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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 >>

Two- stage application for LIFE Environment sub-programme - a major simplification for LIFE applicants

LIFE LOGO

14 February 2018 The project submission procedure for the 2018 call under LIFE's Environment sub-programme will undergo changes for simplicity. Applications will be submitted in two stages.

The first stage is a concept note, approximately 10 pages long. Applicants that make it through to the second stage of LIFE's Environment sub-programme will then submit their full proposal based on feedback from the LIFE programme. For the LIFE Climate Action sub-programme, the submission procedure remains unchanged. Applicants will submit full proposals from the start.

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New features of the LIFE Multiannual Work Programme 2018-2020

Photo: LIFE05 ENV/NL/000200 Photo: LIFE HEIGHT

14 February 2018 In 2018, projects applying for funding under LIFE's sub-programme for environment will, for the first time, submit proposals through a two-phase selection procedure.

The move is designed to simplify administrative steps and save applicants time. It is one among many updates set out to streamline the LIFE programme in its new Multiannual Work Programme (MAWP) running from 2018 to 2020.

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Keep that noise down

LIFE GiocondaPhoto: LIFE GIOCONDA

19 February 2018 This month, school students from Terni, in Italy, are teaming up with academics and local officials to tackle environmental threats in everyday surroundings. Their collaboration notably addresses health risks arising from air pollution and ambient noise.

As part of the LIFE-funded project Gioconda, 170 pupils met with researchers from Italy's National Research Council (CNR), and representatives from Umbria's Regional Environmental Protection Agency, their local health agency and the municipality.

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Benicàssim recycles spare tiles into climate-resilient drain

LIFE CERSUDS Drainage material from recycled tiles
Photo: LIFE CERSUDS

9 February 2018 The municipality of Benicàssim, on the eastern coast of Spain, is pioneering a sustainable urban drainage system to evacuate torrential rain water from its town centre. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency with which heavy rainfall floods the streets of Mediterranean towns.

As part of the LIFE CERSUDS project, the project consortium has been working on a new kind of drainage system that allows water to seep through the ground, rather than build up on the tarmac.

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Member States to benefit from €98.2 million in investments to improve citizens' quality of life

LIFE LOGO

8 February 2018 The European Commission has approved an investment package of €98.2 million to support Europe's transition to a low-carbon, circular economy under the new LIFE funding programme for the Environment and Climate Action.

Today's investment package will contribute towards improving the quality of life for European citizens in five areas: Nature, Water, Air, Waste and Climate Action. The investment covers 10 projects in Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Spain and Sweden.

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More money for nature and biodiversity

LIFE LOGO

7 February 2018 The EU has increased LIFE funding dedicated to nature conservation and biodiversity by 10%. New EU rules adopted on 16 November 2017 specify that at least 60.5% of the budget allocated to LIFE’s sub-programme for environment will now go towards protecting Europe’s natural capital.

The increase was implemented through a Delegated Regulation, which was consulted with the Members States and then successfully passed the scrutiny of the European Parliament and the Council. It was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 18 January 2018.

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Towards standard CO2 accounting for sustainable forest management

Photo: LIFE FOREST CO2Lidar image: LIFE FOREST CO2

5 February 2018 The European Parliament promoted action on climate change mitigation by inviting experts from across Europe to discuss the challenges and opportunities of sustainable forest management with Members of the European Parliament.

The meeting was hosted by representatives from the Spanish region of Murcia, which is carrying out a LIFE project on techniques that could help forests mitigate climate change.

The main challenge addressed by the LIFE FOREST CO2 project is to formulate a common methodology to keep track of greenhouse gas emissions and removals in Europe's farms and forests.

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Textile treatments stop microplastics released in the wash

Photo: LIFE MERMAIDS Photo: LIFE MERMAIDS

1 February 2018 The LIFE MERMAIDS project has found a natural polymer that fixes synthetic fibres in place, reducing by up to 80% the number of microplastics released when washing clothes.

According to research conducted by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and the LEITAT technological centre in Spain, a typical 5 kilogramme load of polyester clothing can release millions of microfibres.

