LIFE is the EC’s financial instrument supporting environment and nature conservation projects throughout the EU. It is the only financial instrument aimed purely at improving the environment and is complementary to the other Community research programmes (such as Horizon 2020), the structural funds (such as ERDF) and other rural development programmes.

The new LIFE Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, which establishes the Environment and Climate Action sub-programmes of the LIFE Programme for the next funding period, 2014–2020. The budget for the period is set at €3.4 billion in current prices.

The LIFE programme will contribute to sustainable development and to the achievement of the objectives and targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the 7th Union Environmental Action Programme and other relevant EU environment and climate strategies and plans.

The ‘Environment’ strand of the new programme covers three priority areas: environment and resource efficiency; nature and biodiversity; and environmental governance and information. The ‘Climate Action’ strand covers climate change mitigation; climate change adaptation; and climate governance and information.

The programme also consists of a new category of projects, jointly funded integrated projects, which will operate on a large territorial scale. These projects will aim to implement environmental and climate policy and to better integrate such policy aims into other policy areas.

The new regulation also establishes eligibility and the criteria for awards as well as a basis for selecting projects. The programme is open to the participation of third countries and provides for activities outside the EU. It also provides a framework for cooperation with international organisations.


LIFE Multiannual Work Programme for 2014-2017

The LIFE multiannual work programme for 2014-2017 has been adopted by a Commission Decision on 19th March 2014, after received a positive opinion of the Committee for the LIFE Programme for the Environment and Climate Action on 17th February 2014. The work programme applies from the date of its adoption and enters into force as of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It will be published in all EU languages with the exception of Irish.

The LIFE multiannual work programme for 2014-2017 sets the framework for the next four years for the management of the new LIFE Programme 2014-2020. It contains an indicative budget, explains the selection methodology for projects and for operating grants and establishes outcome indicators for the two LIFE sub-programmes – for Environment and for Climate Action. The total budget for funding projects during the period covered amounts to €1.1 billion under the sub-programme for Environment and €0.36 billion under the sub-programme for Climate Action.

For the first time LIFE project funding also will be provided through innovative financial instruments. The LIFE Environment sub-programme contributes to one such instrument, the pilot Natural Capital Financing (NCFF) financial instrument, which falls under the Nature and Biodiversity project area and will help finance biodiversity projects, amongst other things. The work programme also features an indicative timetable for the calls for proposals for action and operating grants as well as for the two pilot financial instruments covered by it. The first calls are scheduled for May/June 2014.ell as for the two pilot financial instruments covered by it. The first calls are scheduled for May/June 2014.

To download the work programme, please click here.

Information Day for the 2014 LIFE Call

The joint UK and Ireland LIFE Information Day took place on Tuesday 25th March in London. To download the presentations from the day, please click on one of the links below.

The new 2014-2020 Programme - Anne Burrill DG Environment, European Commission download

Overview of National Contact Point, e-proposal and support arrangements - Catherine Holt, Beta Technology download

Developing LIFE bids, an Environment Agency and Natural England perspective - Ed Clegg, Environment Agency & Craig Thomas, Natural England download

How to write a proposal (including lessons from previous rounds) - Anne Burrill, DG Environment, European Commission download

Where are we with Integrated Projects in the UK? - Richard Findon/Liz Crocker, Defra LIFE Policy Lead download

The Information Day was also webstreamed, and a recording of the day can be found by clicking here.

As further information about the new programme becomes available, it will be posted here.