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LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3708 projects, contributing approximately €2.8 billion to the protection of the environment. Read more >>
28 May 2013The Guidelines for Applicants Part 2 (application forms) has been updated for the application packages related to Environment Policy & Governance and to Information & Communication.
This update concerns the instructions regarding the use of eProposal, nothing else is changed. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Please go the funding pages to download the updated application packages
17 June 2013The LIFE+ Information and Communication project RESTORE (LIFE09 INF/UK/000032) has published a new guide to river restoration called Rivers by Design. The guide is aimed at planners, developers, architects and landscape architects and seeks to show them how to maximise the benefits of river restoration in development projects.
The guide explains the context and need for river restoration, illustrating how well-planned river restoration can increase ecological quality, reduce flood risk and create social and economic benefits. It explains to the target audience the crucial role they can play in delivering such projects to meet the needs of people and the environment.
14 June 2013The latest LIFE Focus publication highlights the relevance of LIFE Environment project actions in helping to create durable jobs and develop green skills across the EU. As its title suggests, LIFE creating green jobs and skills provides a host of practical examples of project actions that provide a blueprint for the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient economy, as well as illustrating the added social and economic value of the LIFE programme, the EU's financial instrument for the environment.
The publication highlights the policy agenda and challenges involved in greening the EU job market, and analyses the lessons that can be learned from more than 20 years of LIFE. The focus is on the main projects that have had an impact on durable job creation and green skills development, with 23 case studies from 11 Member States, divided into six thematic areas: waste; capacity building; business and industry; packaging; energy production and agriculture.
13 June 2013The introduction of anti-poisoning dog units on the Italian territory by the LIFE Nature project ANTIDOTO (LIFE07 NAT/IT/000436) is giving excellent results.
The project, coordinated by the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, is centred on an innovative methodology for preventing poisoning incidents: the use of small dog units able to detect poisoned food. Three anti-poisoning dog units, two in Italy and one in Aragona (Spain), were set-up with the help of the project partner from Andalusia, which had established similar units in 2004 and has good experience in this field.
The new dog units are regularly performing field inspections, as well as inspections upon request.
12 June 2013The best LIFE Environment and Nature projects of 2012 were honoured at an award ceremony during Green Week in Brussels last week. The future of LIFE was also addressed by Jutta Haug, MEP, who is leading the negotiations for the next LIFE programme period of 2014-2020.
An award ceremony on 5 June celebrated some of the best LIFE Environment and Nature projects of 2012. The awards, taking place for the ninth year, were presented by Jutta Haug, MEP and rapporteur for the new LIFE Regulation, and Hemmo Muntingh, retired MEP, who was described as the father of LIFE, having initiated the programme back in 1992.
Mr Muntingh regaled the audience with how the LIFE programme came into being and his role in the process, whilst Ms Haug focused on its future, saying she was glad to see in the award ceremony such “excellent and encouraging examples of an exceptionally successful EU programme”.
10 June 2013A LIFE project in Poland has found an unusual way of highlighting its nature conservation work: a CD of soundscapes recorded in Natura 2000 sites. Entitled Grassland Recordings, the disc has been compiled by Klub Przyrodników (“The Naturalists’ Club), the coordinating beneficiary of the XericGrasslandsPL project (LIFE08 NAT/PL/000513) and is available for free from the NGO’s head office in Świebodzin.
The CD contains a selection of sounds typical of Polish xerothermic grasslands, from grazing sheep to crickets to birdsongs, and is designed to appeal to everyone from grassland lovers to people who just want to relax on a winter’s evening.
07 June 2013The Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas (“Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests” ICNF), Portuguese partner in the Spanish-led LIFE+ ‘Iberlince’ project (LIFE10 NAT/ES/000570) has confirmed in a press release (Portuguese only) ) the sighting of an Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Vila Nova de Milfontes, in western Portugal. It is the first confirmed Iberian lynx sighting in Portugal for three years and is a hugely positive sign in the attempts to restore population numbers of the species, which is the most endangered feline in the world.