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LIFE summit spells out socioeconomic dividends of Natura 2000

LIFE living Natura 2000

31January 2018 Hundreds gathered this week at the first Natura 2000 summit in Munich, Germany, to discuss the social benefits of nature conservation.

The summit, organised by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection and the LIFE living Natura 2000 project, focused on the merits of the Natura 2000 network for Europe’s natural heritage and its society.  

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Drone monitors moorland recovery

Photo: MoorLIFE 2020Image: MoorLIFE 2020

26 January 2018 A state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is helping the MoorLIFE 2020 project track improvements from conservation work across the vast open moorlands of the Peak District and South Pennines in the UK.
The Moors for the Future Partnership conducted the first flight of the innovative UAV towards the end of last year, providing a bird’s eye view of the moors. The craft carries specialist earth observation equipment on-board, including cameras that capture thermal images.

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EU strategy deals with plastic waste

Photo: Plastic ZEROImage: Plastic ZERO

24 January 2018 The European Commission has released its new Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. The strategy builds on prior EU efforts to deal with plastic waste in the environment. It notably states that, by 2030, all plastic packaging in the EU must be reusable or easily recyclable.

At present, the EU sends almost a third of the plastic that it uses straight to landfills and another 40% to incineration. This is damaging the environment and wastes costly resources.

“Some 95% of the value of plastic packaging worth up to €105 billion is lost to the economy every year,” said European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella. “And we still only recycle 30% of our plastic waste in Europe.”

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Mongolian tradition could conserve Hungarian steppe

Photo: Steppe lake grazing Photo: Steppe lake grazing

19 January 2018 A survey of Mongolia’s sprawling grasslands has convinced Hortobágy National Park to overhaul conservation strategies in the Hungarian steppe. The report outlines how nomadic traditions could help conserve a unique European ecosystem.

Traditionally, livestock reared in the Pannonian Steppe between Austria and Romania has fed on dry grass and shrubs. Marshy vegetation also grows between the shores of the steppe’s shallow lakes, but herders save this food for when the lake beds dry out. Lessons from Mongolia are questioning this logic.

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EU birdwatchers offer bird's-eye view

Image rights: Euro Bird PortalYearly crane migration patterns
in Europe's common crane
(Grus grus) population.
Image rights: Euro Bird Portal

18 January 2018 Ornithology institutes across Europe have brought online the largest citizen science dataset ever produced on biodiversity in the EU.

The LIFE-funded Euro Bird Portal has uploaded over 40 million of bird observations and translated them into animated maps. More than 100 000 amateur birdwatchers have contributed to the dataset. Combined with nationally-funded observation campaigns, the records are helping scientists re-evaluate the conservation status of 105 avian species, notably tracking changes in their behaviour linked to climate change.

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LIFE project's investigation leads to landmark wildlife crime case

Photo: Life Under Griffon WingsPhoto: Life Under Griffon Wings

10 January 2018 The anti-poison dog unit created by the Life Under Griffon Wings project has collected vital evidence for a court case in Sardinia (Italy).

The case involves a farmer who spread poisoned baits around his livestock pastures to kill predators, such as foxes and martens. However, instead, the victims were domestic dogs and cats, ravens, and a wild boar. If left in the field, the carcasses of poisoned animals remain a threat to other creatures in the food chain, including scavenging vultures.

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Thermal census scouts out agricultural pests in laser fence project

Photo: LIFE Laser Fence Photo: LIFE Laser Fence

09 January 2018 LIFE Laser Fence is investigating whether an innovative laser technology called Agrilaser can deter agricultural pests.

The project team has completed the first trial of a prototype that emits an unsettling array of laser beams. They are now testing how effectively this so-called laser fence keeps rabbits and other hungry mammals out of fields and orchards.

