LIFE, (The Environmental Financial Tool), was created in 1992. Its goal is to finance actions that contribute to the development, implementation and updating of politics and community-based legislation in the field of environment. It also strives to facilitate the integration of environment into other policies, as well as reaching sustainable development in the European Union.
LIFE jointly finances environmental actions in the European Union and some third party countries (candidate countries for the EU, European Free Trade Association countries, and Western Balkans countries included in the stabilisation and association process). Projects financed can stem from stakeholders, or public or private organisations or institutions.
LIFE + replaced, for a seven-year period, (2007-2013) several financial programmes in order to bring them together under a sole set of rules and decision-making procedures whilst allowing a more coherent and precise targeting of these communitarian actions.
LIFE + is a programme that finances environmental projects proposed by European Union stakeholders.
This financial instrument works though calling for projects. The European Commission decides which projects, amongst those presented, can take advantage of LIFE + financial support. These projects are then financed at 50% maximum of the total project budget.
The LIFE + programme is composed of three themed sections:
- “Nature and Biodiversity:” continuation of the development and implementation of the Natura 2000 network, accomplishment of the international goal to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010.
- “Politics and Governance concerning Environment:” development of innovative instruments, monitoring of European policies to protect the environment, assessment and monitoring of the state of the environment and factors impacting the environment, support by a better environmental governance through increased participation of stakeholders in consultations and implementations of political projects.
- “Information and Communication:” transmission of information on environmental issues.