisation also releases undesirable chemicals into the environment, and generates wastewater and greenhouse gases.
09 August 2018Commercial fishing has unintended negative consequences for sea turtles. An estimated 200 000 turtles die every year in the Mediterranean after being accidentally caught in fishing nets. The Italian Marine Science Institute led a project called TARTALIFE to tackle unnecessary turtle deaths, focusing on the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) in particular. This involved showing fishermen what to do in case of accidental capture and how to use devices to prevent such by-catch occurring.
06 August 2018The Kleine Nete is a lowland river situated in the Flemish Campine region. The river valley consists of heathland and moors in higher areas and valley ecosystems along the stream.
"One of the unique things about the Kleine Nete is that there is still freshwater tidal influence, which means the river is affected by tides," said Wout Opdekamp, project coordinator of the LIFE Kleine Nete project. "This, combined with the connectivity to heathlands, makes it a very special area. You can find species like the summer snowflake, which is an inhabitant of freshwater tidal systems, and only a few hundred metres along on you can find dry heath species."
30 July 2018 International Beer Day is a celebration of all things to do with brewing. This year we can invite the Spanish project LIFE-Brewery to the party. It is re-using beer waste streams to reduce the environmental impact of brewing, an after effect of beer that is perhaps less widely considered.
The LIFE project is demonstrating the contribution that brewing can make to the circular economy by showing that by-products in the brewing process can be used in food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and animal feed production.
26 July 2018The Balearic island of Formentera has successfully tested ‘hyper-local’ architecture and the use of local Neptune grass (Posidonia oceanica), as part of a bid to revolutionise architecture and foreground environmental considerations in the building industry.
The award-winning initiative to build 14 dwellings was developed under the LIFE-funded Reusing Posidonia project.
17 July 2018 The city of Paris, France, is testing its streets for temperature and noise levels in preparation for a road coating that could counter urban heat islands and halve the noise emitted by traffic.
13 July 2018 The deadline for the submission of Concept Notes for Integrated Projects (IPs) is in two months' time (05/09/2018).
Given the reduced number of IP applications, we will be able to provide the same level of assistance to every applicant currently preparing their IP Concept Notes.
12 July 2018Malta has increased the size of its protected marine areas by more than 650 km2, reaching over a third of its waters, thanks to the project LIFE BaĦAR for Natura 2000. These areas are home to important seabed habitats in both coastal and deep waters.
An additional eight Natura 2000 marine protected areas (MPAs) have been designated for Malta, ensuring the preservation of dozens of newly found marine caves and reefs. The additional sites bring the amount of protected marine area in Malta to more than 4 100 km2.
9 July 2018The Arturówek Reservoirs in Łódź have long been a place of recreation for the city's inhabitants. "When I was child," says Professor Maciej Zalewski, leader of the EH-REK project, "the reservoirs were a place where you would come to and swim." As toxic algae blooms, harmful for human health, have spread in the intervening years, this prospect has become less appealing and even going for a walk in the area is not as pleasant as it once was, he adds.
5 July 2018Six brown bear cubs were born in the Catalan Pyrenees in 2017, thanks in part to the actions of the PirosLIFE project. This took the total brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Pyrenees to around 45 individuals - offering a real lifeline to Europe’s largest surviving large carnivore in this area of Spain and France.
2 July 2018A life-sized trial has shown that tilling soils is not necessary to maintain crop yields, but avoiding it can help tackle climate change.
So-called conservation agriculture has allowed Spanish farmers to match the food output of conventionally ploughed land, while cutting their production costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and locking more carbon in their soils.
21 June 2018The dry grasslands of south-east Luxembourg are home to an array of different species of orchid. These beautiful flowers include the lady orchid (Orchis purpurea), which favours the shade, the sun-loving bee orchid (Orchis apifera) and fly orchid (Ophrys insectifera), and the adaptable early-purple orchid (Orchis mascula).
20 June 2018Applicants have submitted more than
1000 concept notes for traditional LIFE projects under the Environment sub-programme. Some 54% of the concept notes are for Environment & Resource Efficiency projects, 30% for Nature & Biodiversity and the remaining 16% for the Environmental Governance & Information (GIE) strand.
