“The European Commission has approved funding for new environmental awareness projects in six countries (Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Romania) under the LIFE+ Information & Communication programme 2013. These projects will either raise the profile of environmental issues, or provide training and awareness-raising for the prevention of forest fires.”
We recently started implementing the LIFEinFORESTS project - one of the eight projects mentioned above. The objective of the project is to identify, develop and implement a set of tools to support the development of skills, active communication and cooperation among key stakeholders in the management and conservation of Natura 2000 network forests. The project aims to create a common viewpoint on the implementation of the Natura 2000 objectives.
What is LIFE+ and LIFE+ Information Communication?
The fourth phase of the LIFE programme, LIFE+ - the European financial instrument for the environment - ran from 2007-2013 and had a budget of €2.143 billion. It consisted of three components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance, and LIFE+ Information and Communication. LIFE+ Information & Communication was a new component that co-financed projects relating to 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).
The LIFE programme continues in 2014-2020 under the new LIFE Regulation for Environment and Climate Action. 2014 Call for proposals for LIFE Action Grants had different sub-programmes for Environment - "Traditional" projects, Preparatory projects, Integrated projects, Technical Assistance projects and Capacity Building projects- for the Climate actions only "Traditional" projects calls and Capacity Building projects calls were announced. However the submission deadline has already expired for most of the calls you should check out the possibilities for 2015.
Programme website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/funding/life2014/index.htm
LIFE multiannual work programme for 2014-2017: here
Under the coordination of WWF Hungary, the LIFEinFORESTS project is being implemented by eight Hungarian partners including national parks, private forest owners, a forest managers association as well as communication and training specialists. During the next 48 months, the consortium will initiate novel actions for improving the existing knowledge on forest habitats and species of the Pannonian region, supporting the adaption of European best practices on Natura 2000 forests management, increasing the communication and cooperation between the Natura 2000 forest managers, conservation experts and forest planning professionals in order to establish a management consensus and for improving the utilisation of available EU funds.
The project website (www. lifeinforests.eu) will be available soon where you can follow the project’s activities and achievements.