The LIFE programME

LIFE programme

The LIFE (Financial Instrument for the Environment) programme is the European Union’s the only financial instrument that contributes exclusively to tackling the Community’s environmental and climate change challenges. Since the program was set up in 1992, investments have focused on priority areas such as environmental and resource efficiency, nature and biodiversity conservation, environmental management and information, climate change mitigation and adaptation. The major part of the funds is allocated to nature and biodiversity conservation projects that contribute to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the development of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas.

The LIFE programme has the following objectives:

Help move towards a resource-efficient, low carbon and climate resilient economy, improve the quality of the environment and halt and reverse biodiversity loss

Improve the development, implementation and enforcement of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation, and act as a catalyst for, and promote, the mainstreaming of environmental and climate objectives into other policies and practices

Support better environmental and climate governance at all levels, including better involvement of civil society, NGOs and local actors

Support the implementation of the 7th environmental action plan

During the 2014-2020 period LIFE-Integrated projects had a special role to play in implementing environmental or climate change strategies on a large territorial scale, in particular in the fields of nature (including Natura 2000 network management), water, waste, air and climate change mitigation. It is essential that integrated projects ensure stakeholder involvement and mobilize the necessary EU, national and private sources of funding.

The LIFE integrated project in the field of nature is intended to implement the Prioritized Action Framework (PAF), a national strategy document for Natura 2000 sites. Thus, this EU funding instrument has a crucial role to play in halting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services and promoting their restoration.

Once successful, the integrated projects will become “Strategic Nature Projects“ in the new funding phase of the LIFE programme (2021-2027). Their difference from integrated projects and the main tasks will be:
  • Particular attention to the integration of nature policy into other policies, such as agriculture and rural development
  • involvement in decision-making at EU level
  • A wider range of biodiversity issues to be addressed
  • Possibility of transnational projects
  • European Commission assistance to EU member states in preparing a project application
The sub-programs will also be updated in the new phase of the LIFE programme. During the 2014-2020 period there were two: environment and climate policy. In the new phase, the following sub-programs are distinguished:
  • Nature and biodiversity
  • The circular economy and quality of life
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Clean energy transition
The budget for the program is € 5.45 billion Euro for 2021-2027 period. 2.15 billion is foreseen for nature and biodiversity measures. Another 1.35 billion dedicated for the circular economy and quality of life. Other 0.95 billion is dedicated for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Last 1 billion Euro is allocated for the transition to clean energy.

About the LIFE programme

The project “Optimizing the management of Natura 2000 network in Lithuania” (LIFE IP PAF-NATURALIT), No. LIFE16 IPE/LT/016 is financed by the EU LIFE Programme and the Republic of Lithuania. Webpage authors take full responsibility for the content of this website. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of European Commission.