LIFE program will support 12 strategic European projects: 223 million euros in funding

Program LIFE

On February 22 this year. The European Commission has decided to invest 223 million euros in new strategic environmental and climate projects. The initiative is being implemented in line with the ambitious Green Deal policy and will support 12 projects in ten member states, including one in Poland. The LIFE program will cover part of the implementation costs, and additional funds are expected to flow down, among other things. from structural, national and regional funds.

LIFE program in a nutshell

Launched in 1992, the LIFE program is the only EU financial instrument focusing exclusively on subsidizing environmental and climate projects. Over three decades, funds from this program have been allocated to more than 5,500. initiatives, including in countries outside the EU. The European Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation is responsible for the management of LIFE. Climate, Infrastructure and Environment (CINEA).

In the period 2021-2027, the LIFE program is expected to provide funds totaling €5.4 billion. Funding will be distributed in two areas: Environment and Climate Action. The former will include projects on nature, biodiversity and the circular economy and quality of life. The second area includes subprograms for climate change mitigation and adaptation and transition to clean energy (starting in 2021).

Projects supporting the environment

Support under the new co-funding pool was awarded to three strategic projects seeking to improve the environment. More than 14 million euros will be awarded to beneficiaries of the Polish LIFE Podkarpackie project to implement an air quality improvement plan. It aims to reduce PM10 and PM2.5 dust concentrations in the region. The project provides for the development and implementation of good practices and the mobilization of public and private funds.

The LIFE program will also support an Irish initiative to expand Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and a Lithuanian project to improve the quality of marine and surface waters through the implementation of a national plan for the water sector.

LIFE program for ecosystems

As many as six strategic projects will be implemented under the nature and biodiversity subprogram. Nearly €30 million will go to a Finnish initiative to develop regional biodiversity plans and build know-how in the area. Applicants will focus more on managing the regeneration of entire ecosystems rather than protecting individual habitats and species.

Funding was also provided for projects related to the implementation of Natura 2000. The Lombardy region will receive nearly €28 million to develop an integrated management system for Natura 2000 sites, strengthen ecological corridors, and support ecosystems crucial to climate change mitigation. Activities will be implemented in four regions of northern Italy. In turn, an Irish consortium of public authorities can count on more than €20 million to build an integrated Natura 2000 data platform across the country and improve financial mechanisms for raising further funds. The project envisions, among other things. Regeneration of forested peatlands and coastal habitats.

In Austria, 1,400 are planned for renewal. hectares of peatlands, home to 37 protected species. The project includes, among other things. Synchronization of legal regulations and the development of expertise in this area. In the Czech Republic, support was given to a project to implement species-specific action plans and create algorithms to facilitate their evaluation. The applicants expect to reverse the negative population trend in at least 25 species.

A more general, sectoral approach is represented by the French LIFE BIODIVFr project, which aims to start a dialogue among stakeholders and improve the implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy.

LIFE climate initiatives

The LIFE program will also include co-financing for three climate change projects. The €12 million in aid will go to Finland to support efforts to achieve carbon neutrality in 2035. Activities uniting the government, scientific, civil society and private sectors will include. Developing value chains in swamp agriculture and reducing emissions in industrial transportation.

In Bulgaria, a project to implement Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) in an area inhabited by 30 percent of the country’s population will receive €9 million in support. country’s population. In France, meanwhile, funding will be provided for the development of a transboundary climate strategy affecting six regions within the Pyrenees. This is one of the first such initiatives in Europe, and could become a catalyst for climate change adaptation in other mountain areas as well.

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