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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 30 April 2014

Environment and Climate: European Commission provides €282.6 million for 225 new environment and climate projects

The European Commission has today approved funding for 225 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union's environment fund. The projects selected were submitted by beneficiaries in all 28 Member States and cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, climate change, environmental policy and information and communication on environmental issues across the EU. Overall, they represent a total investment of some €589.3 million, of which the EU will provide €282.6 million.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “In the final year of the current programming period, the LIFE+ programme once again demonstrates its ability to deliver essential financial support for environmental and nature conservation projects with significant added value for the EU. These latest projects will make a vital contribution to the preservation, conservation and enhancement of Europe’s natural capital, as well as helping to achieve sustainable growth through investment in a low carbon and resource efficient economy. The widely acknowledged success of LIFE+ and its projects has ensured the recent adoption of a new LIFE Regulation for Environment and Climate Action, with an increased budget, for the period 2014-2020”

Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said: "I am happy to see so many innovative projects also this year. And to make them happen, we will contribute with more than €41.2 millionwith a total budget of €109.4 million. An ever rising share of LIFE projects is contributing to climate action. And we want to improve this even more: The new LIFE programme from 2014 to 2020 will foresee over 850 million Euros dedicated to climate action. This will roughly triple the amount which is spent on climate action."

The Commission received 1 468 applications in response to its latest call for proposals, which closed in June 2013. Of these, 225 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.

1) LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity projects improve the conservation status of endangered species and habitats. Of the 342 proposals received, the Commission selected 92 projects for funding from partnerships of conservation bodies, government authorities and other parties. Led by project beneficiaries in 25 Member States, they represent a total investment of €262.5 million, of which the EU will provide some €147.9 million. The majority (79) are Nature projects, contributing to the implementation of the Birds and/or Habitats Directives and the Natura 2000 network. The other 13 are Biodiversity projects, a LIFE+ project category for pilot schemes that tackle wider biodiversity issues.

2) LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance projects are pilot projects that contribute to the development of innovative policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. Of the 961 proposals received, the Commission selected 125 projects for funding from a wide range of public and private sector organisations. The winning projects, led by project beneficiaries in 22 Member States, represent a total investment of €318.5 million, of which the EU will provide some €130.8 million.

Under this component, the Commission will contribute more than €41.2 million to 33 projects directly tackling climate change, with a total budget of €109.4 million. The selected projects, situated in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, are highlighted in the annex to this press release. In addition, many other projects focusing on other issues will also have an indirect impact on greenhouse emissions.

Other important areas of focus include waste and natural resources, innovation, water, and chemicals.

3) LIFE+ Information and Communication projects disseminate information and raise the profile of environmental issues. Of the 165 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding eight (8) projects from a range of public and private sector nature and/or environment organisations. The projects are based in six Member States - Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Romania - and represent a total investment of €8.3 million, of which the EU will provide some €3.9 million.

Half of the eight projects are concerned with EU environmental policy campaigns, three aim to raise awareness about nature and biodiversity matters and the remaining one is focused on forest fire prevention.

Background

LIFE+ is the European financial instrument for the environment and has a total budget of €2.1 billion for the period 2007-2013. The Commission launched one call for LIFE+ project proposals per year.

The LIFE programme will continue from 2014-2020 under the new LIFE Regulation for Environment and Climate Action. The programme has a total budget for the period of €3.4 billion in December 2013 prices, and will have a sub-programme for environment and a sub-programme for climate action.

More information

See a summary and contact email address of all the new projects funded under LIFE+, broken down by country: MEMO/14/320 (+ annex with the projects for your country translated in the language of your country)

For information on LIFE+: http://ec.europa.eu/life

Contact the relevant national authorities:

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

Contacts :

For the press:

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93) - Andreja Skerl (+32 2 295 14 45)

Isaac Valero Ladron (+32 2 296 49 71)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail

Annex

The 2013 LIFE+ projects

in Ireland and UK

Ireland (IE) 3 projects (11.7 million)

  1. LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance (1 project – 3.6 million)

WISER LIFE (The Rediscovery Centre Ltd.): The project will demonstrate best practice in waste reuse and preparation for reuse through the creation of an innovative centre demonstrating excellence in reuse at every level of interaction, supported by an eco-cluster of resource-efficient enterprises, and complemented by a suite for environmental education, training and research programmes. Contact: tara@rediscoverycentre.ie

  1. LIFE+ Nature (2 projects – 8.1 million)

LIFE Kerry (Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht): The project aims to improve the conservation status of pearl mussels on the catchments of the rivers Caragh and Blackwater (Kerry) which form part of the Killarney National Park, included in the Natura 2000 network sites (Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Caragh River Catchment, and Blackwater River (Kerry)) by the development and implementation of effective and cost-efficient measures for reducing diffuse losses of sediment and nutrients from forestry and farming. Contact: niall.redmond@ahg.gov.ie

Raptor LIFE (IRD Duhallow Ltd): The objective of the project is to restore hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) populations and enhance habitats for a range of species included in Annex I of the Birds Directive and Annex II of the Habitats Directive. This will be done by restoring habitat across a range of land use types through an integrated network of actions in south-west Ireland focusing on the Mullaghareirk Mountains, West Limerick Hills and Mount Eagle and the Blackwater River Natura 2000 network sites. Contact: duhallow@eircom.net

