LIFE is the European Union’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects, contributing to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policies and laws. Since its creation in 1992, LIFE has established different funding periods. The current funding period 2014-2020 has a budget of €3.4 billion. The LIFE programme is divided into two sub-programmes, one dedicated to the environment (representing 75% of overall funding) and one to climate action (representing 25% of funding). The environment sub-programme consists of three components:
  • Nature and biodiversity
  • Environment and resource efficiency
  • Environmental governance and information
The LIFE BIORGEST project is financially supported by the European Union through the LIFE Nature and Biodiversity programme. This programme co-finances nature conservation projects, particularly in the areas of biodiversity, habitats and species, and includes good practice projects, pilot projects and demonstration projects contributing to the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, and the development, implementation and management of the Natura 2000 Network.   The Natura 2000 Network is the European Union-wide network of protected natural areas established under the 1992 Habitats Directive. The network’s objective is to ensure the long-term conservation of Europe’s most valuable and endangered habitats and species. It consists of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), designated by Member States in relation to the Habitats Directive, and Special Protection Areas for Birds (SPAs), which are designated in accordance with Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds. Natura 2000 is not a system of strict nature reserves from which all human activities are excluded. While it includes strictly protected nature reserves, the approach to conservation and sustainable use of Natura 2000 areas is much broader, with most of the land privately owned. However, Member States must ensure that these sites are managed in a sustainable manner, both ecologically and economically.