EU Life Awards: Projects to save the planet
The EU "LIFE Awards" were presented on the second day of the "Green Week 19" in Brussels. They honor innovative and inspirational projects regarding nature and climate. This year it was all about wolves, olives and pest management.
From 15 finalists, three most outstanding LIFE projects were be awarded in the three categories "Nature", "Environment" and "Climate Action". In addition a special award was given to a winner chosen by EU citizens. Director-General for Environment, Daniel Calleja Crespo, spoke in high terms of the finalists "All our LIFE projects are a direct response to issues that people really care about, like airquality and climate change. EU funds make a real difference on the ground."
The Winners of the Life Award 2019
This years winner of the category "Environment" is LIFE AGROintegra from Spain, which shows that integrated pest management is an alternative to the use of chemical pesticides on fruit trees, vineyards and vegetables. The overall objective is to minimize environmental risks in crop protection.
Winner of the category "Nature" is LIFE WOLFALPS, which has the goal to set actions for the preservation of the wolf population in the Alps in the long term. Among the objectives is also the definition of strategies to achieve compatibility between the wolf and traditional economic activities. They were quite successfull. Wolves are now back to the Alpine regions of France, Italy and Slovenia.
LIFE oLIVE-CLIMA was awarded the "Climate Action" prize. The main aim of the project is to trial the introduction of new cultivation practices for tree crops in order to find a cost-effective means of mitigating and adapting to climate change. The project will focus specifically on olive-producing areas in Greece, investigating the potential of these areas to increase carbon sequestration by soils, and to reduce greenhouse gases emissions.
The citizens' prize was awarded to LIFE SmartPV. The project connected around 300 solar panel owners on Cyprus in a decentralised power network, making solar power better value. It will investigate pilot net metering schemes for cost-effective PV implementation and higher grid penetration in Cyprus of distributed generation with the target of achieving a win-win scenario for both consumers and energy utilities.
Additionally and in recognition of their significant long-term contribution to the LIFE programme, two LIFEtime achievement awards were given to Bruno Julien, 1st Head of the LIFE unit and Miguel Angel Simon Mata, a biologist who coordinated several LIFE projects
The LIFE programmE
Since 1992 the LIFE programme has co-financed more than 4,600 projects to protect environment and fight climatechange. LIFE is the only EU funding programme that exclusively supports environmental and nature conservation projects as well as climate policy projects. LIFE is intended to contribute to the implementation and further development of environmental policy and to promote sustainable development in the EU.