What is a LIFE program?

The LIFE program is the financial instrument of the European Union for the Environment and Climate.

The program finances innovative projects relating to the conservation of species and habitats, soil protection, improvement of air or water quality, waste management, adaptation to climate change etc.

Over the 2014-2020 period, more than 3 billion euros across Europe will be used to finance 2 sub-programs: “Environment” and “Climate Actions”.

LIFE Sallina is part of the “Nature” section of the “Environment” sub-program, a section aimed at implementing the Birds and Habitats Directives on Natura 2000 sites.

Natura 2000 is a network of sites intended to preserve the rarest and most threatened biodiversity in Europe while taking into account the socio-economic activities present.

The network is based on two European Directives:

  • the “Birds” Directive, voted in 1979, relating to the protection of wild birds and the environments on which they depend,
  • the”Habitats” Directive, voted in 1992, relating to the conservation and / or restoration of European natural habitats and species (excluding birds).

These Directives establish lists of bird species, natural habitats and animal (other than birds) and plant species for which Member States must designate sites on their territory in order to conserve them.

The sites are called ” Special Protection Area (SPA)” when they are designated under the “Birds” Directive and ” Special Area of Conservation” (SAC) when they are designated under the “Habitats” Directive.

All of the SACs and SPAs constitute, at European level, the coherent network called “Natura2000”.
With nearly 29,300 land and marine sites and 104 million hectares, or 18% of the territory of the European Union, it is the largest network of protected sites in the world.

For more information on Natura 2000: https://www.ecologique-solidaire.gouv.fr/reseau-europeen-natura-2000-1#e6