A movement-activated camera placed by the local hunting association to carry out wild boar surveying in the area of Milfontes first took a photo of a lynx in early May; however, it was not possible to identify the animal. Subsequently, a team from the ICNF increased surveillance of the area with support from the LIFE+ project partners in Andalusia. The lynx was photographed again in broad daylight on 26th May, allowing his identification as Hongo, a male born in Aznalcázar, Spain in 2011. He had last been seen in October 2012 more than 300 km away in Doñana National Park, Andalusia.
05 June 2013The CREAMAgua project (LIFE09 ENV/ES/000431) held a celebratory event on April 26 to mark the end of its interventions to create and restore wetlands and riparian habitats of the Flumen river in Los Monegros, Spain. Its successful activities covered 509 ha of public land, which included the creation or restoration of 16 wetland areas and 70 ha of riparian habitat.
The President of the project beneficiary - the local authority of Los Monegros - Ildefonso Salillas was proud that the project “had turned Los Monegros into an international reference for the conservation of wetland zones.” This had been achieved through “the triple objective of improving the water quality in the Flumen river, increasing biodiversity and demonstrating how local authorities can develop strategies to protect their local environment.”
03 June 2013 A session at this year's Green Week in Brussels will be dedicated to highlighting “The contribution of the LIFE programme to air quality in the EU: past, present and future”.
Taking place at The Egg conference centre (Rue Bara) from 14:30 to 16:00 on Wednesday 5 June, the session will be moderated by Alexis Tsalas of the LIFE – Environment & Eco-innovation Unit, with presentations by Dr Georgia Valaoras, Regional Coordinator for South-East Europe, Astrale GEIE and Stijn Janssen, Environmental Modelling, VITO NV.
30 May 2013How can sustainable diets become the norm in Europe? The ‘LiveWell for LIFE’ project (LIFE10 ENV/UK/000173) has published a new report that addresses this question.
The report, ‘Adopting sustainable diets: opportunities and barriers’, which was developed with the Network of European Food Stakeholders, attempts to establish common ground for adopting sustainable diets in different European socio-economic contexts. To do this, it adopted the ‘triangle of change’ approach that emphasises the coordinated effort of people, businesses and government is necessary for achieving a more sustainable society. This approach recognises that all have a role to play, depending on what each is best able and best placed to deliver.
29 May 2013 An incubating pair of Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) can now be watched online thanks to a special camera introduced to their nest by the LIFE+ project Return of the Neophron (LIFE10 NAT/BG/000152).
This is the only camera in the world in a wild nest of a globally threatened species. What is more, the incubating eggs are expected to hatch in early June, offering a wonderful experience for bird and nature lovers everywhere!
The camera was installed in a wild nest in northern Bulgaria by the LIFE+ project beneficiary, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds. It enables live online monitoring from one of the few areas where Egyptian vultures still nest in Europe.
27 May 2013We are very pleased to announce that LIFE Focus publications are now available in flipbook format for viewing online on PCs, laptops, tablet devices and even smartphones.
Head to the publications pages to enjoy the three most recent LIFE Focus publications in flipbook format – wherever you are. And look out soon for the latest themes to be covered in the LIFE programme's journal - coexistence with large carnivores (Nature) and the impact of LIFE on job creation and the development of green skills (Environment).
24 May 2013 The ‘Ecoedición’ project (LIFE08 ENV/E/000124) has launched a ‘badbook’ campaign that aims to make readers, booksellers and publishers aware of the environmental impacts of publishing.
The campaign consists of six short films on separate aspects of the publishing process: choice of raw materials, design, energy consumption in the production phase, packaging and distribution. It will promote ways of reducing the environmental damage caused at each turn in the lifecycle of a book or printed publication.
21 May 2013Today, 21 May 2013, marks the very first Natura 2000 day. An initiative of the LIFE+ Information & Communication project, 'Conéctate a la Red Natura - Natura 2000: connecting people with biodiversity' (LIFE11 INF/ES/000665), the goal of what project beneficiary SEO / BirdLife hopes will become an annual Europe-wide celebration, is to promote the natural heritage of Spain represented by the network of Natura 2000 sites. The aim is to raise awareness of the issues concerning the preservation of these areas through the media and social networks as part of an overall LIFE project goal of improving awareness of the Natura 2000 network in Spain and contribute to the appreciation of its maintenance.
