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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 >>

LIFE Integrated Projects unveil first results in Parliament

Photo: European ParliamentPhoto: EP 

20 October 2017 Scrubbing Central Europe’s air clean of soot and preparing Danish utilities for the consequences of climate change are just two examples of LIFE-funded projects showcased in Brussels last week. The European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety reviewed the first steps of six so-called Integrated Projects spearheading the programme. These overarching projects are pushing through cross-sectoral reforms to better protect nature, the environment and the climate. Their upstream work is helping implement EU policy, and streamline green-minded initiatives across the EU. Initial results show progress in tackling systemic challenges that smaller projects have lacked the critical mass to address in the past.

“Integrated Projects are able to implement environmental legislation on a wider scale,” said Nicola Caputo, MEP of the S & D Group. This increases the impact of the LIFE programme in more ways than one.


Conservationists reintroduce species to restore habitats

Photo: LIFE Photo: Belgian Nature Integrated Project Photo: Belgian Nature Integrated Project

17 October 2017 Conservationists are learning to restore habitats by reintroducing species that once lived in them. These human-moulded environments present challenges to populate, but some interventions are already showing results. At a two-day platform meeting on the “Reintroduction of species: a tool for the restoration of habitats” in Meise, Belgium, scientists and NGOs working on EU-funded restoration projects swapped tips on how to jump-start healthy ecosystems.

“Conservation has shifted its focus from keeping nature wild to keeping it alive,” said Dr. Joachim Mergeay from the Research Institute for Nature and Forest in Brussels, Belgium. He explains that in recent decades, efforts to minimise the intervention of humans on the environment have given way to a more proactive approach, in which scientists focus on boosting biodiversity instead, often by micromanaging natural habitats.


Preventing food waste starts early in Hungary


11 October 2017 Hungarian authorities have revealed that local households throw away twice as much food as previously estimated. The trend raises environmental concerns when extrapolated to other countries in the region. Far from returning to the ground it comes from, waste food pollutes Europe's air, rivers and soils. As part of the LIFE-funded FOODWASTEPREV project, teachers and officials are now chalking up lesson plans to keep tomorrow's food on our plates and out of our bins.

Until recently, international studies have focused on the refuse produced by a handful of particularly wasteful countries. Consumers in Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany notoriously throw away more than their own weight in edible food each year. Based on GDP per capita, experts have long assumed that Central and Eastern European countries such as Hungary squander much less food.


Conserving roamers not road kill


06 October 2017 Over 180 bears have been run over in Slovenia since 2005. For centuries, hunting and urbanisation have driven the country's brown bears (Ursus arctos) near to extinction.

Now cars and trains kill one in seven of them. In attempts to safeguard Slovenia's drivers and wildlife alike, LIFE-funded conservationists are fencing off highways and installing ultrasonic noise emitters.


Invasive rats out, seabirds in

Photo: RSPBPhoto: RSPB

05 October 2017 Recent sightings of the European storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) on a once rat-infested island demonstrate a LIFE project's success at restoring local habitats.

Since 2014, conservationists have been trying to protect some of Northwest Europe's most threatened seabirds on the Shiant Isles Natura 2000 network site in northern Scotland. The islands are home to more than 150 000 seabirds that breed there each year.



LIFEnews 09/17

02 October 2017 This issue of LIFEnews welcomes new projects joining the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action. Our lead article toasts the 139 projects launched this year, offering a glimpse into their objectives and the €222 million budget that they will share.

Our second article peaks into this month's 629 LIFE project proposals that expert panels will be reviewing until March 2018 to select next year's LIFE grant recipients. We also take a quick trip through Poland's skies, prior to the European Clean Air Forum in November, and a dip in Italy's recently scrubbed seas to prepare for the Our Ocean conference in October.


Read this issue >>

Member States to benefit from over €222 million investments for environment, nature and climate action

over €222 million investments for environment, nature and climate action

28 September 2017The European Commission has approved an investment package of €222 million from the EU budget to support Europe's transition to more sustainable and low-carbon future under the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action.

The EU funding will mobilise additional investments leading to a total of €377 million going towards 139 new projects in 20 Member States. Short summaries of each project can be found in this annex.
Read the press release

LIFE projects help take out ocean trash

Photo: MrgbPhoto: Mrgb

28 September 2017With the livelihood of three billion people at stake, world leaders are meeting in Malta next week to protect the seas on which jobs and food chains depend.

The two-day Our Ocean conference will bring together 50 heads of state and government ministers to address the mounting strains imposed on Earth’s oceans by overfishing, pollution and climate change. Two LIFE projects have been invited to share their know-how.


Wireless solution to water wastage

Photo: LIFE SmartWaterPhoto: LIFE SmartWater

27 September 2017About a third of Europe's drinking water seeps away before it even reaches the consumer. Today, utility companies battling the loss have little access to the sort of smart technology that routinely flies planes, controls energy networks or assists delicate surgery. From January 2018, LIFE funds will help explore how remote-controlled motors for water valves can spot and contain distribution system leaks, in a project that could set new standards for water conservation.


Clean tech meets clean air

Photo: LIFE MałopolskaPhoto: LIFE Małopolska

26 September 2017Three LIFE-funded projects will take the stage this year at the European Clean Air Forum in Paris, France. The event brings together policy makers from across EU institutions, national governments and cities throughout Europe. Over two days, they will discuss with NGOs, academics, private companies and the general public how to reduce air pollution in the EU. As part of the event, the LIFE-funded projects Chimera, CLINSH and Małopolska Region will share their expertise in a session dedicated to business opportunities in the clean air sector.


Northern bald ibis project has illegal hunters in its sights

Photo: LIFE Northern Bald IbisPhoto: LIFE Northern Bald Ibis

22 September 2017An innovative LIFE project is working to protect the critically endangered northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita) from illegal hunting during its annual migration this autumn. Led by the NGO Waldrappteam, the species reintroduction project LIFE Northern Bald Ibis - Reason for Hope is focusing efforts on the prevention of illegal hunting, collection of evidence and (when necessary) prosecution of poachers.


Applicants seek more than €1 billion in EU funding from LIFE

LIFE is investing​ in the circular economy and in close-to-market projects​ that contribute to green growth and jobsFigure 1 – breakdown per thematic area
Click on image to view full size

21 September 2017The European Commission has received 629 proposals for environment and climate protection projects by the LIFE programme's deadlines in September 2017. Applicants come from all 28 EU Member States and request more than €1 billion in EU funding – four times the available budget (which is some €254 million).


LIFE supports climate action in agriculture and forestry

Operation-CO2 Photo: Operation-CO2

19 September 2017Agriculture and forestry have great potential to help the EU meet its ambitious climate goals. Peter Wehrheim from the European Commission’s Climate Action directorate-general calls LIFE a “field laboratory” for developing and testing new methods and knowledge.

His colleague Simon Kay also emphasises the programme’s importance in this in-depth interview.

The policy background

Integrating forestry and agriculture into EU climate policy is a challenge. A new Regulation, put forward in 2016 by the European Commission, however, is set to fully include the land use sector in EU Climate Action policy from 2021. The proposed legislation establishes common rules on how to incorporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) into the EU's 2030 climate and energy framework.


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