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Award-winning urban green infrastructure plan

Green Infrastructure for Zaragoza Master Plan

21 December 2017LIFE ZARAGOZA NATURAL has won an award at the 2nd European Urban Green Infrastructure Conference (EUGIC) for its Green Infrastructure for Zaragoza Master Plan.
The City Council of Zaragoza, the project beneficiary, picked up one of the three EUGIC 2017 Awards given at the conference in Budapest on 29-30 November 2017. These were awarded to the poster presentations that the EUGIC 2017 Jury considered the most innovative, interesting and creative Urban Green projects.

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Flashback 2017

Fireworks

20 December 2017Both harsh and hopeful headlines made environmental news in 2017. Through a year racked by forest fires and hurricanes, the LIFE-programme has continued to support green citizen-led initiatives, clean-tech start-ups, and broader participation in global climate talks.

The LIFE programme has now been at the frontline of EU efforts to preserve its natural heritage for 25 years. To celebrate the programme's silver jubilee, eco-enthusiasts from across the continent have organised over 200 events.

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European Solidarity Corps volunteers deployed via LIFE projects to help save nature

European Solidarity Corps

19 December 2017The European Solidarity Corps celebrated its first birthday on 7 December. Over the past 12 months, more than 40 000 young people from all countries in the EU have signed up to the initiative. The European Commission has launched a first call for LIFE-funded projects to deploy these volunteers in efforts to conserve Natura 2000 sites.

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How pine trees help keep the North Pole cool

Photo:FoResMitPhoto: FoResMit

14 December 2017A new study shows how selectively thinning trees can restore degraded pine forests and help contain the onset of climate change. Researchers also claim that the innovative silvicultural treatment makes forests nicer to visit and more valuable to their communities.

 

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Finns welcome Rudolph's wild cousin home

Photo:WildForestReindeerLIFEPhoto: Mikko Rautiainen

13 December 2017The wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) is making a comeback in the EU. Once common in the snowy forests of north-eastern Europe and bordering Russia, the subspecies went extinct in Finland in the early 20th century. The project WildForestReindeerLIFE is now helping Finland recover its endemic species, placing this recent addition to Christmas folklore back in the countryside it came from.

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Unfit for waste

Photo:PixabayPhoto: Pixabay

12 December 2017 A recent report by the LIFE-funded European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) project says that the EU purchased over 6 million tonnes of clothing in 2015 alone. Most of those items will end up in landfills in less than five years, but their impact on the environment will last longer.

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Moving mountains for their wildlife

Photo: LIFE Econnect Photo: LIFE Econnect

11 December 2017There are now more grey partridges in the mountains around Alto Campoo, in northern Spain, compared to their numbers in 2014. This is one positive signal that the LIFE Econnect project in the area is having its intended effects of revitalising local wildlife and restoring some of the damage inflicted by ski-based tourism.

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LIFE project raises legal shield to protect Egyptian vultures

The Return of the Neophron Photo: Return of the Neophron

05 December 2017Return of the Neophron has delivered a key measure for securing the survival of globally-endangered Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in Greece.

The LIFE project produced a National Species Action Plan (SAP) for Egyptian vulture, which was recently endorsed by the Greek Deputy Ministers of Finance, and Environment and Energy. On 25 October 2017, the SAP was published in the Official State Gazette.

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Metal-munching plants mine nickel out of soil

Photo:Agromine Photo:Agromine

02 December 2017 A rose-coloured liquid extracted from a common yellow plant is helping the green economy flourish in an old Spanish mining site and naturally nickel-rich soils in Albania. It is also boosting the circular economy there and across Europe.

The flower, Alyssum murale, absorbs nickel and removes pollution from the soil. Land that has for years been unsafe for people to venture onto, and perilous to grow food on, is being regained.

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Results of the LIFE mid-term evaluation

LIFE logo

01 December 2017 The LIFE programme is on track to be effective, efficient, relevant and complementary and to provide EU added value. Those are the main findings of the mid-term evaluation of the only EU programme exclusively dedicated to the environment, nature conservation and climate action.

The European Commission's mid-term evaluation of the LIFE programme for the 2014-2020 funding period explored whether the LIFE programme continues to be relevant in tackling the issues it seeks to address.

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