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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


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.


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.


Timber rooftops reduce construction sector emissions


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.


Vote now for the European Natura 2000 Citizens' Award

Natura 2000 Citizens' Award

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.


NCFF loans €15 million for green projects in Croatia

Photo: EIB Photo: EIB

19 March 2018 With support from the LIFE programme, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is investing €15 million in protecting Croatia’s biodiversity and fortifying the country against climate change.

The EIB has provided a loan to Croatia’s public development bank HBOR to conserve Croatian ecosystems and prepare communities for global warming through bankable investments in ecosystems. Projects to be financed include green infrastructure or payment for ecosystem services.


LIFE Calls for Proposals to be published in 2018


13 March 2018 Details are taking shape for the LIFE programme's 2018 Calls for Proposals. A provisional calendar for the call for proposals publication is now available online. Please note that schedules are currently indicative and that more information will be made public closer to the publication date for each call.

This year, calls under sub-programmes for Environment and Climate Action will cover action grants for "Traditional" projects, Integrated projects, Technical Assistance projects and Preparatory projects. An additional call for proposals will be published for operating grants to finance Specific Grant Agreements (SGAs) with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).


LIFE platform meeting on farms and forests confronts climate change in the Mediterranean

Photo: LIFE+ InBioWood Photo: LIFE AGRI ADAPT

8 March 2018 Representatives from LIFE projects are converging 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 will draw on additional expertise from EU policy makers, local authorities and stakeholders in the agro-forest sector to tackle the impacts of climate change in an area notoriously exposed to its effects.


Tree farms grow greener

Photo: LIFE+ InBioWood Photo: LIFE+ InBioWood

8 March 2018 New tree plantations could boost wood production while caring for nature and the climate. Following 20 years of planting mainly poplar monocultures in rural Italy, land owners in Verona are now testing an innovative way of growing mixed tree farms to boost their sustainability and harness valuable ecosystem services.  


Restored lake helps bring Denmark's largest bog back to life

Photo: LIFE Lille Vildmose Photo: LIFE Lille Vildmose

6 March 2018 Birds and visitors are flocking back to the largest raised bog in Denmark now that its once dry lake is refilling with water. The restored lake plays a vital role in this wetland habitat. Its shallow flooding is nursing Lille Vildmose back towards a healthier ecosystem.

In December last year, the LIFE project Lille Vildmose reached a milestone in its restoration work by plugging a centuries-old leak in Lake Birkesø, located in Lille Vildmose, Denmark. Conservationists blocked an agricultural canal that previously evacuated water out of the lake and into the sea.


Tackling illegal killing along migratory flyways

Photo: Return of the Neophron Photo: Return of the Neophron

1 March 2018 LIFE projects to conserve the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) are moving beyond its breeding grounds in the Balkans to take action along the whole migratory flyway of the species. This is also building local conservation capacity and leading to new knowledge and awareness of this highly-prized species.

Paschalis was a juvenile Egyptian vulture hatched in 2013 in Dadia, Greece and tagged with a satellite transmitter as part of the LIFE project The Return of the Neophron. He was the only one of 10 such juveniles to successfully migrate to wintering grounds in southern Niger.


Fine advice on air quality

Photo: Axel FriedrichPhoto: Axel Friedrich

27 February 2018 By mid-March, the EU will decide whether to fine nine of its members for breaching limits on air pollution. As it considers legal action, LIFE projects present potential solutions that could help countries clean up their act.

Meeting this month at the 21st European Forum on Eco-innovation in Sofia, Bulgaria, funding beneficiaries from nine LIFE projects exchanged advice on how to cut toxic emissions from the transport and the energy sector.


Green List your Natura 2000 site

Green List LOGO

26 February 2018 The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is inviting Natura 2000 site managers to field-test the Green List Sustainability Standard. This new standard will recognise areas that conserve nature, provide ecosystem services, and safeguard key social, economic, cultural and spiritual values. To make the cut, sites will also have to be equitably governed and effectively managed.


How LIFE projects contribute to a greener and innovative industry

EU Industry Day

22 February 2018 The second annual EU Industry Day on 22-23 February will bring hundreds of industry experts to Brussels for an update on the EU's strategy towards industrial competitiveness and manufacturing in Europe.

Speakers include no fewer than three European Commissioners, two European Commission Vice-Presidents, and the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani.


Keep that noise down


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.


Benicàssim recycles spare tiles into climate-resilient drain

LIFE CERSUDS Drainage material from recycled tiles

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.


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


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.


More money for nature and biodiversity


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.


Towards standard CO2 accounting for sustainable forest management


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.


Textile treatments stop microplastics released in the wash


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.


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.  


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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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