To this end, the beneficiary has invited all Europeans to take a picture of their hands in the shape of a butterfly and upload it to the project website or social media platforms as a sign of their commitment to the Natura 2000 network.
13 May 2013A black vulture (Aegypius monachus) has been spotted in the Eastern Balkan Mountains for the first time for more than 30 years. A photo-trap set up at the vulture supplementary feeding site in the area of the Sinite Kamani Nature Park captured a young black vulture in April, together with a group of foraging griffons. The pictured bird was released as part of the LIFE project, 'Vultures Return in Bulgaria' (LIFE08 NAT/BG/278).
The vulture probably originated from Serbia and was recorded along with several wild, non-tagged young and sub-adult griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus).
30 April 2013MME Birdlife Hungary, the beneficiary of the ongoing LIFE Nature ‘HELICON’ project (LIFE10 NAT/HU/000019), took part in an event in Hungary in February that revealed the scale of the problem of illegal raptor deaths in the country.
More than 100 professionals from Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and the UK attended the annual meeting of the Raptor Committee of Birdlife Hungary, which followed the 8th Hungarian Conservation-Biology Meeting (co-organised by MME with the Hungarian Biological Society, Bükk National Park Directorate and the European section of the Society for Conservation Biology).
24 April 2013 'SAMBAH' (Static Acoustic Monitoring of the Baltic Sea Harbour Porpoise – LIFE08 NAT/S/000261) is a five-year LIFE Nature project that targets the conservation of the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) within the Baltic Sea region.
Led by Kolmardens Djurpark (Kolmarden Wildlife Park) in Sweden, this international project has revealed initial results from two years of monitoring using 300 passive acoustic porpoise click loggers (CPODs) at a meeting with marine stakeholders and sea-management authorities from the countries around the Baltic that was held in Gothenburg on 15 April.
22 April 2013The European Commission's LIFE Nature Unit will be holding a platform meeting (thematic seminar) on nature conservation and agriculture in wet alluvial grasslands at the Éthic étapes Lac de Maine in Angers, France on 16-17 May, 2013.
The general objective of the event, which will be hosted by Ligue de la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO), is to exchange experience around the combination of nature conservation and farming practices. This will include discussion of such issues as: how to involve local farmers in nature conservation; greening the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); management agreements with farmers on purchased land; and ensuring compatibility between pasture and the needs of ground-nesting birds.
19 April 2013The Natura 2000 newsletter was launched in 1996 and is now in its 33rd edition. To ensure that it continues to meet expectations, DG Environment has commissioned an online reader survey, which will remain open end of June 2013.
To have your say on the future of the newsletter - how useful is it to you, what would you like to see more or less of, do you prefer to read it on paper or online? – please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N2000newslettersurveyRead more >>
18 April 2013A popular Bulgarian TV comedy show recently broadcast an episode where the main characters discuss the benefits of eating Griffon vulture eggs for potency, while scheming to steal the eggs of the rare birds! Although meant to be amusing, the episode was viewed with alarm by the team coordinating the LIFE ‘Vultures Return’ project (LIFE08 NAT/BG/000278), which is working to recover the populations of endangered vulture species in the country.
The LIFE team reacted immediately, disseminating a witty press-release challenging the show’s script-writers and warning viewers of the potential threat to human health of consuming vulture eggs.
17 April 2013Connie Hedegaard, Climate Commissioner, paid tribute to the Danish LIFE project, ‘Carbon 20’ (LIFE09 ENV/DK/000366), at the recent ‘Allerødmessen’ climate fair. Two of the companies engaged in the project have been recognised for their efforts to reduce their CO2 emissions.
Projects such as ‘Carbon 20’ are central to efforts to reduce our climate impact, according to the Commissioner.
“This is what it is about. I can try to make laws in the EU to change things, but these laws are not worth anything if they do not lead to changes. Therefore it is wonderful to see that there are people making actual changes through the Carbon 20 project,” she said.
The awards event on 22 February was part of the on-going LIFE project’s campaign to encourage at least 100 companies to reduce their CO2 emissions by 20%.
16 April 2013The Greek LIFE+ Environment wastewater treatment project SOL-BRINE (LIFE09 ENV/GR/000299) is holding its final conference from 19 to 21 September, on the island of Tinos, located in the Cyclades archipelago.
