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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

Best projects and LIFE Awards

At the end of each project, the European Commission and the LIFE national contact points assess the project’s impact based on a set of criteria.

Best projects

The European Commission and the LIFE national contact points assess all completed LIFE projects based on various criteria:

  • contribution to immediate and long-term environmental, economic and social improvements
  • degree of innovation and transferability
  • relevance to policy
  • cost-effectiveness.

The most successful LIFE projects subsequently become ‘Best LIFE projects’. They go on to compete as finalists in the LIFE Awards.

The LIFE Awards recognise the best LIFE projects in three categories: nature protection, environment and climate action.

The LIFE Awards ceremony

The LIFE Awards recognise the most innovative, inspirational and effective LIFE projects in three categories: nature protection, environment and climate action. The winners are selected by an expert jury and announced on the day of the ceremony, which takes place during the EU Green Week – Europe’s biggest environmental event.

The 15 LIFE Awards finalists comprise:

  • 5 nominees in the nature category
  • 5 nominees in the environment category
  • 5 nominees in the climate action category

Also, the LIFE Citizens’ Prize allows the general public to get to know the finalists and vote for their preferred project online.

LIFE Awards 2021 winners

LIFE Award for Nature:

In the Slovak Republic, the LIFE ENERGY team put a stop to many birds colliding with powerlines. They installed 8 600 bird flight diverters along 77 km of the most dangerous areas. These diverters protect 700 birds from collisions every year. The team also planted 550 trees to enhance existing wind breaks, helping the birds to see power lines better. 

LIFE Award for Environment:

The team behind LIFE REUSING POSIDONIA used dried Posidonia oceanica seagrass as an effective and inexpensive thermal insulation in 14 social housing units for poor and disadvantaged people on the Balearic island of Formentera (Spain). This local, traditional and environmentally friendly construction method reduced emissions by 60%, cut energy use by 75%, and water by another 60%.

LIFE Award for Climate Action:

LIFE FORECCAsT helped forest managers in France’s Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park put in place climate change adaptation strategies. They built a mobile application to help foresters assess and manage the risks to their land. And 25 sites tested climate-resilient tree species and forest management practices that use less water.

The other 12 finalists were:

Nature protection: 

LIFE-GREEN4GREY Green and blue infrastructure enhancing biodiversity and curbing climate change 

LIFE ElClimA An improved habitat and existence for the Eleonora’s falcon  

Lille Vildmose Restoring the largest raised bog in lowland northwest Europe 

TARTALIFEPreventing sea turtles from getting caught up in fishing nets 

Environment: 

Hg-rid-LIFE Reducing poisonous mercury emissions from dental clinics 

LIFE+ INADAR Boosting biodiversity on riverbanks near hydropower stations 

LIFE Impetus Reducing pharmaceutical compounds from urban wastewater treatment plants 

LIFE TRiFOCAL LondonCommunications campaign to prevent food waste, promote healthy eating and encourage food waste recycling 

Climate action: 

LIFE - CLEAN HEAT Reducing emissions like soot and smoke coming from private wood burning 

LIFE ADAPT2CLIMA Helping Mediterranean farmers to adapt to climate change 

LIFE FRANCA Making the shift from flood response to flood prevention in the Italian Alps 

Life LowCarbon Feed Producing two new goat feeds from food waste 

LIFE Citizens’ Prize

The LIFE Citizens’ Prize saw the public get to know the finalists and vote for their preferred project online. In the end, it was TARTALIFEthat won the popular vote, and it was a worthy winner. The team helped to reduce the numbers of sea turtles being caught up in fishing nets along 15 Italian coastal areas. 

LIFE4Youth Award

Volunteers play a vital role in LIFE projects. Italy’s Choose Nature (Choo-na!) project saw more than 300 young volunteers from the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) going on field missions from August 2017 to August 2019. Their objective was to take care of 11 endangered bird species like the Stork, Golden eagle, Kentish plover, Lanner falcon and Lesser kestrel. Choose Nature (Choo-na!) won the special LIFE4Youth Awardfor its stellar work.