The 7th European Pond Conservation Network Workshop, the LIFE Charcos Seminar and the 12th Annual SWS European Chapter Meeting are being jointly organised by the LIFE Charcos (LIFE12 NAT/PT/000997) project, the EPCN (European Pond Conservation Network) and the SWS-EC (Society of Wetland Scientists, European Chapter). The set of integrated international events will take place at University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal in 1-6 May 2017.
The LIFE Charcos Seminar and the 7th EPCN Workshop are themed around ponds in a changing world. The events will boost the exchange of knowledge and experience among the various specialists in the area of wetland conservation in general and of temporary ponds in particular.
Special emphasis will be given to four subjects:
- ecosystem functioning and services;
- organisms, from populations to communities;
- challenges in pond conservation and management; and
- LIFE projects (and others) dedicated to the conservation of wetlands.
A field trip to Vila do Bispo and Sagres will be organised on 4 May 2017 to visit some Mediterranean Temporary Ponds (CTMs), which are targets of the LIFE Charcos Project (LIFE12 NAT/PT/000997).
Numerous CTMs can be found on the coastal plain of southwest Portugal. They are seasonal wetland habitats which are listed as a priority habitat for conservation in Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive due to their uniqueness and scientific value. Yet over the last two decades modern industrialised agriculture and tourism have caused a steep decline in the condition of this habitat. The aim of the LIFE Charcos project is therefore to enhance the conservation status of those temporary ponds.
All LIFE wetland conservation projects are invited to participate in the LIFE Charcos Seminar. This event will potentiate the exchange of experiences between LIFE projects and others that are in the field implementing actions of habitat management for the conservation of these wetlands, also looking for the transfer of knowledge to technicians, scientists and to the general public.
The Society of Wetland Scientists, European Chapter (SWS-EC) will hold its 12th Annual Meeting on 5-6 May 2017. The meeting will focus on novel approaches to water management, biodiversity conservation, restoration, pollution control and climate change.
ALTER-Net is organising a conference on the synergies, conflicts and trade-offs in the relationship between nature and society, from 2-4 May 2017, in Ghent (Belgium).
The conference, which aims to develop a deeper understanding of human-nature conflicts so as to develop sustainable solutions, will comprise a mix of plenary sessions and interactive ‘living lab’ type workshop sessions, with representatives from a wide range of disciplines. The conference programme is available for the event which will be held in an Augustinian Monastery.
ALTER-Net is a network of partner institutes from 18 European countries. It integrates research capacities to assess changes in biodiversity on ecosystem services, and informs policymakers and the public about this at a European level. A number of the partner organisation, such as the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC), have been beneficiaries of LIFE projects.
LIFE programme thematic publications will be offered to the event participants.
All registration details are available from the ALTER-Net website.
The European Commission’s LIFE programme unit and the Baltic Environmental Forum are organising, with the support of the Neemo EEIG External Team, a LIFE platform meeting on ecosystem services. Entitled, Costing the Earth? - translating the ecosystem services concept into practical decision making, the event takes place in Tallinn from 10-12 May 2017, within the framework of the LIFE Viva Grass (LIFE13 ENV/LT/000189) project.
The meeting will bring together over fifty LIFE projects and other organisations, to provide a showcase of innovative approaches and techniques that are furthering understanding of ecosystem services. The plenary session on the first afternoon will include a keynote speech on the ecosystem services concept in the EU by Jakub Wejchert (DG Environment, Biodiversity Unit).
LIFE Viva Grass is aiming to improve land use and nature conservation policies for the long-term maintenance of biodiverse grasslands and the ecosystem services they provide. The project is achieving this by encouraging an ecosystem-based approach to planning and through economically-viable and multifunctional grassland management.
On the second day of the platform meeting there will be three concurrent breakout working groups (on defining/mapping, valuating, and applying ecosystem services in decision making) with short presentations from LIFE projects working in these areas. There will be a choice of three excursion options on the final day of the meeting to explore issues relating to ecosystems in rural and urban contexts in Estonia.