The international conference, 'Water Is Necessary for Life - WIN4Life' is open to all interested parties, providing participants with the opportunity to exchange views and ideas about water management, advanced wastewater treatment processes and sustainable brine management practices.
The event will include oral and poster presentation sessions. Authors wishing to submit a paper should send an abstract to the Scientific Secretariat, Dr. K. Moustakas (email@example.com) by 15 May 2013.
05 April 2013Over 80 participants gathered in Brasov, Romania recently to learn more about developing communication skills to increase management capacity and support for Natura 2000 sites in the country. The event, “Efficient managers for Efficient Natura 2000 Network” was organised in the framework of the ongoing LIFE+ Information & Communication project, EME Natura 2000 (LIFE11 INF/RO/000819).
The seminar, held on 4-5 March 2013, was organised by the project beneficiary, ProPark – the national foundation for protected areas, together with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Europarc federation and the Brasov agency for sustainable development.
05 April 2013 The winners of the 2012 ‘Best of the Best’ and ‘Best’ LIFE Nature and LIFE Environment projects have been selected and will be presented at a combined awards ceremony to be held during Green Week in Brussels, the theme of which is Air Quality.
The winning projects will be acknowledged at a special event on 5 June from 6.30-9.30 pm in The Egg Conference Centre, rue Bara 173-177, B-1070 Brussels. Winning projects who wish attend the ceremony must register for Green Week and also contact Paula.Lopez-Paredes@ec.europa.eu for further information.
03 April 2013The LIFE Environment project, ‘ETA-BETA’ (LIFE09 ENV/IT/000105) has announced its final results.
Since September 2010, the project has been promoting the development of Eco-managed Industrial and Business Estates (EIBEs) and ecologically equipped productive areas (EEPAs) as local governance and policy tools for implementing the EU’s Environmental Technology Action Plan
The ETA-BETA approach offers an organisational model for the management of EIBEs, which consists of a set of operational instruments for area managers and for individual SMEs for implementing the European Commission’s Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP) at local level.
27 March 2013The ‘LIFE+Ecoedición’ project (LIFE08 ENV/E/000124) has launched a Green Publishing Membership Campaign. The aim of this campaign is to provide technical support, training and specialised consulting services to help public bodies and private companies with the practical application of green publishing criteria using the project’s “Sustainability Assessment of Publications” software. This offers a simplified approach designed to enable participants to produce greener publications without costly, time consuming investment.
During the campaign participants will learn how they can achieve a good position within the European market and how to anticipate environmental requirements in public contracts and tenders. They will also make new contacts and learn from others. The project will promote participants’ achievements and show their commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption and purchasing.
26 March 2013On 13 March, the LIFE Nature ‘Salt of Life’ project (LIFE11 NAT/BG/000362) began scheduled bypass channel cleaning in Atanasovsko Lake, Bulgaria. During the six-year long project the entire length of the channel will be cleaned using a new dragline excavator, which was purchased partially with funds from the EU’s LIFE Programme.
The work on the bypass channel is a key action of a project whose main aim is to establish a functional, efficient and sustainable infrastructure for water management and the control of the coastal lagoon in Atanasovsko Lake. This will create long-term improvements to habitat conditions and enable adaptation to the effects of climate change. The project partners are the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (beneficiary), the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and Black Sea Salinas Ltd.
21 March 2013The Polish ‘AQC Plan’ project (LIFE08 NAT/PL/000511) has taken part in an international seminar on the conservation of the greater spotted eagle (Aquila clanga) and other birds of prey in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica. The event, which took place on 12 March, was organised by the National Parks of Montenegro and gave the project beneficiaries Polish Birds, Eagle Conservation Committee and Biebrza National Park the opportunity not only to talk about its LIFE co-funded work in the Biebrza Valley, but also to promote the importance of eagle conservation to wider Montenegrin society. The importance of the latter is indicated by the shooting in December 2012, of Bruzda, a male greater spotted eagle that was being tracked by radio transmitter by the project team as it flew south on its winter migration route. Bruzda died after being shot within the bounds of Skadar Lake National Park in Montenegro, an incident that has aroused much controversy and media attention.
