LIFE is an instrument of support of the European Commission, Chairmanship Environment

LIFE = L'Instrument Financier de l'Environment = Environmental support programme

LIFE is the financing programme for environmental and nature conservancy and is split up as follows:

LIFE-Nature means to improve the maintenance of habitats and species within the network of Natura 2000, in which the european natural heritage will be preserved in the sense of the Rio convention.

LIFE-Environment is to improve and secure the abiotic environment; i.e. for environmental technology projects (clean air, new technologies, …)

LIFE-Third Countries supports nature conservancy schemes in the mediterranian and countries bordering onto the EU (not candidates for joining EU)

LIFE-Nature normally supports the approved projects with up to 50% of the total sum; exeptions are projects with their priority targets or habitats. These projects are supported with up to 75%. In 2005 only 54 out of 170 LIFE-Nature projects from 20 EU countries were selected and supported with a total sum of 60 Million Euros. One of them is the LIFE-BaltCoast project.

LIFE-Nature is the sole financial instrument the EU has for nature conservancy programmes and it supports programmes within the Natura 2000 network. Natura 2000 is the merging of areas and regions for the protection of biodiversity. The conservation areas are according to the flora and fauna habitat and bird protection guidelines and apply to all EU members. Natura 2000 and its networks are a cornerpiece in the european policy of nature conservation and it is financially supported by the LIFE programme. Prerequisite for a project to be supported by LIFE is that the project areas are declared Natrura 2000 areas.