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News: January 2013

Top 5 LIFEnews stories of 2012


18 January 2013 The monthly LIFE+ newsletter ‘LIFEnews’ carried feature articles on a range of important and emerging topics of European environmental and nature interest. Here we look at which subjects captured the most interest of our readers last year. We present the five most-read feature articles of 2012!

In fifth place is the March 2012 article detailing LIFE’s efforts at the forefront of expanding the Natura 2000 network into the marine environment. LIFE projects have been increasing understanding of marine ecosystems and often making surprising discoveries. LIFE improves Natura knowhow for managing marine ecosystems

The fourth most-read article is also from the March 2012 newsletter on marine environments. This feature explains how LIFE is contributing to the development of Integrated Coastal Zone Management, which is recommended policy at European level. LIFE supports integrated management approaches for Europe’s coastal zones

The third most popular feature article was from November 2012 and presents ways that LIFE has tackled invasive alien species. LIFE projects have been using prevention, eradication and containment techniques to limit the impact on local ecosystems of non-native species, from rats to ornamental plants. LIFE on the frontline against invasive species

The second most-read feature article in 2012 was on the key sustainable development issue of soil conservation. From the July/August 2012 isssue, the article highlights LIFE projects that have developed knowledge and awareness on effective techniques to, for example, tackle soil sealing and monitor soil biological activity. LIFE projects lead the way in sustainable soil management

However, the article that most captured the attention of LIFEnews readers in 2012 was from April 2012 on an issue of increasing European importance: Green Infrastructure. The article explains the concept and shows how LIFE has already made major contributions in this field by protecting ecosystem functions and services, conserving biodiversity, and promoting green economies and social well-being. LIFE supports the growth of multifunctional Green Infrastructure

We wait with interest to see what will be the most read subjects in 2013....

New LIFE project aims to raise the profile of Natura 2000 in Spain


21 JanuaryEurope’s Natura 2000 network of protected sites provides benefits estimated to be worth as much as €300 billion each year. Spain hosts many of the EU’s biodiversity hotspots and a new LIFE Information & Communication project - Conéctate a la Red Natura’ (LIFE11 INF/ES/000665) - is proactively promoting the value of the Natura 2000 network in Spain. The goal of this ambitious project is to help everyone in Spain to better understand, appreciate, enjoy and ultimately support the Natura 2000 network.

The project was launched earlier this month (January 2013) by high profile figures including Mr Arias Cañete, Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The initiative, which will receive €1.075 million of co-funding from LIFE, out of a total budget of €2.15 million, has a busy programme of awareness-raising activities running until March 2017.

Work being rolled out during this period will include a network of national and international events, specially-commissioned television and radio programmes and a range of periodicals aimed at different target audiences. All of these information tools shall share a common goal of highlighting the long-term and short-term benefits to Spain’s population from conserving its biodiversity.

Social media is expected to play a key role in the awareness-raising campaign, which will underscore the Natura 2000 network’s potential as an effective tool for creating jobs and helping to tackle the economic crisis.

Referring to this point Minister Cañete said at the project launch, “Let us join forces to make society aware of the great wealth that the Natura 2000 network holds for our country."

Further information about the project, its work plan and partners can be found online at:

Recycling campaign targets French shoppers


28 JanuaryA LIFE Information & Communication project has outlined the initial results of its efforts to promote recycling among the French public. The ‘Collect +’ initiative (LIFE11 INF/FR/000730) presented the results of its first phase of actions during a telephone seminar on 23 January that was organised by the project partners.

Led by the Casino Group retail chain, ‘Collect +’ instigated a publicity drive last November to encourage supermarket shoppers to sort and recycle household waste items. New collection facilities were installed in-store, backed by a major publicity campaign to raise public awareness and training for staff to enable them to support the project.

The goal of the initial phase was to test the efficacy of a number of different information and communication tools, each of which was based around a common set of branded pictograms designed to provide a user-friendly method for helping consumers to sort waste into appropriate categories and remember to recycle it.

The coordinated PR campaign included leaflets, posters, video messages, online advertising, and radio broadcasts. Even the till receipts were branded and an evaluation of the first phase confirmed that ‘Collect +’ had made a positive difference in influencing peoples’ willingness to recycle.

LIFE funds will now help co-finance a second communications campaign that builds on the lessons of the November tests. Some 400 stores will take part in the new campaign, which will be launched in late March 2013 with the goal of increasing shoppers’ awareness of energy efficiency, as well as promoting recycling.

The ‘Collect +’ project intends to promote better waste and resource management: it undertakes to educate consumers to adopt the right gestures and to bring back their used products (batteries, electrical and electronic appliances, mobile phones, energy-saving lamps and ink cartridges). The ultimate goal for the beneficiary is to have its project approach replicated on a wider basis.

To find out more visit:


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