Registration for the platform meeting (including the booking of excursions) should be completed online by latest 31 March 2017. Further information can be found on the meeting website or by contacting Inga Racinska: firstname.lastname@example.org
Life EWWR+ (LIFE12 INF/BE/000459) is holding its final international conference in Barcelona on 18 May 2017. The event is being organised by the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and sustainable Resource management (ACR+), the project’s coordinating beneficiary, together with the Catalan Waste Agency, to coincide with the LIFE programme's 25th anniversary celebrations.
Building on the previous European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) project (2009-2012), Life EWWR+ has expanded awareness and understanding of waste prevention, reuse and recycling, and organised annual EWWR events since 2013. The European Week for Waste Reduction promotes the implementation of awareness-raising actions about sustainable resource and waste management during a single week. It encourages a wide range of audiences (public authorities, private companies, civil society as well as citizens themselves) to get involved.
The focus of this year’s Life EWWR+ conference, entitled, Qualitative Prevention, a new approach towards the circular economy, will be on waste prevention, particularly the reduction of hazardous waste. Awareness-raising strategies to achieve waste prevention will be explored during practical sessions, and eight EWWR Coordinators from across Europe will present best practices to demonstrate the achievements of the EWWR+ project.
The eighth EWWR Awards Ceremony will be held as part of the conference, to recognise outstanding actions undertaken during the EWWR campaign in 2016. Winners will be announced in six categories (Administration/public authority, Association/NGO, Business/industry, Educational establishment, Citizen(s), and Other).
Registration details for the EWWR and the full event programme are available online.
The LIFE K-12 project (LIFE13 ENV/IT/001238) is holding a mid-term conference on 18 May 2017 at the Museum of Plastics in Turin. The conference is being organised by the project beneficiary Dow Italia, along with its partners Cannon-Afros and Whirlpool EMEA.
The event is an opportunity for the project, which is developing a new insulating technology that could improve energy performance by 20%, to share its preliminary results. The focus will be on the project’s environmental impact and industrial sustainability.
Domestic households are one of the largest consumers of electrical energy in the EU, consuming around 30% of the total electrical energy supply. The K-12 project aims to reduce this figure by improving thermal conductivity and reducing energy consumption of household appliances. It is demonstrating the use of CO2 as a blowing agent for an innovative polyurethane insulation foam.
The event will include a roundtable discussion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the LIFE programme. The discussion will feature participants from several LIFE project beneficiaries and partners.
LIFE will be showcasing the programme’s 25 years of achievement in promoting a healthy marine environment across Europe at the annual European Maritime Day conference in Poole (UK) on 18-19 May 2017.
More than 1 000 stakeholders from across the maritime sector are expected to attend the event, which this year is entitled The Future of our Seas.
As well as plenary sessions and thematic workshops, the conference will bring together businesses, NGOs, policymakers and others active in maritime management to discuss the next steps in safeguarding Europe’s natural heritage.
The conference, marking its tenth anniversary in 2017, will also be an opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop the EU’s blue growth agenda, aligning sustainable economic development with stewardship of the continent’s coasts and seas.
The four key conference themes are innovation and growth, people and skills, safety and security and sustainability and governance
LIFE programme Communications Team representatives will be present, alongside European Commission officials, in the conference exhibition space to highlight the LIFE programme’s work to clean up Europe’s littoral environment, restore habitats and protect our seas.
LIFE MIPP (LIFE11 NAT/IT/000252), a project that monitors saproxylic beetle populations (Osmoderma eremit, Lucanus cervus, Cerambyx cerdo, Rosalia alpina and Morimus funereus) by enlisting volunteers to gather data on the population size and conservation status of insects, will hold its closing conference in the northern Italian city of Mantua (Mantova).
MIPP stands for monitoring of insects with public participation, and this final meeting, to be held on 24-26 May 2017, will focus on the monitoring of saproxylic beetles and other insects protected in the European Union.
