The aim of the nature protection programme of the Environmental Programme is to protect the nature in order to preserve its diversity, to ensure the good condition of natural habitats and the natural animal, plant and fungi species and to preserve natural environments of cultural-historical and aesthetic value. The ERDF also supports the development of the nature protection related infrastructure, the environmental supervision and monitoring and the preparation for emergencies.
The Environmental Programme received applications for grants every year (generally twice a year), while ERDF holds fixed-term application rounds. A large part of the grants from the ERDF are channelled through the investment plan directly to pre-determined beneficiaries and no open application rounds are held. Grants are awarded through the investment plan in the areas of supervision, monitoring, emergency preparation and nature protection infrastructure.