13 March 2013“Crafted by time”, by Vangelis Efthymiou, is a documentary about the Prespa Lakes that will be shown at the15th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival – Images of the 21st Century this month. The film was produced as part of the LIFE Information and Communication project “PROM.SUS.FIS.PR.PRESPA” (LIFE09 INF/GR/000319) , which aims to inform the public and raise awareness about issues connected with the rare fish species and fisheries of Prespa.
The film takes a look at the magical world of the Prespa Lakes. Its protagonists are the 23 unique fish species found in Prespa. These fish are highly important to the area’s natural wealth and one of the main reasons why Prespa is considered to be one of the ten most important wetlands in the Mediterranean. The film also talks to local fishermen about their traditional customs and practices, old stories about the lake and the problems they face today.
12 March 2013From 1 February to 31 May both amateur and professional nature photographers are invited to take part in the photo competition “Oroklini Lake all through the year”. The competition aims to promote the Oroklini wetland in Cyprus and its importance for biodiversity. The photographer of the best picture will be awarded 1 000 euros prize money. Later in the year an exhibition and an album containing selected photos from the competition will be created.
The competition has been organised by the Voroklini Community Council as part of the LIFE ‘OROKLINI’ project (LIFE10 NAT/CY/000716), which began in 2012.
08 March 2013The first results of the LIFE project AgriClimateChange (LIFE09 ENV/ES/000441) have shown how agriculture can reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by nearly half in some cases. This important project is not just showing farmers what can be done to respond to climate change, but adding new information to political debate around reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
The AgriClimateChange project – through partners in Spain, France, Italy and Germany – has developed and tested a tool to assess the energy consumption, GHG emissions and carbon storage potential of farm plots using up to 60 parameters.
21 February 2013The regional government of Andalusia has honoured the LIFE 'Agricarbon' project – 'Sustainable Agriculture in Carbon Arithmetics' (LIFE08 ENV/E/000129) with its Environment Award for 2012. The award recognises the project's great contribution to the fight against climate change.
The 'Agricarbon' project is encouraging the establishment of sustainable agricultural techniques, such as conservation agriculture and precision farming, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector.
20 February 2013The final workshop organised by the LIFE project GREENLYSIS (LIFE08 ENV/E/000118), which was recently held at the Cetaqua Water Technology Centre in Cornellà de Llobregat, Barcelona, attracted more than 40 people.
The workshop was an opportunity for the project team leaders to present the results of the project and share their experience of reducing the environmental impact of a wastewater treatment plant.
The GREENLYSIS project aimed to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysis powered by renewable energies. It demonstrated that the released oxygen can be pressurised and used to purify the waste stream, while the hydrogen can be collected and used to power the treatment plant.
19 February 2013 The seventh LIFE+ call for proposals was published on 19 February, 2013, with up to €278 million available for co-financing of projects under three headings: Nature and Biodiversity (NAT); Environment Policy and Governance (ENV); andS Information and Communication (INF).
Project proposals should be submitted to the relevant national authority using the eProposal tool no later than 16:00 hours (Brussels time) on 25 June, 2013. Member States will forward proposals to the European Commission by 5 July, 2013. The earliest possible starting date for 2013 projects is 1 June, 2014.
Please note that applicants may only use the eProposal tool to create and submit proposal(s) under the 2013 LIFE+ Call for Proposals.
14 February 2013In January 2013, Italy’s Ministers of the Environment, Agriculture and Economic Development signed a decree forbidding the trading, raising and keeping of the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), an invasive alien species introduced to the country some 60 years ago.
This inter-ministerial decree is one of the first important results of ‘EC-SQUARE’ (LIFE09 NAT/IT/000095), a LIFE Nature project targeting the conservation of Europe’s only native tree squirrel, the red squirrel (Scirius vulgaris) in parts of northern Italy.
The red squirrel populations of Piedmont, Lombardy and LIguria are in decline as a consequence of the presence of the larger American grey squirrel, which outcompetes them for food.
28 JanuaryA LIFE Information & Communication project has outlined the initial results of its efforts to promote recycling among the French public. The ‘Collect +’ initiative (LIFE11 INF/FR/000730) presented the results of its first phase of actions during a telephone seminar on 23 January that was organised by the project partners.
