28 January 2008Five new videos featuring Best of LIFE-Environment projects 2006-2007 have been released for viewing. The videos build on our existing library of LIFE’s best movies and show case projects from Italy, The Netherlands and United Kingdom. Topics presented in the short movies include solar-powered train technology (PVTrain), waste water membrane bioreactors (Membrane Bioreactor), environmentally sensitive asphalt batch heaters (REF), innovative metal sludge treatment (Empereur) and new approaches to managing tannery effluent (Taneftreat).
The videos highlight good practice and offer a wide range of useful information about the different LIFE-Environment projects’ work. They have been selected for their interest and relevance so please feel free to take a look and experience some more of LIFE’s best environment videos.
View the video of REF (LIFE03 ENV/UK/000615), PVTrain (LIFE02 ENV/IT/000064), Empereur (LIFE03 ENV/NL/000476), Membrane Bioreactor (LIFE02 ENV/NL/000117) and Tanefetreat (LIFE02 ENV/NL/000114) or visit the LIFE Best project website 2006-2007 for more information.
25 January 2008 A very productive second meeting of the LIFE+ Committee saw three implementing decisions adopted and a number of issues discussed. The meeting, chaired by Philip Owen, Head of the LIFE unit, took place in Brussels on 17 January 2008 and was attended by representatives of 26 Member States.
The committee agreed on project selection criteria for 2008-2013. While broadly in line with the methodology applied for the 2007 selection procedure, it is now possible for national authorities to choose national annual priorities from annex 2 of the regulation.
The committee also gave a positive opinion on two other draft implementing decisions: firstly, the format, content and submission dates for national annual priorities were established. They form part of the future calls for proposal; secondly, the committee adopted a positive opinion on a list of high level indicators, to be translated into more specific indicators for each project to report on during its implementation.
Mr Owen informed the meeting that the 2008 call for proposals for EU-27 should be published in mid-July of this year. Some 700 proposals were submitted in response to the 2007 call for proposals. These are currently being evaluated with a view to signing the contracts by the end of 2008, the Commission indicated.
The ‘Complementarity’ working group reported that information to avoid double-funding should be provided at various levels by the Member States and by the Commission. Information was given about the CIP programme and the call for proposals on eco-innovation that is planned for April 2008.
The final point on the agenda concerned the earlier LIFE programmes. These will be subject to an ex-post evaluation focussing on the results and impacts of the projects financed over the past 10 years according to themes and countries as well as overall management of the programmes.
24 January 2008 Two LIFE-Nature projects have won prizes in the Portuguese Banco Espirito Santo Biodiversity Award Scheme. The top prize was awarded to the LIFE-Nature project “Important bird areas for seabirds in Portugal” (LIFE04 NAT/P/000213) which received unanimous support by the judges and a prize of €75,000 for its survey and educational work improving knowledge about the protection of marine birds in the Atlantic Ocean.
The project was established in 2004 to help contribute to the implementation of the Birds Directive in the marine environment. Its key objective is to identify the most suitable areas for Annex I marine birds that can later be proposed as SPAs in coastal and pelagic areas within Portugal. Project activities have involved aerial and marine census of seabirds using satellite, radio and data-logger tracking systems as well as analysis of oceanographic characteristics, fishing activity and marine animals in order to inform the design of recommendations for conservation measures.
LIFE-Nature’s PRIOLO project (LIFE03 NAT/P/000013) also received commendations by the judges for its work restoring Bullfinch habitats on the Azores and won a prize of €3,000. The project has involved new management measures, introduction of native species and removal of exotic species as well as surveillance measures and a series of awareness raising activities aimed at the local population.
09 January 2008 An Irish LIFE-Nature project (LIFE05 NAT/IRL/000182) which is targeting the restoration of 550 hectares of four priority woodland types in Ireland was launched by Mary Wallace TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with special responsibility for forestry at the beginning of December. A priority yew woodland at Cahir, Co Tipperary was the location chosen for the launch of the project.
There are four native woodland habitat types found in Ireland (alluvial, bog, limestone and yew) and these woodlands are recognised as being critically rare, not just in Ireland, but across the EU, under the EU habitats Directive. The €2.6 million restoration project, jointly funded by the LIFE-Nature programme and Coillte Teoranta (The Irish Forestry Board), will restore 9 priority woodland sites in counties Cavan, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Laois, Limerick, Offaly, Sligo and Tipperary covering over 550 hectares. Restoration techniques used in the project include the following: removal of non-native trees; control of invasive exotic shrubs; natural regeneration of native species, ecological and hydrological monitoring and raising public awareness of priority woodland habitats.
A training day, which includes a presentation on woodland restoration techniques and a visit to a local alluvial woodland habitat, will be held at Coillte’s LIFE site, Durrow, Co Laois on 11 January 2008. For further details about this event, contact Breda Lyons, PR/Administrator.
The project organisers are interested in networking with other groups across the EU who are working on similar woodland restoration projects.
08 January 2008 Communication factsheets are intended to assist project promoters with their media products and communication activities in general. Thirteen factsheets have been published so far. The three latest factsheets include practical advice, good examples from existing LIFE projects and other resources:
View all the factsheets on the Toolkit section of the website.