An “Integrated Project” (IP) is a new type of project under the new LIFE Regulation 2014-2020. This Regulation aims at the implementation of strategies or action plans required by European legislation in relation to Natura 2000, water, waste, air, climate change mitigation and adaptation. The project proposal must rest on an existing strategy, be on a large territorial scale, mobilise other funds for complementary actions and aim to secure stakeholder involvement.
EUR 11.4 million. This is the figure which the European Commission has set aside to help support the Natura 2000 programme in Belgium over the next six years. The European network of Natura sites aims to secure a future for hundreds of endangered animal and plant species. The Agency for Nature and Forests (ANF), together with the Walloon region (Public Service Nature SPW – DGRNE) and the federal government (Marine Environment Service), submitted a proposal to the ‘Integrated Project’ at the European LIFE programme. And so the LIFE Belgian Nature Integrated Project (BNIP) was born. This financial support is a major incentive for meeting the European targets in the area of nature and so make real advances in this area.
Other partners in the project are Inverde and Natuurpunt for the Flanders Region and Natagora for the Walloon Region.
Europe provides cash funding for strategic projects which initiate large scale actions to improve the environment. Proposals must relate to an existing environmental strategy. The European Commission agreed that the Natura 2000 project proposal submitted by the Agency for Nature and Forests in association with the Walloon Region and the federal government was fully compliant with this requirement. The project tops the European list of selected projects.