Led by the Casino Group retail chain, ‘Collect +’ instigated a publicity drive last November to encourage supermarket shoppers to sort and recycle household waste items. New collection facilities were installed in-store, backed by a major publicity campaign to raise public awareness and training for staff to enable them to support the project.
21 JanuaryEurope’s Natura 2000 network of protected sites provides benefits estimated to be worth as much as €300 billion each year. Spain hosts many of the EU’s biodiversity hotspots and a new LIFE Information & Communication project - Conéctate a la Red Natura’ (LIFE11 INF/ES/000665) - is proactively promoting the value of the Natura 2000 network in Spain. The goal of this ambitious project is to help everyone in Spain to better understand, appreciate, enjoy and ultimately support the Natura 2000 network.
The project was launched earlier this month (January 2013) by high profile figures including Mr Arias Cañete, Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The initiative, which will receive €1.075 million of co-funding from LIFE, out of a total budget of €2.15 million, has a busy programme of awareness-raising activities running until March 2017.
18 January 2013 The monthly LIFE+ newsletter ‘LIFEnews’ carried feature articles on a range of important and emerging topics of European environmental and nature interest. Here we look at which subjects captured the most interest of our readers last year. We present the five most-read feature articles of 2012!
In fifth place is the March 2012 article detailing LIFE’s efforts at the forefront of expanding the Natura 2000 network into the marine environment. LIFE projects have been increasing understanding of marine ecosystems and often making surprising discoveries. LIFE improves Natura knowhow for managing marine ecosystems
The fourth most-read article is also from the March 2012 newsletter on marine environments. This feature explains how LIFE is contributing to the development of Integrated Coastal Zone Management, which is recommended policy at European level. LIFE supports integrated management approaches for Europe’s coastal zones
21 December 2012Over 80 participants attended the final conference of the LIFE Environment project, ‘COSMOS’ (LIFE08 ENV/IT/000434), which took place in Brescia (Italy) 14 December 2012. The conference provided an opportunity to present the results of the project to both a technical audience and the general public, including physical demonstrations of prototype products developed by project partners.
The aim of the project was to demonstrate the industrial applicability of a technological process for the inertisation of fly ash, using a silica colloidal medium, developed at the University of Brescia (Italy). The project's industrial partners constructed a prototype system to produce suitable amounts of the resulting COSMOS filler, and to demonstrate its potential for commercial use, a number of demonstration products were developed. These included a project to manufacture designer jewellery, which was first showcased at the Student Yachting World Cup in La Rochelle (France) in 2010.
20 December 2012The LIFE Environment ‘CARBONTOUR’ project (LIFE09 ENV/GR/000297) held its final conference in Athens 10 December, 2012 on the promotion of sustainability and energy efficiency in the tourism sector.
The conference at the Divani Caravel Hotel brought together hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents, scientists, engineers and professionals from the private sector, government departments, municipalities, research bodies and educational institutions to exchange new ideas, techniques and experiences in all areas of sustainable tourism.
11 December 2012The Fédération des Entreprises de Propreté et Services Associés (FEP), the beneficiary of the French LIFE project, ‘CISDP - Cleaning Industry Sustainable Development Programme’ (LIFE08 ENV/F/000481), has won first prize in the category of ‘Management and Initiatives for Sustainable Development’ at the Prix Entreprises et Environnement.
FEP, the French Federation of Cleaning Industries, won the award for its project to reduce water consumption, pollution and waste, as well as to improve the recycling of waste. The award, which was established in 1987, is organised by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE) with the support of ADEME's OREE, Credit Cooperative, Les Echos and Environment Magazine. It rewards companies or group of companies with a record of outstanding achievements in the fields of environment and sustainable development.
10 December 2012The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) has enjoyed its biggest ever year. The week, which was first launched in 2009 by the LIFE project ‘EWWR’ (LIFE07 INF/F/000185), saw 10 793 separate actions organised across 25 European and two non-European countries, 17-25 November 2012. To find details of activities in your area, visit the EWWR Database.
