LIFE15 IPC/DE/000005

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Contact details:

Contact person: Pete HECK
Tel: +49-6782-17-1221
Fax: +49-6782-17-1264
Email: p.heck@umwelt-campus.de

Project description:


The German government’s Climate Action Program 2020 (CAP) and the German Climate Protection Plan 2050 (CPP) aim reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 40% by 2020 and up to 95% by 2050. Through its energy transition policy – Energiewende – Germany has set key targets for increasing energy efficiency and expanding renewable energies. While technical solutions, policy strategies and financing exist, they still need to be used on a large scale. A major change in consumer behaviour and land-use strategies in rural areas is necessary. The objectives for renewable energies can only be achieved with massive installations of wind, solar and biomass energy technologies. These can only be constructed in rural, often remote areas, where the climate-friendly energy solutions comply with restrictions for nature protection – e.g. on and near sensitive areas, such as nature conservation sites, national parks, biosphere reserves and nature parks.


The LIFE IP ZENAPA project will resolve the opposing interests of climate mitigation and nature conservation. Ten protected areas (PAs) in Germany and one in Luxemburg, as well as their surrounding buffer zones, and a model community are partners in the project and will act as initiators and incubators for low-carbon emission regions. ZENAPA aims to generate investment from within the local communes and regions and use the profits from climate mitigation (sale of renewable energy) to support nature conservation and related tourist development. The project will initiate and test new governance and management approaches in order to create link between climate mitigation actions and nature conservation. The IP will improve implementation of the CAP 2020 and CPP 2050 targets while addressing the objectives and targets of German biodiversity and bio-economy strategies, starting with providing and implementing new strategies, setting up climate protection plans and using other governance instruments.

LIFE-IP ZENAPA will implement and integrate large-scale Complementary Actions (CAs) targeting energy efficiency, renewable energies and sustainable, climate-protecting land use that strengthens biodiversity. The proposed core actions of the project add up to an investment of around €8 million. Third party investments triggered by ZENAPA will lead to additional investments of €183 million. When taking account the CAs, the scale of the implementation increases by an amount between 480 million and €1.3 billion.

The planning of 90 smart villages will incorporate new land-use strategy concepts that increase the potential of bio-economy in the regions. The links between climate and energy solutions and nature conservation will be strengthened by:

  • Mapping and demonstrating the existing regional added value potential of PAs and their buffer zones for climate protection, bio-economy, biodiversity, and ecosystem resilience;
  • Identifying and eliminating existing or perceived conflicts between climate protection actions and nature conservation/ecosystem protection;
  • Developing benchmarks for climate mitigation actions in connection with ecosystem protection;
  • Demonstrating the environmental benefit of LED object illumination, natural building insulation and climate-friendly building with natural materials; and
  • Using biodiverse biogas feedstock and establishing farmer energy hedges.

Finally, the LIFE IP will build up human capacity and resilient networks in the PAs and their adjoining regions to ensure continuity and a continuous improvement within the regions. It will also leverage and help to implement best practice for other target groups in the adjoining buffer zone areas. Furthermore, it will foster dialogue among different stakeholder groups on climate change and environmental protection and encourage PAs administrations to become green ‘ambassadors’.

The investment triggered by the complementary action ranges between 5 to 14 million € in one village, resulting in a total investment triggered by complementary actions of 480 million to 1,3 billion €, depending on the scale of implementation.

The expected investments can receive in average funding of around 20% from different national and European funding schemes, resulting in around 90 million to 260 million € of mobilised funds.


Expected results:

  • 12 bottom-up climate protection ‘masterplans’ related to climate protection and biodiversity at a district level;
  • Increased knowledge capacities of the PAs by training 12 Climate Change Managers (CCM) and setting up public energy service utilities;
  • Networks at a regional and national level for strategy implementation;
  • 12 new financing mechanisms and new emission reduction and biodiversity certificates;
  • Four energy utilities in the buffer zones of PAs in order to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies;
  • At least 10 smart villages in Rhineland-Palatinate;
  • Demonstration of local electricity and heat generation based on renewables;
  • A pyrolysis plant for biochar production from organic waste as well as a pilot plant for disintegration of biogas substrates constructed and tested;
  • Savings of around 1.4 million tonnes of CO2 eqv during the project lifetime;
  • €154.8 million of regional added value; and
  • Around 4 000 new green jobs.

  • Top

Environmental issues addressed:


Climate change Mitigation - Carbon sequestration
Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies
Climate change Mitigation - Energy efficiency
Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors
Climate change Adaptation - Natural resources and ecosystems


emission reduction‚  green building‚  greenhouse gas‚  biomass energy‚  nature conservation‚  renewable energy‚  energy efficiency‚  land use‚  mobility

Target EU Legislation

  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2012/27 - Energy efficiency (25.10.2012)
  • Decision 529/2013 - Accounting rules on greenhouse gas emissions and removals resulting from acti ...
  • Waste
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2009/28 - Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (23.04.2009)
  • COM(2011)112 - "A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050" (08.03.2011)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Institute for applied Material Flow Management
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The Institute for Applied Substance Flow Management (IfaS Institut für angewandtes Stoffstrommanagement), part of the Trier University of Applied Sciences (Germany), was founded in 2001. It is among the largest non-profit material flow management and energy think tanks in Germany (50 employees and more than €4 million turnover). IfaS has been working on strategies, projects and coaching programmes on climate protection and (regional) economic development, de-carbonisation and carbon sequestration as well as the circular economy and zero emissions supporting companies, cities and NGOs in more than 40 countries. IfaS has taken part in EU-funded projects such as SEMS (FP6), ZECOS (InterReg), RUBIN, SOLLET, ProGrass (LIFE), ENERCOM and national BMBF project ELKE (cultural landscape protection).
Partners Naturstiftung David - Die Stiftung des BUND Thüringen, Germany Akademie für Nachhaltige Entwicklung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany Nationalparkamt Hunsrück-Hochwald, Germany Biosphärenzweckverband, Germany Bezirksverband Pfalz, Germany Landesamt für Umwelt des Landes Brandenburg, Germany Natur- und GeoPark Vulkaneifel GmbH, Germany GeoPark Pophyrland. Steinreich in Sachsen e.V., Germany Syndicat pour la creation d’un Parc Naturel dans la région du Mëllerdall, Luxembourg Bergischer Abfallwirtschaftsverband, Germany Verbandsgemeinde Rhaunen, Germany


Project reference LIFE15 IPC/DE/000005
Duration 01-NOV-2016 to 31-OCT -2024
Total budget 17,168,650.00 €
EU contribution 8,157,809.00 €
Project location Rheinland-Pfalz(Deutschland)


Read more:

Leaflet "Kurzbeschreibung „Zero Emission Nature Protection ...
Leaflet "LIFE-IP ZENAPA Projektinformation" (386 KB)
Project web site Project's website
Video link "Bringing zero emission nature protection areas to life" (5')


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version