LIFE Programme

LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 4306 projects. For the 2014-2020 funding period, LIFE will contribute approximately €3.4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate.

LIFE Programme includes the “ENVIRONMENT” sub-programme and its priority area “NATURE AND BIODIVERSITY”, within which falls IdroLIFE.

LIFE-NATURE has been set up specifically to implement the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) and the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), by financing projects aimed at improving the conservation status of habitats and species of Community interest listed in these directives within particular sites, such as SCI and SPA, that form Natura 2000 Network.

In 2015, LIFE-NATURA funded only 5 projects across Italy, including IdroLIFE, for a total of € 6,667,835.


Natura 2000 Network is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world, spread throughout the Community, and is the main instrument of protection of the European Unionbiodiversity.

The aim of the network is to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats, listed under both the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive.

It consists of special areas called SCI and SPA. The SCI – Sites of Community Importance are born in the appliance of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC and are designed to protect biodiversity through specific management plans.

The SPA – Special Protection Areas are provided for and regulated by the EU directive 79/409 “Birds”, updated by Directive 2009/147/EEC, with the objective of conservation of wild birds, not only through the protection of populations but also protecting their natural habitats.

In Italy, the SCIs and SPAs together cover about 21% of the national territory.

More information concerning the Natura 2000 network can be found on the European site: