LIFE (L’Instrument Financier pour Environment) is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value.
LIFE began in 1992 and to date there have been three complete phases of the programme (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999 and LIFE III: 2000-2006). During this period, LIFE has co-financed some 3104 projects across the EU, contributing approximately €2.2 billion to the protection of the environment.
LIFE+ (2007 – 2013)
The current phase of the programme, LIFE+, runs from 2007-2013 and has a budget of €2.143 billion. The legal basis for LIFE+ is the Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 . LIFE+ covers both the operational expenditure of DG Environment and the co-financing of projects. According to Article 6 of the LIFE+ Regulation, at least 78 percent of the LIFE+ budgetary resources must be used for project action grants (i.e. LIFE+ projects).
During the period 2007-2013, the European Commission will launch one call for LIFE+ project proposals per year. Proposals must be eligible under one of the programme’s three components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance, and LIFE+ Information and Communication.
LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity
The Nature & Biodiversity component continues and extends the former LIFE-Nature programme. It will co-finance best practice or demonstration projects that contribute to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives. In addition it will co-finance innovative or demonstration projects that contribute to the implementation of the objectives of Commission Communication (COM (2011) 244 final). "Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020". At least 50% of the LIFE+ budget for project co-financing must be dedicated to LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity projects.
LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance
TheEnvironment Policy & Governance component continues and extends the former LIFE-Environment strand. It will co-finance projects that contribute to the implementation of EU environmental policy, the development of innovative policy approaches, technologies, methods and instruments, the knowledge base as regards environment policy and legislation, and the monitoring of environmental pressures (including the long-term monitoring of forests and environmental interactions).
LIFE+ Information & Communication
This component will co-finance projects that implement communication and awareness raising campaigns on environmental, nature protection or biodiversity conservation issues, as well as projects related to forest fire prevention (awareness raising, special training).
Co-financing under LIFE+
The maximum EU co-financing rate for LIFE+ projects is 50 percent of the total eligible project costs. By way of exception, a co-financing rate of up to 75 percent of the total eligible costs may be granted to LIFE+ Nature proposals that focus on concrete conservation actions for priority species or habitat types of the Birds and Habitats Directives.
There is no fixed minimum project budget size. However the EC does seem to favour the co-financing of large, ambitious LIFE+ proposals with a substantial budget, with the average grant awarded in excess of € 1 million.
LIFE+ 2013 Call
The European Commission launched its annual call for proposals to be funded under LIFE+ programme on 19th February 2013. A total of €286 million is available, with €21.7m allocated to the UK, in the form of co-funding for grant agreements.
The deadline for Member States to forward LIFE + project proposals to the European Commission is 5th July 2013. The key call dates are below.
Support for LIFE+ Applicants
A new LIFE+ concept note is being introduced for the 2013 call to allow applicants to receive additional, tailored support from not just Beta Technology but National Authorities. The concept note is much simpler than for previous calls and will be used to provide a general overview of the project.
The deadline for submitting completed LIFE+ project concept notes is the 22nd February 2013.
How to apply for LIFE+ funding
Guidance is available from the European Commission LIFE+ website. .
Please read all relevant guidance material on the European Commission LIFE+ website before completing any forms.
Proposals under the 'Life Nature & Biodiversity' and 'LIFE Communication forest fire prevention' project strands require you to consider the inclusion of an A8 form with supporting comments from the relevant National Authority. In the UK this action is devolved. Therefore, please would you ensure that all requests for an A8 are sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are not expected to send fully worked-up proposals but sufficient information for National Authorities (NA) to be able to come to a considered opinion; as a minimum, you should send draft B1 and B2, or equivalent information. EProposal should allow you to download a pdf copy - you may wish to send this.
The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the national competent authority for LIFE+ in the UK. Beta Technology act as the UK National Contact Point for LIFE+ (on behalf of Defra) and provide a range of services to assist applicants in proposal preparation. They are responsible for collecting UK applications on behalf of Defra.
Please monitor this site for confirmation of dates and deadlines.
Further information can be obtained from:
Tel: 028 90254736