United Kingdom (UK) 11 projects (49.7 million)

  1. LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance (5 projects – 29.7 million)

LIFE SynSpirit (Shanks Group plc): The project aims to demonstrate a new anaerobic fermentation process through which organic waste streams combined with low quality crude glycerine can be efficiently converted into high value bio-methanol. The project for the first time connects a biological anaerobic digestion process for crude glycerine with a sustainable thermochemical production for bio-methanol based on high quality glycerine, resulting in the efficient conversion of a low-value by-product into a value renewable product. This innovative industrial-scale approach will improve resource efficiency and have a significant positive effect on CO2 emissions. (Relevant to Climate Change). Contact: m.bovee@orgaworld.nl

QUARTERBACK for LIFE (Croda Europe Ltd): The objective of the project is to demonstrate, in the first full-scale application, the technical and economic feasibility of operating an integrated process in which crude glycerine is used as the only feedstock for an anaerobic digestion process in order to produce biogas for local use. Contact: Ron.van.t.hof@croda.com

REPURPOSE LIFE (London Community Resource Network): This project aims to support residents in creating their own social enterprises, turning redundant spaces into reuse hubs to collect, store and repair bulky reuse items and provide alternatives to illegal dumping/fly-tipping. This will be complemented by an in-depth engagement and behavior-change programme to tackle the root causes of illegal dumping/fly-tipping and encourage positive environmental action. Contact: mike@lcrn.org.uk

WaterLIFE (WWF-UK): The long-term goal to which WaterLIFE will contribute is that by 2021 civil society and the private sector are actively engaged in the delivery of the Water Framework Directive across the EU, restoring EU rivers to good ecological status (GES). Its aim is to move surface water bodies within all demonstration catchments to GES faster than predicted by the 2009 river basin management plans (RMBPs). The project is designed to support governments in the development of second-cycle RBMPs, demonstrating that there are civil society and private sector-led mechanisms that can work if supported by an adequate policy framework. Contact: jmiller@wwf.org.uk

LIFE SMART Waste (Scottish Environment Protection Agency): The overarching project goal is to demonstrate innovative ways to understand, tackle and reduce waste crime by developing innovative intelligence gathering and analytical approaches to identify and understand significant waste crime issues (current and future) associated with “challenging" waste streams, problem waste operators and illegal waste activities. Contact: catherine.preston@sepa.org.uk

  1. LIFE+ Nature (4 projects – 15.6 million)

LIFE Shiants (RSPB-The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds): The main objective of this project is to remove invasive rats from the Shiant Isles Natura 2000 network site. This will eliminate a significant pressure on the existing seabird assemblage, and will also build the resilience of the assemblage to the impacts of oceanographic change and increasing human activity at sea. Contact: nick.folkard@rspb.org.uk

LIFE hen harriers (RSPB-The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds): The aim of the project is to provide the conditions in which hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) range and population recovery can occur. Recovery will probably take at least 10 years to become fully established, even with a widespread reduction in persecution pressure. Within the timeframe of the project the key priorities are therefore to prevent the extinction of the hen harrier as a breeding species in northern England, and to arrest its decline in southern and eastern Scotland, as vital first steps towards recovery. Contact: nick.folkard@rspb.org.uk

Cumbrian BogsLIFE+ (Natural England): The long term aim of the project is to achieve the favourable conservation status of Natura 2000 raised bog habitat by 2035 on the Roudsea Woods and Mosses and South Solway Mosses sites and by 2039 on Bolton Fell Moss (all northern England), by restoring natural hydrology and biodiversity. The restoration work will help to increase the resilience of the sites to climate change and avoid further loss of carbon. Contact: NeexteranlFunding@naturalengland.org.uk

THATS-LIFE (Natural England): The objective of the project is to undertake conservation actions to establish a stable water table within +/- 20cm of ground level across the 3 273 ha of the three Natura 2000 network sites (Thorne Moors, Hatfield Moors, and Thorne and Hatfield Moors) in the Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve. This will enable peat-forming vegetation to re-establish on the degraded peat bog surface and ensure both moors achieve a favourable condition. The project also aims to increase the European Nightjar population by 15% from the current population of 80-88 territorial males. Contact: NeexteranlFunding@naturalengland.org.uk

  1. LIFE+ Biodiversity (2 projects – 4.4 million)

LIFE WADERS FOR REAL (Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust): This project seeks to reverse the decline of breeding waders in the Avon Valley (Hampshire), a river floodplain of high biodiversity interest, part of which is designated as a Natura 2000 network site, through a unique combination of habitat restoration and innovative targeted, seasonal exclusion and reduction of predators. Contact: pstephens@gwct.org.uk

EcoCo LIFE Scotland (Scottish Natural Heritage): This project will deliver habitat management in the most beneficial places within the Central Scotland Green Network area to improve ecological coherence. To do this, the project will develop a new mapping methodology to identify the most beneficial places for people and wildlife, and will test its application through implementing habitat restoration, creation and improvement at selected sites. Contact: phil.baarda@snh.gov.uk


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