Throughout the day, representatives of the European Commission and Spanish and Portuguese institutions and business are gathered in Madrid to launch 73 new projects related to nature conservation, biodiversity and the environment, co-funded by the LIFE + Programme of the European Union, which this year celebrates its seventh edition.
A total of 73 projects were selected (69 Spanish and 4 Portuguese) from among 1,468 submissions from all member countries that were submitted to the seventh edition of the LIFE + program. Together they represent a total investment of 589.3 million euro, of which 282.6 million will be funded by the EU.
Spain wins by number of projects
Spain was again, as in the last edition, the country with the most projects selected from across the European Union. These projects cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy and governance, and communication and environmental information.
The Spanish projects presented in Madrid, 17 related to the protection of nature and biodiversity and 52 to environmental protection, have a budget of over 120 million euro, of which 51.8 million correspond to European funding. In the case of Portugal, the four approved projects fall in the area of nature conservation, with a budget of 7.1 million euro, of which 4.2 million correspond to European funding.
Conservation of biodiversity
Since its inception in 1992, the LIFE program has funded more than 600 projects in Spain. It is thus important to recognize the impact of the LIFE program on the Iberian imperial eagle, vulture, adouin gull, brown bear and lynx recovery and the establishment and consolidation of the Natura2000 network.
In this call, the projects aimed at restoring priority habitats included in the Natura2000network are particularly relevant, as well as the fight against invasive species that pose a serious threat to the conservation of native biodiversity. In the field of terrestrial ecosystems, it is worth noting the project to recover the Garajonay National Park, which was severely impacted following the great fire of August 2012.
On governance and environmental policy, the LIFE projects have always focused on innovation. Spain has been one of the EU countries investing in such projects especially in the areas of waste management, water management and combating climate change. In all the calls, Spanish projects are always selected among the best in the European Union.
In this call, the approved projects are aimed at designing strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change and improving air quality through the use of innovative technologies and materials such as nano-particles and photocatalyst elements as well as new technologies and strategies to improve the treatment and management of water. Projects related to improving production in the primary sector still have a big impact, in line with the previous calls.
Renewable energy has a new impetus in this edition, after two calls in which such these projects lost prominence, with the development of new applications geared towards promoting more efficient models of distributed generation that enables better use of renewable resources, especially biomass. Finally, projects designed to optimize and minimize use of waste and to reduce the ecological footprint in products life cycle are also present, as has become customary since the first calls of this program.