The work of these institutions is instrumental in the battle against climate change and for the conservation of the environment and biodiversity of Europe.


LIFE, the Programme for the Environment and Climate Action, is the French acronym of the financial instrument devoted to environmental initiatives within the European Union. Currently, the Program is at the programmatic period for 2014-2020. Its general goal is to act as a catalyst for the changes in policy development and implementation by providing practical solutions and improvements to achieve environmental and climate goals, as well as by promoting innovative technologies in the spheres of the environment and climate change. LIFE's mission involves also supporting the implementation of the EU Environment Action Program to 2020: "Living well, within the limits of our planet".

The LIFE Program is managed by the European Commission. In Spain, the National Authority in this regard is the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment through the Directorate General of Services.

European Commission's website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/index.htm

E-mail for the Spanish National Contact Point: bzn-life@mapama.es 

Legal framework for the LIFE Program

Regulation (EU) No 1293/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 614/2007..

Multi-annual work plan for the period 2014-2017.

Main website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/index.htm


Natura 2000 is a European environmental network comprised of biodiversity conservation areas. It consists of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) established under the Habitats Directive and of Special Protection Areas (SPAs), designated under the Birds Directive. Its goal is to ensure the long-term survival of the European species and habitat types, thus contributing to stop biodiversity loss. It is the main environmental conservation tool in the European Union.

The Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (or Habitats Directive) establishes in 1992 the Natura 2000 Network:

A coherent European ecological network of special areas of conservation shall be set up under the title Natura 2000. This network, composed of sites hosting the natural habitat types listed in Annex I and habitats of the species listed in Annex II, shall enable the natural habitat types and the species' habitats concerned to be maintained or, where appropriate, restored at a favourable conservation status in their natural range” (article 3.1, Habitats Directive)

Natura 2000 is also linked to Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds, or Birds Directive, as it also includes Special Protection Areas for wild birds and their habitats, which are established as part of the implementation of this Directive.

The goal of the Natura 2000 Network is, therefore, to ensure favourable conservation status for certain types of habitats and species in their natural range by means of special areas for their protection and conservation.

The Network consists of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) –and by Sites of Community Importance Comunitaria (SCIs) until their transformation into SACs—, established under the Habitats Directive, and of Special Protection Areas (SPAs), designated under the implementation of the Birds Directive.

The Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive have been transposed into the Spanish internal legal order by means of the law 42/2007, 42/2007 from the 13th of December on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, which constitutes the basic framework for Natura 2000 in Spain.

Main website: http://www.mapama.gob.es/es/biodiversidad/temas/espacios-protegidos/red-natura-2000/