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News article30 May 2022Directorate-General for Environment

European Commission reveals winners of LIFE Awards 2022

LIFE programme logo

Today, the LIFE Programme announced the five winners of the annual LIFE Awards at a ceremony held during EU Green Week,Europe’s largest annual environmental event. The LIFE Awards recognise the most innovative, inspirational and effective LIFE projects in three categories: nature protection, environment and climate action. The LIFE Citizen’s Prize is awarded to the public’s favourite project, and this year there was a special prize to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the LIFE Programme and Natura 2000 Award.

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said:

While the climate crisis progresses, we are also losing species at an alarming rate. Nature restoration is an incredibly powerful tool to tackle both the climate and the biodiversity crisis. We need to protect and restore nature, so it can protect us. My sincere congratulations to the winners and finalists of this year’s LIFE awards: you are at the forefront of this fight, proving how resilient nature is, if we just allow it to recover. Your successes are an inspiration to all and give us hope for the future.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said:

All of today’s finalists and winners are true trailblazers. They take concrete action on the ground, resulting in more biodiversity, less pollution, and more climate action. Their dedication and hard work are helping us achieve the ambitious environmental goals set out under the European Green Deal.

The winners

The LIFE Award for Nature goes to LIFE-KEDROS (Cyprus) – for enhancing the conservation status and resilience of cedar forests at risk from climate change in Cyprus.

The LIFE Award for Environment goes to Clean Sea LIFE (Italy) – an awareness-raising project to reduce marine litter along Italian coasts.

The LIFE Award for Climate Action goes to LIFE VinEcoS (Germany) – for boosting biodiversity in vineyards in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany to make them more climate-resilient.

These three projects demonstrated an outstanding contribution to environmental, economic and social progress. They also showed excellence in impact, replicability, policy relevance, cross-border cooperation and cost-effectiveness.

The LIFE Citizens’ Prize saw the public vote for their preferred project online. Clean Sea LIFE (Italy) won the popular vote for its awareness-raising actions that helped reduce marine litter along Italian coastal areas.


LIFE and Natura 2000, the world’s largest coordinated network of protected areas, celebrate their 30 anniversaries in 2022. To mark the occasion, this year’s special prize – the LIFE and Natura 2000 award - was awarded to the LIFE to alvars project. The project has restored 2 500 hectares of alvar grassland in Estonia – roughly 25% of the global total – by removing woodlands and forests that developed spontaneously on these sites.

The other finalists were:

NATURE PROTECTION 

  • LIFE RE-Vultures - protecting the Griffon and Black vultures in Bulgaria and north-eastern Greece 
  • LIFE Roseate Tern - improving breeding conditions for Europe’s rarest sea bird at core colonies in Ireland and the United Kingdom 
  • LIFE for Minuartia - saving the Minuartia smejkalii flowering plant from extinction in Czechia 

ENVIRONMENT 

  • LIFE EcoSens Aquamonitrix - designing a portable monitoring solution for Europe’s water sector 
  • LIFE Fit for REACH - helping companies in the Baltic States manage chemicals and substitute hazardous substances  
  • LIFE No_Waste – reviving degraded soil at three former sulphide mines in Portugal 

CLIMATE ACTION 

  • LIFE-DIADEME – demonstrating the energy-saving benefits of an adaptive street lighting system in Italy
  • LIFE - DoppelPlus - helping low-income households in Tirol, Austria become clean energy transition ambassadors
  • LIFE Clinomics - increasing the climate change resilience of territories and economies in Catalonia, Spain 

Find out more about the winners and finalists here.

About the LIFE programme

The LIFE Programme is the EU's funding instrument for the environment and climate action. It has been running since 1992 and has co-financed more than 5 500 projects across the EU and in third countries. The European Commission has increased LIFE programme funding by almost 60% for the 2021 - 2027 period, now standing at €5.4 billion. LIFE has four new sub-programmes: nature and biodiversity, circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and clean energy transition. The LIFE Programme has been managed by CINEA, the European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, since 1 April 2021.

Details

Publication date
30 May 2022
Author
Directorate-General for Environment

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