The project’s aim is to follow the example of several European countries that have developed guidelines for the monitoring of insect species listed in annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive.
LIFE MIPP has developed a protocol for monitoring the prevalence and habitats of five species of saproxylic beetles – those that depend on dead or dying wood.
The project has adopted a ‘citizen science’ approach to expanding the data available about the five target species, by encouraging walkers, naturalists and others living near the four Natura 2000 network sites included in the project to report what they find. A smartphone app has been developed to enable volunteers to submit information.
The project is also making innovative use of canine olfaction by deploying a trained dog to seek out the pheromones emitted by one of the target species, Osmoderma eremita, to develop a comprehensive map of the species’ distribution in the project area.
Participants wishing to register for the final workshop can do so here.
The LIFE Greenzo project (LIFE13 ENV/ES/000173) is organising its final conference on sustainability and efficiency of productive processes through valorised zinc oxide on 25 May 2017 in Alicante, Spain.
The conference will share interesting results achieved by the project in terms of recycling non-ferrous metal waste, reducing dangerous waste and developing new markets for environmentally-friendly products.
The Greenzo project developed and tested a pilot plant, using plasma technology, aimed at recovering zinc oxide from zamak, a family of alloys used in injection-moulding in industries such as the automotive and building industry but also in toys, furniture, ironworks and clocks. European companies that use zamak also generate an estimated one million tonne of hazardous and non-hazardous waste every year. This waste is often landfilled and leads to significant environmental problems and soil pollution.
The idea of the pilot plant developed by the Greenzo project is to reduce the amount of waste being landfilled across Europe by recovering that waste and reusing it. This will not only bring environmental benefits but will also boost local economies by generating new business in the waste management sector and new markets for greener products.
The LIFE Greenzo conference will focus on a number of different topics. The first session will be dedicated to presenting the project and the opportunities it brings in terms of sustainable waste management. Other sessions will address the different industrial applications for the recovered zinc oxide, the transferability and replicability potential of the project's results and the opportunities for cost reduction in the zamak sector. Following a Q&A session, participants will be taken on a tour of the pilot plant.
This year the LIFE programme celebrates its 25th anniversary. In order to commemorate LIFE's achievements during this time, the European Commission has selected 15 outstanding LIFE projects as nominees for the Green Awards. The awards are for the most outstanding completed LIFE projects since 1992.
The winners in each of the categories (Environment, Nature & biodiversity and Climate Action) will be announced on 30 May 2017 at the Green Awards ceremony during EU Green Week in Brussels. There will be two Green Award winners in each of the three categories (i.e. six winners in total).
The winners will be selected by means of a public vote on Facebook. Voting is open from now until 10 May 2017.
The nominees for the Green Awards were selected by a jury, based on a number of criteria, including long-term sustainability, communication potential and broader impact on national, European or global level. They were additionally scored on innovation, transferability, environmental benefits and conservation status.
The nominated projects are (by category and in alphabetical order):
BREAD4PLA showed how waste plastic and bread generated in bakeries can be turned into biodegradable packaging material for bakery products.
EWWR demonstrated waste prevention, reuse and recycling methods all across Europe, and initiating the popular European Week for Waste Reduction and other awareness-raising activities.
From Roof to Road showed how waste bitumen from roofing felt, which is usually landfilled or burned with the release of pollutants, can be reused in asphalt to build or repair roads.
LOWaste demonstrated an effective way of developing a local market for second-life goods, by bringing together waste operators, small reuse and recycling platforms, artisans and SMEs engaged in the manufacture of products from recovered materials.
SOL-BRINE demonstrated how brine can be recycled in desalination plants on water-scarce Mediterranean islands, turning a potential threat to aquatic habitats into useful water and dried salt.
AlterIAS developed a code of conduct to reduce the economic damage and loss of biodiversity caused by invasive alien plant species in Belgium; as a result, nurseries stopped selling many invasive exotic plants and recommended native species instead.
