Brussels, 30 August 2002
LIFE-Environment: Commission grants Euro 69 million for 109 environmental innovation projects
The European Commission has selected 109 new environmental demonstration projects for co-funding under the LIFE-Environment programme. These projects are co-funded to gain knowledge and experience to help develop and implement EU environmental legislation in the European Union and candidate countries. They will enable demonstration and development of new methods for the protection and the enhancement of the environment. This year's selected projects represent a total investment of around €213 million, to which LIFE-Environment will provide €69 million. Among the 109 projects selected, those relating to the sustainable management of water resources predominate. These projects cover waste water treatment, groundwater protection and river basin management.
The selected projects cover the five areas of: promoting the integration of environmental considerations into land-use development and planning and urban management; encouraging sustainable management of water resources; preventing, recycling and re-using waste; mitigating the environmental impact of economic activity; and promoting integrated product policy.
Sustainable management of water resources is the theme of the largest proportion of projects selected and the EU funding allocated (30 projects, EU contribution €20.4 million, which represents 29% of the total). There are 25 projects relating to minimising the impact of economic activity (EU contribution €15.7 million), which cover clean technologies, integrated environment management (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme - EMAS etc), sustainable tourism and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Twenty three projects, funded by €15.7 million, relate to the area of preventing, recycling and re-using waste, mainly dealing with packaging and plastics, hazardous or problematic waste or waste important in volume. Twenty two projects co-financed to the tune of €13.5 million relate to the theme of promoting the integration of environmental considerations, whether in the urban environment, in coastal zone management, other areas of land-use development and planning, including projects which target the quality of air and noise abatement. Finally, €4.4 million has been allocated to nine projects which focus on promoting an integrated product policy though eco-design, eco-labelling and green financial products.
Among the 109 projects selected, over half involve public authorities or public institutions as their main beneficiaries, followed by private bodies (43%), small and medium-sized enterprises and finally non-governmental organisations.
The LIFE programme
LIFE is the European Union's scheme which provides financial support for environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, in candidate countries and in bordering regions. The general objective of LIFE is through the financing of specific actions to contribute to the development and implementation of EU environmental policy. LIFE has three distinct components: LIFE-Environment, LIFE-Nature and LIFE-Third countries. The total budget for LIFE III, which covers the period 2000-2004, is €640 million.
This year's selection process
The Commission approved 109 projects selected from 479 proposals which were presented in November 2001 by organisations from the fifteen EU Member States and the five Candidate Countries participating in the programme, i.e. Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, and Slovenia. The proposals went through a rigorous evaluation procedure and were ranked by the Commission, assisted by a group of independent experts, on merit. On 11 June 2002 in Madrid, the LIFE Committee, which is composed of Member States' representatives and observers from the Candidate Countries, unanimously gave a favourable opinion on the list of 109 selected projects proposed by the Commission.
More information on individual projects
A brief overview of the projects selected in each country is available on the LIFE website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/news/life-env_press02.htm More detailed descriptions of these 2002 projects will be available in September on the LIFE database.