15 June 2018As solar and wind power grow cheaper, the core challenge of climate change is shifting from generating clean energy to storing it. With support from LIFE, Swedish SME SaltX has demonstrated a technology that locks sunlight inside the chemical bonds of salt crystals. This keeps the solar power safe until needed to heat - or indeed cool - entire buildings.
13 June 2018Camilla Zuretti, is one of the first 150 volunteers taking part in a pilot nature conservation project for the European Solidarity Corps (ESC).
A recent graduate, Ms Zuretti has always been interested in nature, and when her friends told her about the volunteering opportunity at the Choose Nature (CHOO-NA!) project she decided to get involved right away.
06 June 2018“The marine environment is very important for Spain, covering one million square kilometres in diverse regions with fantastic biodiversity,” says Itziar Martin from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA), ahead of World Oceans Day this Friday (8 June).
31 May 2018 Clean Sea Life sounded the alarm about millions of small plastic discs washing ashore in south-west Italy. The LIFE project is monitoring the situation, organising beach clean-ups, and using the incident to study the movement of marine litter.
30 May 2018 Next week is EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW). Here are four LIFE projects helping to lead us towards the clean energy transition.
28 May 2018 As of 25 May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is replacing the current Directive 95/46 on data protection. The GDPR harmonises the national legislations of the EU member states, deriving from this Directive. Any natural or legal person who collects or in any way uses for professional purposes personal data of individuals must comply with the new rules. Therefore, since 25 May 2018, also applicants and beneficiaries receiving funding from EU programmes such as LIFE must comply with the GDPR.
24 May 2018 Commissioner Karmenu Vella has announced the winners of the 2016 and 2017 LIFE Awards during EU Green Week – Europe's biggest environmental event. The nine winners include projects from Belgium, Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, Poland and Slovakia.
A special people's Choice Award, in line with this year's Green Week focus on sustainable cities, was given to a LIFE green city project, exploring solutions to reduce air pollution in cities.
22 May 2018The final round of REACH applications closes on 31 May. By then all companies making or importing chemicals into the European Union will have to register each substance and assess its impact on public health and the environment.
REACH, short for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, is arguably the strictest piece of legislation regulating chemical substances to date.
17 May 2018An insect-sized radar-transmitter is helping Italian beekeepers safeguard their hives from a recent outbreak of Asian hornets (Vespa velutina). In some areas of Liguria, Italy, 30% of bee colonies have completely collapsed.
The voracious hornet is native to South-East Asia and was probably introduced to the EU by accident in 2005 as a stowaway on board horticultural products. It has spread rapidly across France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium, devouring honey bees and other pollinating insects on its way. The species now figures on the EU's hit-list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern.
14 May 2018Millions of birds are killed and trapped each year as they try to migrate between Europe and Africa. Prosecutors from 18 jurisdictions across the Mediterranean met in Segovia on 09 May to crack down on wildlife crime and bring organisations profiting from it to justice.
For the first time, prosecutors from Europe, Africa and the Middle East have trained together to protect birds migrating across their jurisdictions.
08 May 2018LIFE-funded conservationists have put an end to the local killing of red-breasted geese (Branta ruficollis) in Bulgaria. They are now spreading their measures across the migration path of the threatened species to safely guide it home.
30 April 2018 A new technique for mooring posidonia grass (Posidonia oceanica) to the Sardinian sea bed is improving its chances of survival.
Human activity is killing off posidonia in the Mediterranean at an alarming rate. Meadows of the sea grass have regressed by an estimated 34% over the past 50 years. Their demise is bad news for marine biodiversity that relies on the habitat for oxygen, protection and nutrients.
24 April 2018 The LIFE HEROTILE project is launching production of a new generation of roof tiles that keep buildings cool. After four years of LIFE-funded development, Italian tile manufacturer, Industrie Cotto Possagno, will start manufacturing the product in May.
What sets these tiles apart is their shape. Interlocking elements on the terracotta surface allow air in but trap rain out. Depending on the weather, the added ventilation can reduce the amount of energy needed to keep living spaces fresh and comfortable by as much as 50%. This is welcome news across the Mediterranean, where climate change is driving temperatures to new extremes.
