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Monday, 02 August 2010

EC to provide €250 million for more than 200 new LIFE+ projects

The European Commission has approved funding for 210 new projects under the third call for the LIFE+ programme (2007-2013), the European fund for the environment. The projects are from across the EU and cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy, and information and communication. Overall, they represent a total investment of €515 million, of which the EU will provide €249.8 million. Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "The LIFE+ programme continues to fund high quality, innovative projects with a high level of added value for the EU. I believe that these new projects will not only make a significant contribution to nature conservation and to improving the environment, they will also help raise awareness across Europe of the key environmental challenges facing us, notably biodiversity loss, water scarcity and climate change." The Commission received more than 600 applications from public or private bodies from the 27 EU Member States during the call for proposals, which closed in November 2009. Of these, 210 were selected for co-funding through the programme’s three components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance and LIFE+ Information and Communication. LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity projects improve the conservation status of endangered species and habitats. Of the 194 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 84 projects from partnerships of conservation bodies, government authorities and other parties. Situated in 24 Member States, they represent a total investment of €224 million, of which the EU will provide some €124 million. The majority (74) are Nature projects, contributing to the implementation of the Birds and/or Habitats directives and the Natura 2000 network. The other 10 are Biodiversity projects, a LIFE+ project category for pilot schemes that tackle wider biodiversity issues. The Commission is pleased to note the steady increase in the number of Biodiversity projects funded since 2007 (four (4) projects) when the category was introduced.  LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance projects are pilot projects that contribute to the development of innovative policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. Of the 308 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 116 projects from a wide range of public and private sector organisations. The winning projects, situated in 17 Member States, represent a total investment of €278 million of which the EU will provide some €120 million. Projects targeting innovation account for the largest share of EU funding (some €20.9 million for 17 projects). The most targeted area in terms of number of projects is waste and natural resources (20 projects supported by €19.3 million), followed by water and innovation (17 projects each). The remaining 63 projects cover various topics including air, chemicals, climate change, energy, environment and health, forests, noise, soil protection, strategic approaches, and the urban environment.

Source: European Commission

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