EU funding

LIFELIFE is the EU’s financial programme supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. Managed by the European Commission the LIFE programme is the only EU financial instrument aimed purely at improving the environment.

Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 4,171 projects – including over 200 in the UK – contributing over €3 billion to projects which promote and protect the environment and take action on climate change. 

In the South West region these include NGOs, local trust based projects such as “Land Use Planning Integrated with the Natural Environment” in Cornwall, government initiatives like the “RESTORE Rivers” project in Bristol, and local government projects such as the “Rural Futures: Sustainable Tourism” in Devon, amongst others.

Any public or private body established in the South West could benefit from a share of the €3.4 billion set aside for projects in the EU for 2014-2020.  LIFE is open to proposals for funding for projects in the region every year from June – October. The programme is split into two streams, one for Environment and one for Climate Action.

The Environment stream is allocated just under €2.6 billion for three priority areas:

  • Environment and Resource Efficiency (developing best practice and integrated approach to challenges and improve knowledge base)
  • Nature and Biodiversity (developing best practice and integrated approach to policy and improve knowledge base)
  • Environmental Governance and Information (to promote awareness, communication of environmental information and broaden stakeholder involvement in governance)

The Climate Action stream is allocated over €860 million and also has three priority areas:

  • Climate Change Mitigation (reduction of greenhouse gasses by contributing to policy, developing and demonstrating innovative technologies/systems, and improving knowledge base)
  • Climate Change Adaptation (contributing to resilience policy through integrative approaches, and innovative technologies and methods)
  • Climate Governance and Information ( to promote awareness, communication of information, compliance with climate legislation and broadening stakeholder engagement)

If you are interested check the European Commission LIFE website for more and very comprehensive details.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee is the LIFE National Contact Point in the UK, on behalf of Defra. It’s a free and confidential support service for the LIFE Programme in the UK and contains links to forms for application, how to fill these out, and opportunities to apply online.

For more UK information, contact Steve Bradley.