LIFE Nature & Biodiversity co-finances action grants for best practice, pilot and demonstration projects that contribute to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Union Biodiversity Strategy 2020, as well as the development, implementation and management of the Natura 2000 network. Moreover, actions should also provide assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on nature and biodiversity within and outside the EU. Activities should be aimed at improving the conservation status of habitats and species, including marine habitat and species, and supporting the Natura 2000 network bio-geographical seminars.
Legal persons (entities) registered in the EU can apply for the Action Grants. Moreover, applicants may fall into three types of beneficiaries:
• Public bodies
• Private commercial organisations
• Private non-commercial organisations (including NGOs)
There is no pre-determined project duration for a LIFE project. The project duration must correspond to what is necessary to complete all of the project's actions and to reach all its objectives. Most projects last for 2–5 years.
The indicative total budget for project action grants for this call is € 337,536,184. Of this, € 273,936,184 is foreseen for the sub-programme for Environment and € 63,600,000 for the sub-programme for Climate Action. At least 55% of the budgetary resources allocated to projects supported by way of action grants under the sub-programme for Environment shall be dedicated to projects supporting the conservation of nature and biodiversity.
There is no fixed minimum size for project budgets. While large ambitious projects (i.e. over € 5,000,000 total costs) have been financed several times in the past, small projects (i.e. below € 500,000 total costs) have seldom succeeded due to the limited output and consequently the low added value.
For the duration of the first LIFE multiannual work programme for 2014-2017, the maximum EU co-financing rate for "traditional" LIFE projects is 60% of the total eligible project costs. By way of exception, a co-financing rate of up to 75% of the total eligible costs may be granted to LIFE Nature and Biodiversity proposals that focus on concrete conservation actions for priority species or habitat types of the Birds and Habitats Directives, when actions in the project are necessary to achieve the conservation objective. This higher financing rate will only be applied to projects allocating 50% or more of the total estimated cost for concrete conservation actions, to activities directly benefitting priority habitats or species.
More information can be found on the website for LIFE Action Grants. Further information related to the priority areas and objectives can be found in the LIFE Regulation. Member States have set up a network of Life National Contacts Points. The National Contacts Points may provide support to applicants during the preparation and submission phase for further details.