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Conference showcases two decades of LIFE Environment success

LIFE Conference

Registration is now open for a LIFE Environment conference that is being organised next month by the European Commission entitled “LIFE for our Environment: success stories and future challenges”.

LIFE’s biggest communication event for 2011 will take place in Brussels on 25-26 May. This year’s agenda is celebrating LIFE’s successes in protecting the EU environment. LIFE’s wide ranging achievements in this field will be assessed at the conference in relation to lessons learnt over the previous two decades by LIFE projects that can be transferred to other stakeholders, regions or themes concerning how to tackle the new and future challenges to our environment.

Stakeholders from different backgrounds are encouraged to participate in the two day event. Professionals from public authorities, SMEs, other industries and academia are welcome, as are policy makers from national and EU level. Topics covered by the conference are also designed to be relevant and interesting for LIFE project beneficiaries, national contact points and other funding bodies.

Conference outcomes will provide participants with a clearer appreciation of what LIFE has done for environmental protection in Europe, as well as how the Programme can be used to tackle ongoing or newly emerging environmental concerns. Scope will be provided for participants to feed in ideas about the Programme’s future and stakeholder views offer useful opportunities on how to shape a successor for the current LIFE Environment component.

Conference sessions

Starting in the afternoon of Wednesday May 25, the first day will take stock of LIFE project contributions to the implementation and updating of EU environment policy. Two dedicated sessions have been arranged to introduce the following subject matter:

  • Environmental policy on the ground: promoting best practice in the implementation of EU law; and
  • New solutions to environmental challenges in the public and private sector.

Project examples featured in the environmental policy session will highlight some of the best practices that have been developed by the Programme’s interventions, and these presentations will be followed by a panel discussion which will be open to the floor for debate.

The second session focus specifically on innovative solutions that LIFE has helped take forward to redress a variety of environmental issues. Particular attention is paid to how the Programme’s project work has directly helped to update EU environment policy. The session will also lead to a participatory discussion.

The event’s first day ends with the presentation of awards for this year’s 'Best of the Best' LIFE Environment projects.

Four sessions are planned in a full day’s agenda on the Thursday. These will examine:

  • The multiplier effect: how good solutions spread;
  • Complementarity with other funding programmes at national and EU levels;
  • Policy complementarity: how financial support serves environment policy objectives; and
  • The future of LIFE.

A strong emphasis on LIFE’s policy role will flow through these sessions which will discuss the Programme's performance in this respect. Good practices and lessons learnt from LIFE projects will be highlighted in methods regarding dissemination and replication of novel solutions to environmental challenges.

Linkages and synergies from cooperation between different national and EU funds will then be investigated to draw conclusions about how LIFE can add value to different environmental support programmes (and vice versa).

LIFE’s policy contributions will also be assessed to help clarify know-how about project-based methodologies that can be effective for informing the design of new policies and/or implementing the objectives of existing environmental protection strategies.

All of these discussions will lead to a high-level session analysing how LIFE may be revised in the light of new developments. High-profile decisions-makers will participate in the closing discussion about the future of LIFE. Anticipated ground to be covered by this final plenary session will review the main outcomes from the debates and look for consensus points that can help draw up recommendations for the next LIFE programming period.

An on-line registration system for the conference is now open and applications for attendance can also be made by email to: Please note that admission for the conference is free but upon registration and invitation only.

For yet more examples of projects funded by the programme, visit the LIFE project database.

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