16 December 2008 The final results of two LIFE co-funded Airbus projects: LIFE ACADEMY and LIFE PAMELA, have been presented to the European Commission DG Environment and DG Transport.
The award-winning ACADEMY project, Airbus Corporate Answer to Disseminate integrated Environmental Management System (LIFE04 ENV/FR/000353) ran for three years. It developed an innovative environmental management system (EMS) for Airbus aircraft. Traditionally, such systems have focused on managing the environmental impact of industrial facilities during production. With this project, Airbus set out to build an EMS that integrated both its manufacturing processes and its products through a lifecycle approach. This would allow Airbus to systematically assess the environmental impact of its products from the initial design stage right through to end-of-life. During the project, 16 Airbus sites were certified ISO 14001. The project also paved the way towards possible, future EMAS certification.
The PAMELA project, Process for Advanced management of end of life aircraft (LIFE05 ENV/F/000059), ran for two-and-half years. It aimed at reducing the environmental impact of an end-of-life aircraft. It showed that at least 85% of an aircraft's components can be reused/recycled. It also developed procedures for decommissioning, disassembling and dismantling aircraft in safe and environmentally responsible conditions.
15 December 2008 In early December 2008, the Minister for the Environment and Conservation of the State North Rhine-Westphalia, Eckhard Uhlenberg, members of the Landtag, representatives of communes and of the German nature conservation NGO NABU visited the nature reserve Großes Torfmoor to observe the first (documented) pair of cranes (Grus Grus) to successfully breed in the region since the Middle Ages. At the end of April two chicks hatched, of which only one survived, the other most likely killed by a predator. The healthy survivor took flight for the first time in August.
According to the NABU, the LIFE project beneficiary, the arrival of the cranes was not unexpected, as the regeneration of the region’s bog meant the recreation of a suitable habitat. The first individuals were already observed in 1992. In addition to the 24 pairs of storks that were breeding in the area this year, the return of the breeding cranes is seen as “an historical event” by the regions representatives.
The initiative owes its success to the conservation measures supported by the LIFE project Großes Torfmoor (LIFE03 NAT/D/000004), which targeted the regeneration of the bog habitat and the opening of humid grasslands with direct benefits for numerous species.
The valuable contribution of the LIFE Nature project to the preservation of biodiversity in the Großes Torfmoor was highlighted by Minister Uhlenberg, who also stressed that nature and species conservation is one of the top priorities of the government of the state.
With some luck the cranes will also breed next year in the Großen Torfmoor, since they are known to be loyal to their homelands.
11 December 2008 A series of ‘best practice’ presentations from the thematic workshops of the recent “Protecting Europe’s Nature – Learning from LIFE” Conference 2008 are now online.
Focusing on ‘best practice’ approaches to practical and policy-based LIFE actions, the presentations cover workshops targeting (1) forest habitats, (2) marine habitats, (3) river habitats and (4) grassland habitats, (5) climate change and (6) invasive alien species. Other workshops cover LIFE experience in species conservation (7) and in (8) international cooperation.
Delegates from all over Europe attended the three-day event, which took place on November 17-19 in Brussels, and was organised by the LIFE Unit.
To view the presentations, visit the LIFE Nature conference page.