The LIFE project launched the EWWR to promote reductions in the amount of municipal waste in Europe through awareness-raising and waste reduction activities with local populations, authorities, schools and businesses. The number of actions organised each year keeps increasing. There was more than four times the number of activities in 2012 than during the first EWWR and 2012 saw half as many actions again as 2011.
07 December 2012 The French LIFE project 'R-URBAN' (LIFE10 ENV/FR/000215) has won the Zumtobel Foundation Award, – category ‘Research & Initiative’.
This prize, which is awarded every two years, recognises sustainable initiatives in the fields of architecture and engineering that are making a valuable contribution to citizens’ quality of life.
The LIFE project is demonstrating that networks of active citizens and associations can initiate locally closed ecological cycles that will support the emergence of alternative models of living, production and consumption between the urban and the rural areas.
05 December 2012European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik has paid a visit to the Parque Natural de la Abufera ("Albufera Nature Reserve") in Valencia, Spain. He was accompanied on the 06 November visit to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre of El Saler and Natura 2000 site "Tancat de la Pipa" by the Mayor of Valencia, Rita Barbera, and Spain's Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Miguel Arias.
Valencia is seeking EU support for its bid to have the Albufera Nature Reserve become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Commissioner indicated that he would be "willing to support any initiative to achieve greater protection, although that is a decision that depends on all Member States." He also highlighted the fact that the reserve is already protected by Europe as part of the Natura 2000 network. He encouraged Valencia to propose more LIFE projects under the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020.
21 November 2012 A photo of jewellery that was produced from recycled waste by the LIFE project ‘COSMOS’ (LIFE08 ENV/IT/000434) has won first prize in the ‘Energy and Natural Resources’ category in a picture competition organised by the European Projects Association (EPA).
The photo finished second in the competition overall, receiving more than 500 votes and a ‘special mention’ from the organisers.
The EPA aims to improve participation in EU-funded projects by providing necessary information, networking, services and tools. In collaboration with the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Academy for Education and Social Research, it is holding an annual competition to highlight the role that European projects are playing in achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.
20 November 2012 A workshop was recently held in Brussels to discuss how LIFE is establishing 'prioritised action frameworks' (PAFs)– frameworks that set out the priorities for nature conservation for Member States, identify required management measures and outline necessary actions for the next funding period, 2014-2020. The kick-off workshop focused on common issues for all PAFs, opportunities for the exchange of knowledge among them and common reporting requirements.
The process of defining PAFs was initiated in 2011 when the LIFE Nature-Unit opened a call for proposals. Eight were selected in the first round of funding.
16 November 2012 The PRO KLIMA (LIFE09 INF/DE/000012) LIFE project focusing on mobile air-conditioning systems (MAC systems) recently created an animated short film, ‘Cool down but be smart’.
The film addresses the environmental problems related to the additional consumption of fuel due to the use of the MAC system, and offers drivers recommendations on how and when they should use their MAC system. Available in German and English, the film also warns of the negative environmental impact of the refrigerant R134a.
13 November 2012 The small town of Rivignano in northeast Italy has been awarded the ‘Albanella d’Oro’ (Golden Circus) by the regional divison of WWF for the its implementation of a forested wetland recovery LIFE project, ‘S.T.A.R. – Stella Alnus Recovery’ (LIFE07 NAT/IT/000498).
The award is given to public bodies, associations, private firms and citizens who carry out effective initiatives that safeguard biodiversity and the environment. The municipality of Rivignano was the beneficiary of a project that aimed to conserve the priority habitat 91E0: Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae). The project has targeted more than 30 hectares of wet woodlands along the river Stella in the heart of an area threatened by intensive agricultural exploitation.
05 November 2012 Research conducted as part of a LIFE project has recently proved that the endangered weatherfish (Misgurnus fossilis) is not extinct in Denmark. In recent decades, populations of the fish species have declined sharply and only one now remains in the moor area of Sølsted Mose. The fish, however, hadn’t been reported since 2008 and was feared extinct.
Nevertheless, the LIFE project to restore the raised bog in Sølsted Mose (LIFE10 NAT/DK/000099) needed to take into consideration the possible presence of the weatherfish and the beneficiary, the municipality of Tønder, initiated a survey of the moor area.