The LIFE program is the European Union’s financial instrument which from 2007 to 2013 funded and supported environmental and conservation projects in the entire EU, as well as in some candidate and neighboring countries. The general objective of the program was to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of the EU policy and legislation regarding the environment, and to facilitate the inclusion of the environment in other policies, contributing to the promotion of a sustainable development. From the beginning , the LIFE + program has financed close to 3.954 projects and has used over 3 billion euro to protect the environment, focusing on habitats, plants and animal species included in the 92/43 CEE Habitats Directive and the 79/409/CEE Wild Birds Directive, later substituted by the 09/147 CE Directive.
The LIFE+ program has the following strands:
Nature and Biodiversity
For projects that contribute to the implementation of EU policies regarding nature and biodiversity, specifically the Habitats and Birds Directives and also at a local and regional level, and to the further development and implementation of the Natura 2000 Network, including marine and coastal species and habitats.
Politics and Enviromental Governance
For projects that contribute to the development and implementation of new and innovative approaches, technologies, methods and instruments, able to support and improve the environmental governance, and also increasing the participation by stakeholders, like NGOs, to the consultation process and to the implementation of the policies necessary to achieve the European Union’s aims in the area of the environment.
Information and Communication
For projects that through information and raising awareness campaigns are able to spread information and/or train and educate on environmental issues, including the prevention of forest fires.
Starting from January 2014 a new financing program called “LIFE” will come into action for the programming period 2014-2020