LIFE Programme: Celebrating 25 years of support for the European nature
Both the programme and the directive were approved on 21st May 1992 and since then, more than 4,300 projects aiming to preserve the uniqueness of Europe’s nature have been co-funded by LIFE. Among the successfully financed projects are two by WWF and partners: a project currently ongoing on sustainable protection of lower Danube sturgeons by preventing and counteracting poaching and illegal wildlife trade (‘Life for Danube Sturgeons’, 2016-2020), as well as “Joint actions to raise awareness on overexploitation of Danube sturgeons in Romania and Bulgaria” that ran from 2012 to 2015.
Project Manager Jutta Jahrl took on the European Commission’s invitation to present the project structure at a high-profile EU Green Week event in Brussels on 31 May 2017. The amazing story of sturgeons was re-told in front of more than 500 delegates through the prism of how to write a project proposal with the participation of both EU and non-EU partners and to bring it to a successful end. Jutta Jahrl said: ‘’The LIFE programme gives you the chance – and resources – to do what you have always considered crucial to do in nature conservation.’’
LIFE is one of the EU’s financial instruments providing support to projects focused on environmental, conservation and climate action activities in Europe. The Habitats Directive in conjunction with the Birds Directive is the basis for the EU’s Natura 2000 network of protected sites. Natura 2000 is considered to be one of the EU’s biggest achievements in nature conservation as it includes more than 27,000 sites. For those interested in getting involved in protecting the Europe’s natural world, the LIFE Programme just launched its new call for proposals for 2017. Project proposals that plan to tackle climate change would be of particular interest because over €82 million of the projected funding is coming from the sub-programme for Climate Action.