Andalusian Lynx Introduction made a very significant contribution to the recovery of Iberian lynx, through land stewardship agreements and conservation actions, resulting in the IUCN taking the species off its 'critically endangered' list.
BurrenLIFE pioneered a novel approach to farming and conservation, and by demonstrating this on 20 farms it developed a costed blueprint for protecting the unique landscape of the Burren and tackling the most pressing issues affecting this rural region of Ireland.
Save the Raptors established nine new breeding pairs of the endangered imperial eagles in Bulgaria, bringing the total breeding population to 25 pairs, and also created local jobs in a region with the highest unemployment rate in the country.
SloWolf deployed innovative genetic methods to identify individual wolves and developed management plans in Slovenia to help people co-exist peacefully with wolves.
ACUMEN, which demonstrated how methane from closed landfills can be captured and used to generate energy, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
AgriClimateChange developed a tool for calculating greenhouse gas emissions and energy use on farms, which it used to demonstrate sustainable practices that lowered carbon footprint without affecting farm productivity.
ClimaBiz enabled businesses in Greece to take advantage of opportunities linked to climate change, by developing innovative tools to estimate in monetary terms the costs of climate change for businesses and the necessary investment costs of adaptation.
DYEMOND SOLAR demonstrated an innovative method of producing non-toxic dye-sensitised solar cells, which led to environmental improvements in solar cell manufacturing and the creation of many jobs in Sweden.
SLIDE IN utilised old tram networks in two Swedish cities to demonstrate a novel electric bus system, in which the overhead wires recharged on-board batteries while the buses were in use.
For more information about the Green Awards check out the agenda.
Applicants for new LIFE funding and, in particular, representatives of businesses, industry, NGOs, and local and regional authorities are invited to join the European Commission’s information and networking event on the 2017 LIFE funding opportunities.
Taking place on 31 May 2017 in Brussels, would-be participants should note that registration for the LIFE call 2017 information and networking event is on a first come, first serve basis.
At the information session participants will learn about opportunities for project funding under the 2017 call for proposals on close-to-market environmental solutions, biodiversity, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The networking session will give participants interested in applying for LIFE funding the chance to meet potential project partners and to seek advice from European Commission experts and National Contact Points in one-to-one meetings. Once registered to the LIFE side session, participants will be invited to upload their profile in a matchmaking tool and set up bilateral meetings.
According to indicative planning, the LIFE 2017 call is due to be published on the 28 April 2017. Similar to previous calls, application packages and supporting information will also be made available once the LIFE 2017 call is published.
The LIFE information and networking event takes place as part of EU Green Week 2017 – the focus of which is on how environmental policies are creating green jobs and contributing to economic, sustainable and socially responsible growth in the EU.
The draft Agenda is available here.
The first day will feature scientific presentations on the impacts of interruptions in ecological continuity on aquatic ecosystems, while day two will feature technical presentations on the obstacles to the restoration of ecological continuity and the tools available for implementing policy. The final day will consist of a field trip to see the restoration activities carried out under LIFE in the lower valley of the River Cousin.
The restoration of ecological continuity on watercourses is a major priority of the Water Framework Directive. The LIFE project was set up to restore degraded habitats, improve agro-silvicultural practices along river banks and improve connectivity of waterways in the Natural Regional Park of Morvan, in Burgundy. The symposium will be a chance for the project beneficiaries to share their experiences with park administrations, conservationists and other stakeholders.
Fragmented natural environments affect the balance of ecosystems. Obstacles on rivers, such as weirs and mills, disturb the natural course of waterways and have adverse impact on fish populations and other fauna. The symposium will consider the challenge of respecting cultural heritage and encouraging the development of renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, while also working to protect biodiversity. The restoration of ecological continuity is at the heart of the debate and raises a lot of concerns among riverside owners, elected officials and other users of our rivers.
The registration deadline for the event is 30 April 2017.
Simultaneous translation will be available in French and English.