18 April 2018 Working on a commercial solution to an environmental or climate challenge? You can now download LIFE application packages for traditional projects on the environment and resource efficiency , and climate action . Here are our 8 tips for getting your Close-to-Market proposal approved.
17 April 2018 Solar is growing cheaper than fossil fuels, especially for smart electricity consumers connected to smart grids. With help from the LIFE programme, Cyprus is learning to roll out solar photovoltaics in ways that save money for both households and utilities.
The peer-reviewed journal Energy has recently detailed findings by George E. Georghiou and his team at University of Cyprus.
10 April 2018 The President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, has awarded 17-year old Simone Borsetti the title of Alfiere della Repubblica for “improving the environment and health” in his home town of Ferrara in northern Italy. While still at school, Borsetti has helped monitor environmental strains on public well-being in the frame of the LIFE-funded Gioconda project.
The Alfieri della Repubblica recognises young Italians who have distinguished themselves in acts of solidarity, courage or for promoting the common good.
The European Commission has shortlisted six finalists from among 62 best LIFE projects and will collect your vote until 25 April to determine who will bring home this year's People's Choice Award:
6 April 2018 The LIFE programme is now accepting proposals for Technical Assistance projects in both sub-programmes for Environment and Climate Action.
These projects provide, by way of action grants, financial support to help applicants prepare integrated projects. Applications are open until 8 June 2018 at 16:00 Brussels local time.
Calls for traditional, Preparatory and Integrated Projects are provisionally expected to be launched on 18 April.
2 April 2018 Man-made shelters in Spain and Portugal are salvaging thousands of rabbits and the ecosystems that depend on them.
Wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) once covered the Iberian peninsula in their millions, earning Spain its name, which derives from the Phoenician for “Land of Rabbits”. Today, populations in the wild have dwindled in some parts to below one individual per hectare. The decline is depriving the region’s countryside of one of its signature residents and sending shockwaves up the food chain.
23 March 2018 The LIFE-GREEN4GREY project has refurbished a park in Zaventem, Belgium, transforming it into a bustling waterfront. The site now provides flood defences to communities living downstream, and a natural refuge for both wildlife and its peri-urban neighbours.
Flooding presents Europe with a mounting environmental challenge. As the climate shifts, many parts of the EU expect more sudden and intense rain showers that could overwhelm existing waterways and spill over into built environments.
23 March 2018 Crowds gathered in Trento, Italy, this week to discuss coexistence between wolves and humans in Europe. The event included a 2-day specialist conference marking the end of the LIFE-funded WolfAlps project. The conference brought together some 150 researchers, policy makers and conservationists, and over 1 000 members of the public. Thousands more took part in a public outreach side-event organised by Trento’s MUSE science museum.
23 March 2018 Representatives from LIFE projects converged on Madrid, Spain, on 13-14 March to discuss the impact of rising temperatures on agriculture and forestry in the Mediterranean. The two-day platform meeting drew on expertise from LIFE projects, EU policy makers, local authorities and stakeholders in the agro-forest sector to tackle the impact of climate change in an area notoriously exposed to its effects.
The event, organised by Spanish NGO Fundación Global Nature and supported by the European Agency of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EASME) and the Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission, singled out solutions to help farms and forests adapt to southern Europe's shifting climate.
21 March 2018 The University of Santiago de Compostella in Spain has constructed a 24-meter long timber rooftop whose innovative design could help cut greenhouse gas emissions from the construction sector and spread environmentally sustainable forestry practices.
The so-called Gridshell rooftop that now houses a storage facility at the PEMADE Laboratory of Timber Engineering of the University of Santiago de Compostela is made of reprocessed wood from pine, chestnut and eucalyptus trees grown in the surrounding province of Lugo.
20 March 2018 The European Commission has announced the twenty-six finalists for this year’s Natura 2000 Awards. The prize recognises excellence in managing Natura 2000 network sites and in conveying their added value to the public. The entries include 17 finalists supported by LIFE-funded projects.
You can now join thousands of Europeans online in electing your favourite conservation effort and deciding who will bring home the European Natura 2000 Citizens’ Award. Voting remains open until 22 April 2018.
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