29 July 2011The LIFE project "Safe Islands for Seabirds" (LIFE07 NAT/P/000649) has achieved a world first. For the first time ever, Internet users have been able to witness the hatching of an egg of the endangered bird species, Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea).
As part of the LIFE project, a webcam was set up in May at a nesting site on the small island of Corvo in the Azores archipelago to provide live, round-the-clock coverage on a dedicated website during the breeding season. Internet users have been able to follow the progress of a Cory's shearwater egg from the moment it was laid on 01 June, culminating in the hatching of the egg on 24 July. The birth of the chick has been widely covered in the Portuguese media.
The hatching of the Cory's shearwater chick is an important milestone for the LIFE project, which is seeking to demonstrate the potential for large-scale restoration of important former seabird sites by preparing for the full restoration of habitats for seabirds on Corvo, the smallest of the nine uninhabited islands of the Azores. The archipelago is of critical importance for the conservation of several Annex I petrel species.
For more information about the project, see the LIFE project database.
28 July 2011The LIFE conference – LIFE for Environment: Success Stories and Future Challenges – which was held in Brussels, 25-26 May of this year, provided an opportunity for stakeholders of the programme and decision-makers in the EU institutions to discuss the future of the LIFE programme at a time when EU budgets for the years to come are being determined.
The conference resulted in several key recommendations, including retaining the bottom-up approach to project selection through calls for proposals. Participants said that the programme should remain open to projects in all fields of environmental policy. However, there was support for giving LIFE Environment a clearer identity, emphasising such aspects of projects as ‘resource efficiency’ and ‘Eco-innovation’. The conference also recommended that more be done to improve the policy interface between LIFE projects and DG Environment’s policy work, e.g. in the form of workshops.
Participants also called for an increase in the LIFE Environment budget. For further information about the conference recommendations read the proceedings.
27 July 2011The PRIME project – ‘Posidonia Residues Integrated Management for Eco-sustainability’ (LIFE09 ENV/IT/000061) – which is aiming to develop the reuse of Neptune grass/Mediterranean tapeweed (Posidonia oceanica) residues, is organising a special summer beach campaign. It is holding awareness raising campaigns for the general public on beaches in the Region of Puglia. Visitors are invited to learn about the management of beached Neptune grass and gadgets related to the project are being handed out. For more information on the campaigns, visit the project website.
The removal of the Neptune grass, if not properly carried out, can have a negative environmental impact on coastal ecosystems as it creates a natural barrier to sand erosion. The PRIME project is developing an integrated management system that combines environmental protection with waste biomass management and the reuse of material for agriculture. The project will demonstrate the possibility of reducing the environmental impact of the removal of the beached residues while reducing disposal costs.
19 July 2011The European Commission has approved funding for 183 new projects under the fourth call for the LIFE+ programme (2007-2013). The projects are from across the EU and cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy, and information and communication. Overall, they represent a total investment of €530 million, of which the EU will provide €244million.
Read the full press release and a summary of the project by country.
It is also possible to contact the relevant national authorities.
11 July 2011The Greek BIOFUELS-2G (LIFE08 ENV/GR/000569) project, which demonstrated an innovative technology of producing biodiesel-2G, won second prize at ‘Greece Innovates’, a competition organised by Eurobank and the Hellenic Bureau of Industry.
The organisers singled out the project for special commendation among 300 proposals at an awards ceremony held on 5 July and attended by around 1500. ‘Greece Innovates’ aims to promote applied research products and services that contribute to improving daily life, sustainable development and strengthening the economy.
The BIOFUELS-2G LIFE project developed a way of producing second generation biofuels by recycling used cooking oil from restaurants and homes instead of disposing of it in the sewage system. The fuel, which was used in a garbage truck in Thessaloniki, was obtained via the catalytic hydrotreating of waste cooking oil. For more information, visit the project website.
04 July 2011Most LIFE Nature projects focus on conservation action 'in-situ', i.e. within the natural habitat of a particular threatened species. This may not be enough to help the most vulnerable species, however, in which case 'ex-situ' conservation measures are required to address the threat of extinction.
The LIFE programme has a distinguished track record of funding crucial ex-situ interventions targeting a wide range of vulnerable species, ranging from flagship species such as the brown bear and golden eagle, to lesser-known but equally important fish, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and plants. LIFE-funded actions to support habitats ex-situ have contributed to enhancing biodiversity, supporting the EU's policy goals.
The Commission is at present evaluating the contribution that ex-situ conservation has to make to the conservation of European species. This LIFE Focus publication highlights more than 80 LIFE Nature projects that feature ex-situ conservation actions, with the goal not only of highlighting innovative ideas and good practice, but also of pointing out some of the problems that previous LIFE projects have faced so that they might be avoided by current and future projects working in the challenging field of ex-situ conservation.
Go to our publications pages to download the brochure.