LIFE began in 1992 and there have been four phases of the program: LIFE I, LIFE II, LIFE III and LIFE+. During this period, LIFE has co-financed 3954 projects across the EU, contributing approximately €3.1 billion to the protection of the environment.
EU Regulation no. 1293/2013 launched the fifth phase of LIFE for the period 2014-2020. The European Commission (DG Environment and DG Climate Action) manages the LIFE program together with the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).
The LIFE program is divided into two sub-programs: environment and climate action.
The Environment Sub-programs includes three priority areas:
- Environment and resource efficiency;
- Nature and biodiversity;
- Environmental governance and information.
The Climate Action Sub-programs includes three priority areas:
- Climate change mitigation;
- Climate change adaptation;
- Climate governance and information.
The general objectives of the new LIFE programme can be summarized as follows:
- To contribute to the shift towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy, to the protection and improvement of the quality of the environment and to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, including the support of the Natura 2000 network and tackling the degradation of ecosystems
- To improve the development, implementation and enforcement of Union environmental and climate policy and legislation, and to act as a catalyst for, and promote, the integration and mainstreaming of environmental and climate objectives into other Union policies and public and private sector practice, including by increasing the public and private sector’s capacity
- Support better climate and environmental governance at all levels
For further information on LIFE visit the LIFE site or the Ministry of the Environment (National Contact Point for Italy)