The seventh call for proposals under the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) Regulation was published in the Official Journal on 19th February 2013. The deadline for applicants to submit validated proposals to Member State authorities is 25th June 2013. Co-financing of projects is possible under three themes: Nature and Biodiversity, Environment Policy and Governance and Information and Communication.
Under the Environment Policy & Governance component and for the policy area 'Soil', the Commission invites projects with the following principal objective: to protect and ensure the sustainable use of soil by preserving soil functions, preventing threats to soil, mitigating their effects and restoring degraded soils. Additionally, soil related funding may be possible under the objective for the ‘Urban environment’: to contribute to improving the environmental performance of Europe's urban areas.
Under the Information and Communication component, the Commission invites communication actions and awareness raising campaigns to, inter alia, increase the awareness and knowledge about the importance of soil and soil biodiversity and its many ecological functions, and sustainable land use.
More information, relevant documents and the application packages are available here.
Soil sealing – the covering of the ground by an impermeable material – is one of the main causes of soil degradation in the EU. Soil sealing often affects fertile agricultural land, puts biodiversity at risk, increases the risk of flooding and water scarcity and contributes to global warming. Guidelines on best practice to limit, mitigate or compensate soil sealing were made public by the European Commission on 12th April 2012. These guidelines collect examples of policies, legislation, funding schemes, local planning tools, information campaigns and many other best practices implemented throughout the EU. They are mainly addressed to competent authorities in Member States (at national, regional and local levels), professionals dealing with land planning and soil management, and stakeholders in general, but it may also be of interest to individual citizens. More information…
A public consultations has been launched on the 7th Environment Action Programme (7EAP), 2012-2020, which will run until 1st June 2012. Environment Action Programmes have guided the development of EU environment policy since the early seventies. During this period, environment legislation was consolidated and completed to cover almost all environmental media, with the exception of soil. Against this background, the Commission is considering how a 7th Environment Action Programme could best provide added value in the rapidly evolving environment policy context. The purpose of this consultation is to collect the views of all stakeholders, at EU and national level, and the public at large on the environment policy priorities up to 2020. Informed opinions are sought on the priority areas to be addressed and on the most effective tools for the EU to employ in addressing the challenges described in the consultation document. Comments are invited from citizens, organisations and public authorities. More information...