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Commission to provide €244 million for 183 new environment projects

European Commission - IP/11/902   19/07/2011

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European Commission - Press release

Commission to provide €244 million for 183 new environment projects

Brussels, 19 July - The European Commission has (today) approved funding for 183 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union's environment fund. The projects involve all EU Member States and cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, climate change, clean technology, environmental policy and information and communication on environmental issues. Overall, they represent a total investment of some €530 million, of which the EU will provide €244 million.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "The LIFE+ programme maintains its financial support for high quality, innovative projects with a high level of added value for the EU. These new projects will not only make a significant contribution to nature conservation and to improving the environment, including the fight against climate change. They will help raising awareness across Europe of the key environmental challenges facing us, such as decoupling growth from resource use."

The Commission received 748 applications in response to its latest call for proposals, which closed in September 2010. Of these, 183 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. Fifty-five of these projects involve partners from more than one Member State.

LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity projects improve the conservation status of endangered species and habitats. Of the 203 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 64 projects from partnerships of conservation bodies, government authorities and other parties. Based in 18 Member States, they represent a total investment of €223 million, of which the EU will provide some €125 million. The majority (55) are Nature projects, contributing to the implementation of the Birds and/or Habitats Directives and the Natura 2000 network. The other nine are Biodiversity projects, a LIFE+ project category for pilot schemes that tackle wider biodiversity issues. The total invested in Biodiversity projects will be €18.3 million.

LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance projects are pilot projects that contribute to the development of innovative policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. Of the 399 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 104 projects from a wide range of public and private sector organisations. The winning projects, based in 18 Member States, represent a total investment of €286 million, of which the EU will provide some €109 million. Projects targeting waste and natural resources account for the lion's share of this funding (some €143 million for 51 projects).

The Commission will contribute more than €16 million to 14 projects directly tackling climate change, with a total budget of €40 million. In addition, 12 projects focussing on other issues will also have an indirect impact on greenhouse gas emissions. These different projects are highlighted in the annex to this press release.

Water is another important area of focus, with nine projects selected. The remaining 30 projects cover various topics including air, chemicals, environment and health, forests, innovation, noise, soil protection, strategic approaches, and the urban environment.

LIFE+ Information and Communication projects disseminate information and raise the profile of environmental issues, and provide training and awareness-raising for the prevention of forest fires. Of the 146 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 15 projects from a range of public and private sector nature and/or environment organisations, tackling topics such as biodiversity, climate change, waste and water. The projects are based in eight Member States and represent a total investment of €20.4 million, of which the EU will provide some €10.1 million. The Commission is pleased to note a significant increase in the amount of funding dedicated to LIFE+ Information and Communication projects. Seven of the 15 projects are concerned with raising awareness about nature and biodiversity matters, with eight focused on other environmental matters.

Background:

LIFE+ is the European financial instrument for the environment and has a total budget of €2.143 billion for the period 2007-2013. The Commission launches one call for LIFE+ project proposals per year.

More information

See the annex for a summary of all the new projects funded under LIFE+, broken down by country:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/news/press/index.htm#annexes2010

For more detail on each of the new Nature & Biodiversity projects see:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/publications/lifepublications/compilations/documents/natcompilation10.pdf

For more detail on each of the new Environment Policy & Governance projects see:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/publications/lifepublications/compilations/documents/envcompilation10.pdf

For more detail on each of the new Information & Communication projects see:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/publications/lifepublications/compilations/documents/infcompilation10.pdf

For all information on LIFE+ see:

http://ec.europa.eu/life

It is also possible to contact the relevant national authorities:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/contact/nationalcontact/index.htm

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)


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