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About LIFE


LIFE Program

The LIFE programme is the EUs funding instrument for the environment. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value.
LIFE began in 1992 and to date there have been four complete phases of the programme (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999, LIFE III: 2000-2006 and LIFE+: 2007-2013). During this period, LIFE has co-financed some 3954 projects across the EU, contributing approximately 3.1 billion to the protection of the environment.

The LIFE Programme targeted:
  • Special Protection Areas (SPA) by the Directive 2009/147/EC (this is the codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC)
  • Sites of Community Importance (SCI) by the Directive 92/43/EEC
  • for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) by the Directive 92/43/EEC
  • Species listed in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and in Annex II., IV. of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them
Regulations

1655/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000 concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE)
Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora
Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds

LIFE+ (2007 2013)

The fourth phase of the LIFE programme, LIFE+ ran from 2007-2013 and had a budget of 2.143 billion. It consisted of three components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance, and LIFE+ Information and Communication.

LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity continued and extended the former LIFE Nature programme. It co-financed best practice or demonstration projects that contribute to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats directives and the Natura 2000 network. It also co-financed innovative or demonstration projects contributing to the implementation of the objectives of Commission Communication (COM (2006) 216 final) on "Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 and beyond". At least 50% of the LIFE+ budget for project co-financing was required to be dedicated to LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity projects.

LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance continued and extended the former LIFE Environment programme. It co-financed innovative or pilot projects contributing to the implementation of European environmental policy and the development of innovative policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. It also helped monitor pressures (including the long-term monitoring of forests and environmental interactions) on our environment.

LIFE+ Information & Communication was a new component that co-financed projects relating to communication and awareness-raising campaigns on environmental, nature protection or biodiversity conservation issues, as well as projects related to forest fire prevention (awareness raising, special training).
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