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Call key data
Nature and Biodiversity
LIFE - sub-programme “Nature and Biodiversity”
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 2,000,000.00 and € 13,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Proposals under this topic will contribute to European Union objectives for the protection, maintenance and restoration of the Union’s natural capital in its marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems.
Projects should fall under at least one of the two areas of intervention:
- Intervention area: “Space for Nature”
- Any project aimed at improving the condition of species or habitats through areabased conservation or restoration measures falls within the eligible scope of the intervention area “Space for Nature”. This may include, for example, projects for restoring or improving natural or semi-natural habitats, or habitats of species, both within and outside existing protected areas. This may also include projects for creating additional protected areas (or improving the biodiversity focus and contribution of existing protected areas), ecological corridors or other green infrastructure, projects testing or demonstrating new site management approaches, projects acting on pressures, etc.
- Intervention area: “Safeguarding our species”
- Any project aimed at improving the condition of species (or, in the case of invasive alien species, reducing their impact) through any relevant activities other than area-based conservation or restoration measures falls within the scope of the intervention area “Safeguarding our species”. Considering the broad range of threats that may act on species in addition to the degradation of their habitats, such projects may apply to a wide range of relevant measures, spanning from hard infrastructural works to awareness raising of stakeholders. Applicants should take into account, when conceiving their project applications, that only wild flora and fauna and natural and semi-natural habitats may be targeted by LIFE Nature and Biodiversity projects.
Projects focussing exclusively on governance are excluded from this Call topic and covered by the related Call topic LIFE-2023-SAP-NAT-GOV.
Expected effects and impacts
Considering the limited LIFE budget availability, projects requesting high EU contributions (e.g. above 5 M EUR) have to present, in particular, exceptionally clear and convincing evidence of the EU added value of their proposals in terms of impact and value for money. The requested contribution has to be clearly justified by an exceptional impact benefitting urgent conservation needs/priorities. While projects with higher budgets benefit from economies of scale, the applicants need to demonstrate the cost efficiency of their projects and provide detailed cost breakdown in the ‘detailed budget table’ mandatory annex. All LIFE proposals will have to report on their expected outputs and impacts taking into account the LIFE Key Performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs will contribute to evaluating the impact of the LIFE proposal on an environmental but also socio-economic level (e.g. via actions impacting the local economy and population). All the indicators measured should be coherent with the conservation or biodiversity problem addressed and the type of activities planned.
Applicants should review relevant indicators in Part C of the eGrant application and complete them with the estimated impact of the project. Part C data should be coherent with the description of impacts of section 2 of Part B of the Application Form.
In case Part C does not include impact indicators that are important for the specific project, applicants should make use of the indicator “Other project specific KPIs” in Part C and provide a relevant description of such indicators in section 2 of Part B of the Application Form.
If relevant, projects must upload a Geographic Information System (GIS) file and associated data of the specific geographical area where the intervention took place as a deliverable in their final report. This map should enable to spatially visualise the impact already reported in the KPI database. The specific format and technical requirements of the GIS files will be provided to the supported projects during their implementation.
Under both areas of intervention, having clearly defined specific outcome-based biodiversity-related objectives for projects and their activities is a pre-condition for an objective prioritization of the proposals.
In order to allow for effective comparison of merits of proposals, the following principles will be applied for a first level prioritisation which defines the urgency under the two areas of intervention:
- For proposals targeting species and habitats covered by the EU Habitats Directive, priority is given to those that are clearly targeting habitats or species in unfavourable and declining conservation status based on the latest Article 17 reports assessments (https://natureart17.eionet.europa.eu/article17/), in particular when their status is unfavourable bad and declining (U2-) both at the EU- and national biogeographical region(s) level, where the project is taking place.
- For the EU 27 Member States, for bird species, and species and habitats not covered by EU Nature legislation, priority is given to proposals clearly targeting those that are in higher extinction risk categories (in particular: endangered or worse) in the relevant EU red lists, of habitats or species. For EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories priority is given to those in higher extinction risk categories (in particular: endangered or worse) in the (Pan) European or Global IUCN red lists respectively.
Further prioritisation of the proposals will be based on the policy priorities below:
- EU Birds and Habitats Directives
- Invasive Alien Species Regulation
- EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Island (Ísland), Ukraine (Україна)
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
- be legal entities (public or private bodies)
- be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
- non-EU countries:
- listed EEA countries and countries associated to the LIFE Programme (associated countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (list of participating countries)
- the coordinator must be established in an eligible country
Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.
EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Financial support to third parties is allowed under the following conditions:
- the calls must be open, published widely and conform to EU standards concerning transparency, equal treatment, conflict of interest and confidentiality
other eligibility criteria
- Sustainability: When designing their project, applicants need to take into account an obligation to maintain ecological effect of the project activities for at least 30 years after the project end. Applicants need to ensure that any LIFE-related investments into the management or restoration of natural or semi-natural habitats and habitats for species will lead to improvements that can be sustained in the long term. This often requires that such actions are taking place on areas that do already benefit from legal protection (as Natura 2000 sites or nationally protected areas), or that an adequate level of legal protection can be given to such areas during the lifetime of the project. Where the actions involve land acquisition and habitat restoration, the area in question should receive the most appropriate legal protection (nationally protected area, Natura 2000 etc.) with the view to contribute to the establishment of the Trans European Nature Network (TEN-N). For other investments that involve reducing pressures and threats (e.g. blocking of ditches or reducing nitrogen run off from agricultural land) on land which does not in itself have high natural value to justify designation, but acts as a buffer zone around Natura 2000 sites and/or protected areas, a long term contractual agreement (at least 30 years) to ensure that the pressures and threats are irreversibly alleviated is required. When this is not possible, the applicant should provide evidence that the investment made is backed by an appropriate land use planning at the most relevant administrative level. Private land conservation initiatives can also be supported in this context.
- Specific conditions for the following activities are listed in the call document (p. 15-22)
- Activities inside Natura 2000
- Activities outisde Natura 2000
- Species re-introduction and other conservation introductions/translocations within natural range
- Ex situ conservation actions
- Land purchase
- Long-term land lease, purchase of rights and one-off compensation payments
- Short term land lease or temporary compensation payments
- Ineligible costs concerning land purchase, one–off compensation payments and lease payments
- Ongoing management of habitats and recurring activities
- Green Infrastructure
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
between 36 and 84 months
Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Project acronym — Your project acronym must include the word LIFE.
Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
- Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
- Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
- Part C (to be filled in directly online) containing additional project data
- Mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
- detailed budget table (mandatory excel template available in the Submission System)
- participant information (including previous projects, if any)
- Non mandatory annexes (but crucial to complement Application Form Part B when applicable, please consult page 22 of the call document for more detalis)
- maps (template available in the Submission System)
- description of sites (template available in the Submission System)
- description of species and habitats (template available in the Submission System)
- co-financing declaration (template available in the Submission System): compulsory if external co-financing is foreseen
- letters of support (no specific template available)
- Annual activity report – N/A
- Other annexes – N/A
Proposals are limited to maximum 120 pages (Part B).
In case you have a co-financer contribution, kindly upload the related signed declaration among the optional annexes. Please indicate either "Confirmed" or "To be confirmed". If the status is "To be confirmed", this must be explained. Note that at a later stage, if successful in the selection process, you will be required to provide a signed declaration with status "Confirmed" as a pre-condition to sign the Grant Agreement
The maximum funding rate (% of eligible costs) is 60% with the following exceptions:
- 67% for projects targeting both priority and non-priority habitats and/or species
- 75% for projects targeting exclusively priority habitats and/or species