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News: March 2014

LIFE work programme for 2014-2017 is approved


19 March 2014The LIFE multiannual work programme for 2014-2017 has been adopted by a Commission Decision on 19 March 2014, after having received a positive opinion of the Committee for the LIFE Programme for the Environment and Climate Action on 17 February 2014. The work programme applies from the date of its adoption and enters into force as of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It will be published in all EU languages with the exception of Irish.

The LIFE multiannual work programme for 2014-2017 sets the framework for the next four years for the management of the new LIFE Programme 2014-2020. It contains an indicative budget, explains the selection methodology for projects and for operating grants and establishes outcome indicators for the two LIFE sub-programmes – for Environment and for Climate Action. The total budget for funding projects during the period covered amounts to €1.1 billion under the sub-programme for Environment and €0.36 billion under the sub-programme for Climate Action.

For the first time LIFE project funding also will be provided through innovative financial instruments. The LIFE Environment sub-programme contributes to one such instrument, the pilot Natural Capital Financing (NCFF) financial instrument, which falls under the Nature and Biodiversity project area and will help finance biodiversity projects, amongst other things. The work programme also features an indicative timetable for the calls for proposals for action and operating grants as well as for the two pilot financial instruments covered by it. The first calls are scheduled for May/June 2014.

Download the documents in the "about LIFE" section

LIFE GREENLYSIS project wins water innovation award

Photo: LIFE08 ENV/E/000118

12 March 2014 GREENLYSIS (LIFE08 ENV/E/000118), a Spanish LIFE project led by the water technology centre, CETaqua, in partnership with SUEZ-CIRSEE and SAFT Baterías, has been recognised by the International Water Association (IWA) in its 2014 Project Innovation Awards. The LIFE project has obtained the Honour Award for Europe and West Asia in the Applied Research category. This regional triumph means it will now be entered in the global awards at the IWA World Water Congress in Lisbon (21-26 September 2014).

The main objective of the GREENLYSIS project, which ran from January 2010 until the end of 2012, was to construct a pilot plant to demonstrate the viability of a new technology for separating outflows from wastewater treatment plants into hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysis. The pilot facility, built at the Montornès del Vallès treatment plant in Barcelona, is a closed loop system in which oxygen released from the water during electrolysis is pressurised and used to purify the waste stream, whilst hydrogen produced by the electrolysis is collected and used to power the treatment plant.

For more information, visit the project website or watch this video in the LIFE multimedia archive.


UK and Ireland stage successful LIFE Platform Meeting


11 Marh 2014The inaugural UK and Ireland LIFE Platform Meeting was held in London on 9 December 2013. The event brought together representatives of nearly 30 LIFE projects, government ministries and other LIFE stakeholder organisations from Ireland and the UK, together with the LIFE Unit of the European Commission's DG Environment and the LIFE monitoring team (Astrale GEIE - HTSPE Ltd).

The platform meeting was an opportunity to address issues of common interest around the LIFE programme in general, as well as concerns related to specific projects. The LIFE project beneficiaries and stakeholders were able to learn from each other's experiences and to ask questions directly of people with the relevant programme expertise and oversight.
Themes for workshops were chosen based on the preferences and experiences of the participating LIFE projects. The selected themes were:

  • Communicating and engaging with policy-makers – including issues around when, how and with whom to engage;
  • After-LIFE sustainability – including how to approach the After-LIFE plan and what other actions should be foreseen during the project to improve its sustainability;
  • Making the most of LIFE funding – including addressing unexpected changes in project circumstances and appropriate budgetary reporting; and
  • Changes and modifications to a grant agreement – including clarifying what does and does not require a formal modification request and participants' experiences of this.

Participants had the opportunity to submit their questions and queries around these topics beforehand so that the relevant experts could prepare accurate answers to be discussed in the workshops. Questions varied from the general and hypothetical to very specific circumstances of particular projects. However, in all cases they provided an opportunity to improve understanding of the working of the programme funding.  

These workshops were supported by presentations in the plenary session. The LIFE external communications team (AEIDL) presented on engaging successfully with policy-makers, with the RSPB (a well-known UK bird protection NGO) recounting its own journey in this regard. Finally, the LIFE Unit gave a presentation on the new LIFE programme and what it means for beneficiaries.

For more information on the new LIFE programme 2014-20 please see these Frequently Asked Questions

For more information on UK and Irish LIFE projects, search in the LIFE projects database by country

Download: Presentations from the Platform Meeting
de ( zip 2.5 MB) 

Project publishes steppe conservation book

Photo: Thomas Stephan

10 March 2014 The German LIFE project Steppenrasen Thüringens (LIFE07 NAT/D/000213) has produced a hardback book (456 pages) of the papers presented at its final conference in Erfurt, 3-6 June, 2012. The contributions, which are published in English and German, focus on steppe conservation in different regions of Germany and in other European countries. Copies of Steppenlebensraume Europas – Gefährdung, Erhaltung Maßnahmen und Schutz (Hazard, conservation and protection) are available without charge, although the cost of packaging and postage must be covered.

For more information, contact:

The LIFE project, which was carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Environment Protection of Thuringia, targeted the conservation and development of the steppe grasslands in the region. The project area comprised 13 Natura 2000 network sub-sites situated in the Thuringian basin (Thüringer Becken).

The sub-Pannonian steppes and dry grasslands provide extreme habitat conditions, which result from the dry climate, the poor development of soil and the location's barren setting. They are home to rare plant species such as stem-less milkvetch (Astragalus exscapus), viper's grass (Scorzonera purpurea), wolly milkvetch (Oxytropis pilosa), pheasant's eye (Adonis vernalis) and toothed orchid (Orchis tridentata). The steppes are also home to such fauna as the butterfly (Chazara briseis), the blue-winged grasshopper (Oedipoda caerulescens) and the land snail (Trochoidea geyeri).

The project serves as a model for boosting steppe grasslands conservation in Germany and neighbouring countries.



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