The LIFE program is the funding instrument of European Union for the environment. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value. LIFE started in 1992 and up to now there have been four complete phases of the program (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999, LIFE III: 2000-2006 and LIFE+: 2007-2013). During this period, LIFE has co-financed about 3.104 projects across EU, contributing approximately with € 2.8 billion for the environmental protection.
The current phase of the LIFE+ program covers the period from 2014-2020 and has a budget of € 3.4 billion euro to cover both the operating expenses of the Directorate General for the Environment and co-financing of projects. During the past period 2007-2013 and for the actual Program 2014-2020, the European Commission has launched and will launch a call for proposals for LIFE + projects each year. Proposals must be eligible under one of three program components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance and LIFE+ Information and Communication.
LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity
The Nature & Biodiversity component continues and extends the past LIFE Nature Program. Will co-finance best practice or demonstration projects contributing to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Natura 2000 network. Moreover, will co-finance innovative or demonstration projects that will contribute to achieving the objectives of the Commission communication (COM (2006) 216 final) on “Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 – and beyond.” At least 55% of the LIFE+ budget for the co-financing of projects should be dedicated to LIFE + Nature and Biodiversity.
LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance
The component Environmental Policy and Governance continues and extends the previous LIFE-Environment Program. It will co-finance innovative or pilot projects that contribute to the implementation of European environmental policy and the development of ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. It will also help to increase the monitoring (including the long-term monitoring of forests and environmental interactions) on our environment.
LIFE+ Information & Communication
This component will co-finance projects relating to communication and awareness raising campaigns on environment, nature protection or biodiversity conservation issues, as well as projects related to forest fire prevention (awareness raising, special training).
LIFE + is open to public or private bodies, actors or institutions registered in the European Union. Project proposals may be submitted by a single beneficiary or by a partnership which includes a coordinating beneficiary and one or more associated beneficiaries; can be national or transnational, but the actions must take place exclusively within the territory of the 27 Member States of the European Union.
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