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The opportunity to apply for a grant for environmental projects directly from Europe has opened


The call for proposals for the pan-European LIFE programme is once again open, and Estonian authorities are also invited to apply for funding to implement environmental, nature conservation, and climate projects. This year, EUR 598 million will be allocated from the LIFE programme. Grants are available in the areas of nature and biodiversity, the circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and clean energy transition.

According to Gady Künnapuu, the LIFE Project Manager at EIC, the LIFE programme can help to successfully implement much larger projects in Estonia than national grants allow. ‘Estonian projects have done well so far and have also attracted attention in Europe. For example, this year the European Commission selected the ‘Life to Alvars’ project, in Muhu County, as the best LIFE project ever carried out in Natura 2000 sites,’ said Künnapuu, highlighting one of Estonia’s successful projects. ‘The Estonian-Latvian climate project that received funding from last year’s grant round aims to increase the capacity of local governments and water companies to make planning decisions and implement digital solutions and smart building-based natural stormwater solutions,’ added Künnapuu.

NGOs, companies, universities, and public authorities registered in the European Union can apply for the funding from the LIFE programme. The programme gives priority to high-impact projects that are innovative and ambitious, but at the same time the activities and expected results have to be realistic. The LIFE programme is not used to support large-scale construction of infrastructure or scientific research, and it is also not intended for supporting rural and regional development. This is a direct grant mediated by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). The support grant for projects ranges from 60–95%, depending on the sector. Applications are submitted directly to the European Commission through the e-grant system. More information can be found on the LIFE website and the LIFE Estonia website.

Deadlines for applications in 2022

  • Nature and biodiversity – 4 October 2022
  • Circular economy and quality of life – 4 October 2022
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation – 4 October 2022
  • Transition to clean energy – 16 November 2022
  • Strategic integrated projects – preliminary application 8 September 2022, final application 7 March 2023
  • Technical assistance projects – 8 September 2022

The LIFE Information Day in Estonian will take place online on 1 June. Additional information and registration on the LIFE Estonia website here. The LIFE programme celebrates its 30th anniversary in May. To celebrate this day, 10 projects in Estonia that have received funding from the programme will open their doors on 28 May, and invite everyone to come and see how these projects have contributed to our nature and well-being.

The Ministry of the Environment and EIC will help to increase the visibility of the LIFE programme, raise awareness of project opportunities among applicants, help to improve the quality of project applications, and find suitable partners.