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Call: Nature and Biodiversity

Programme
Acronym LIFE-NAT
Description of programme
"LIFE - sub-programme “Nature and Biodiversity”"

The sub-programme “Nature and Biodiversity” will aim:

  • to develop, demonstrate, promote and stimulate the scale up of innovative techniques, methods and approaches (including nature-based solutions and ecosystem approaches) for reaching the objectives set out under the Union legislation and policy on or related to nature and biodiversity, and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practices, including through the support of the Natura 2000 network;
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the relevant Union legislation and policy on or related to nature and biodiversity, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing the capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society, also taking into due consideration the possible contributions provided by citizen science;
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful solutions/approaches for implementing relevant Union legislation and policy on nature and biodiversity, by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

LIFE has been a key tool supporting the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives since 1992 and has been instrumental and, in some cases crucial, to ensure the establishment of the Natura 2000 network.

The Nature Directives' fitness check, the Action plan for nature, people, and the economy as well as the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 20309 underline the need to increase funding for nature and biodiversity.

The sub-programme Nature and Biodiversity 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, as outlined in the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Bern Convention. In particular, it will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, the Regulation on Invasive Alien Species as well as relevant objectives under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Water Framework Directive, and the European strategy for Outermost Regions.

The sub-programme for nature and biodiversity will mainly be implemented through the following types of actions:

  1. a continuation of the traditional bottom-up approach, aimed at implementing practicaland effective measures for the improvement of the conservation status of species and habitats, ecosystems’ health and related services, through the co-funding of StandardAction Projects (SAPs). All SAPs should be designed to achieve, as a direct outcome of their implementation, tangible improvements for species, habitats and ecosystems and related services, to be defined on the basis of specific and measurable (SMART) objectives. The overall focus of SAPs is on the following: (1) area-based conservation and restoration measures (“space for nature”) and (2) additional specific measures targeting species and ecosystems/habitats with measures other than area-based ones (“protecting/safeguarding our species andhabitats”);
  2. a continuation of the integrated approach for supporting the full implementation of national or regional Prioritized Action Frameworks (PAFs) and other EU biodiversity-policy-related planning instruments, through Strategic Nature Projects (SNAPs). SNAPs encompass capacity building and mainstreaming actions, including by mobilising other funding sources for nature and biodiversity. SNAPs may also include specific conservation actions, in particular where these cannot be supported through the mobilisation of additional finance from other EU funding programmes;
  3. a structured approach to support the implementation of specific policy priorities, through dedicated calls under “Other Actions” (OAs);
  4. Technical Assistance projects (TA).

The above types of actions can cover:

  • measures to promote and support area-based conservation and restoration (“space for nature”);
  • additional specific measures targeting species (“safeguarding our species”);
  • governance to facilitate behavioral change and/or change in practices, soil, land and water management, including in marine areas, as well as the conservation of natural resources, including by supporting the implementation of the European Biodiversity Strategy for 203020 and the up-coming European Forestry Strategy to mainstream biodiversity objectives in relevant sectors, to build up the capacity at all levels and to improve the knowledge basis on nature and biodiversity, including for monitoring, accounting and reporting, assessment and ex-post evaluation;
  • Environmental compliance assurance and access to justice.

The actions above will target, among others, the implementation of the EU Habitats and Birds Directive and the Invasive Alien Species Regulation, the reversing of the decline of pollinators, the restoration of degraded and carbon-rich ecosystems and the improvement of health and resilience of forests.

Link Link to Programme
Call
Nature and Biodiversity
Description of call
"Nature and Biodiversity"

Objectives:

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 area-based 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 are 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.

Scope:

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 addressing different nature and biodiversity policy priorities the following principles will be applied for the prioritisation in terms of outcome-based targets 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://nature-art17.eionet.europa.eu/article17/), in particular when their status is unfavourable bad and declining (U2-) both in the EU and at national biogeographical region(s) level, where the project is taking place6.
  • For bird species, and for species and habitats not covered by EU Nature legislation, priority is given to proposals clearly targeting species or habitats that are in higher extinction risk categories (in particular: endangered or worse) in the relevant EU red lists of habitats or species (or, for EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories, in the Global IUCN red lists).

Further prioritisation of the proposals will be based on the policy priorities below:

  • EU Birds and Habitats Directives
  • Habitats and Species in Unfavourable conservation status
  • Invasive Alien Species Regulation
  • EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030
    • Establishing a coherent network of protected areas
    • Implementing EU nature restoration targets for species and habitats
    • Restoring degraded and carbon-rich ecosystems; prevent and reduce the impact of natural disasters
    • Improving the health and resilience of managed forests
    • Reversing the decline of pollinators
    • Bringing nature back to agricultural land
    • Greening urban and peri-urban areas
    • Measuring and integrating the value of nature

The following matrix summarises the scoping and prioritization under the Nature and Biodiversity topic:

  
  
EU policy priorities for Nature and Biodiversity
Priority 1: The extent to which the proposal contributes to the objectives of EU Nature and Biodiversity legislation in particular under the EU Birds and Habitats Directive (incl. Natura 2000) and the Regulation 1143/2014 on Invasive AlienPriority 2: The extent to which the proposal contributes to the targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 for a Trans-European Nature Network and the
EU Restoration Plan
Two areas of intervention that require specific and measurable (SMART) outcome based objectives1: "Space for nature": area-based conservation and restoration measuresHighest priority will be given to proposals that fall into at least one of the two areas of intervention and at least one of the two policy priorities.
2: "Safeguarding our species": measures targeting specific species
Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Urban development, Rural & Peripheral Development
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Albania / Shqipëria
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Albania / Shqipëria
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Education and Training Centres, Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, Other, National Government, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

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 (participating countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature
  • the coordinator must be established in an eligible country
Project Partner Details

Entities from other countries are exceptionally eligible, if the granting authority considers their participation essential for the implementation of the action (see work programme).

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.

Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons34.

EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.

Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible).

Beneficiaries from countries with ongoing negotiations may participate in the call and can sign grants if the negotiations are concluded before grant signature (with retroactive effect, if provided in the agreement).

Special rules apply for certain entities (e.g. entities subject to EU restrictive measures under Article 29 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) and entities covered by Commission Guidelines No 2013/C 205/0537). Such entities are not eligible to participate in any capacity, including as beneficiaries, affiliated entities, associated partners, subcontractors or recipients of financial support to third parties (if any).

Call opens 13.07.2021
Call closes 30.11.2021
Project duration min 36 months
Project duration max 84 months
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

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
  • Non mandatory annexes (but crucial to complement Application Form Part B when applicable)
    • 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)
    • letters of support (no specific template available)

Page limit - Part B: 120 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details

Topic budget: EUR 132,470,000.00

Indicative range of project budgets: EUR 2.00 - 13.00 Mio

Estimated number of projects to be funded: 35 projects

Funding rate: maximum 60%

Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Contact Details https://cinea.ec.europa.eu/life/about-life/life-contacts_en

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