Integrated Projects were introduced in order to be able to implement environmental legislation and goals on a wider scale and to increase the impact of the LIFE programme. They provide funding for plans, programmes and strategies developed on the regional, multi-regional or national level. Building on LIFE’s existing strengths, water, waste and air are three of the thematic areas targeted, along with nature and mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
The six projects selected in 2014 have a total budget of € 108.7 million, including € 63.8 million of EU co-financing. They could leverage and coordinate over € 1 billion in complementary funding from EU agricultural and regional funds, as well as national and private funds. The money will support projects in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Poland, Finland, and the UK.
Integrated projects under the sub-programme for Environment are projects implementing on a large territorial scale (regional, multi-regional, national or trans-national scale) environmental plans or strategies required by specific Union environmental legislation, developed pursuant to other Union acts or developed by Member States' authorities, primarily in the areas of nature (including Natura 2000 network management), water, waste and air, while ensuring involvement of stakeholders and promoting the coordination with and mobilisation of at least one other relevant Union, national or private funding source.
Integrated projects under the sub-programme for Climate Action are projects implementing on a large territorial scale (regional, multi-regional, national or trans-national scale) climate action plans, strategies or roadmaps required by specific Union climate legislation, developed pursuant to other Union acts or developed by Member States' authorities, primarily in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation, while ensuring involvement of stakeholders and promoting the coordination with and mobilisation of at least one other relevant Union, national or private funding source.
These are Integrated projects contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the: Water Framework Directive by implementing all or part of a River Basin Management Plan; or Air Directive by implementing Air Quality Plans.
GERMANY (1 project – €15.7 million)
LiLa (HMUKLV - Hessian Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Protection): The project aims to contribute to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in order to achieve a “good” ecological status for surface waters in the catchment area of the Lahn River, an eastern tributary of the Rhine. LiLa will serve as a pilot for the recategorisation of inland waterways that previously gave priority to waterborne transport. It will demonstrate an integrated multi-stakeholder approach to managing the Lahn catchment, which crosses several administrative boundaries, improving the ecosystem services it provides. Restoration of near-natural conditions will improve the Lahn’s ecological status and biodiversity. The project will also create water retention areas and identify pollution sources to improve water quality.
POLAND (1 project – €16.8 million)
LIFE-IP MALOPOLSKA (Województwo Małopolskie): The aim of this project is the implementation of an air quality plan in the Małopolska region of Poland, and regional and local air quality policies the province of Silesia, and adjacent regions in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Specific aims include improving regional cooperation in these air pollution hotspots, removing barriers to the mobilisation of funding for replacing obsolete coal boilers, building local capacity (through ‘eco-managers’ and a centre of excellence) and raising awareness about how to improve air quality.
UK (1 project – €20.0 million)
LIFE-IP RBMP-NWRBD UK (Environment Agency): The project’s objective is to integrate water management approaches to deliver the North West England River Basin Management Plan. In particular, the project will address barriers holding back the achievement of “good” ecological status for the region’s water bodies, as required by the Water Framework Directive. The project aims to build stakeholder capacity, reduce policy conflicts, identify water and flood management measures that produce multiple benefits - thus allowing greater use of relevant funds – and improve knowledge of innovative measures such as sustainable drainage systems.
These are Integrated projects contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives (Natura 2000 network) and to achieving target 1 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy by implementing the Prioritised Action Frameworks (PAFs), which are priorities for managing and implementing the Natura 2000 network.
BELGIUM (1 project – €19.0 million)
BNIP - Belgian Nature Integrated Project (Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos): The objective of the project is to implement Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) targets for the Natura 2000 network in Belgium, through improved governance, capacity building and collaboration between the Flemish, Walloon and Federal authorities. The project aims to improve stakeholder involvement, and to implement specific objectives such as developing integrated site management plans and monitoring programmes.
FINLAND (1 project – €24.4 million)
FRESHABIT LIFE-IP (Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland): The project aims to improve the ecological status, management and sustainable use of freshwater Natura 2000 sites in Finland, by tackling the problems they face at catchment level. The project will develop and demonstrate, in eight regional Natura 2000 networks, new biodiversity and ecosystem service indicators, with a focus on reviving populations of the key indicator species freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera), alongside modelling methodologies for assessing the status of freshwater habitats.
ITALY (1 project – €17.3 million)
LIFE IP GESTIRE 2020 (Regione Lombardia): The objective of the project is the creation of an integrated management structure for achieving conservation objectives, set out in the Habitats and Birds directives, for the Natura 2000 regional network in Lombardy. The project aims to coordinate management; integrate regional policies; train personnel working in Natura 2000 areas; raise public awareness; and plan interventions to conserve biodiversity, such as enhancing connectivity and tackling invasive alien species.