The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment. 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 + co-finances actions in favor of the environment in the European Union (EU) and in some Third Countries (Candidate countries for EU accession, EFTA counties – European Free Trade Association – Members of European Environmental Agency, Western Balkans Countries interested by the stabilization and association process)

LIFE+ consists of three components:

  • LIFE+ “Nature and Biodiversity”: aims to protect, conserve, restore and enhance the functioning of natural systems, natural habitats of flora and fauna, in order to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010.
  • LIFE+ “Environment Policy and Governance” aims to realize the following objectives: fight against climate change; protection of water, air and soil; sustainable management of the urban environment; fight against noise; relationship between environment and health; waste management; forest protection; technological innovation at the service of sustainable development.
  • LIFE+ “Information and Communication”: aims at raising citizen awareness, information for preventive purposes, in particular with regard to the fight against forest fires.


The funded projects may be proposed by operators, organizations or public and private institutions, in particular:

– National, regional and local authorities;

– Specialized bodies provided for by EU legislation;

– International organizations, for actions in Member States and associated countries:

– NGOs.

Programme Funding:

The maximum percentage of the EU financial support is equal to 50 % of eligible costs.

However, for the projects aimed to the protection of habitats or wildlife conservation of “Birds” and “Habitat” directives, LIFE + may fund up to 75 % of these costs. At least 50 % of the allocated funds for concrete interventions in the projects are assigned to the nature and biodiversity protection. On the other hand, at least 15 % of funds are assigned to transnational projects.

Managing Authority: European Commission – DG Environment

Italian National Authority: Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea – Direction for the Environmental Research and Development

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