The fate of the embattled Rhône apron (Zingel asper) will be discussed on 7-8 November at an after-LIFE workshop held in Eurre, France. The nocturnal, freshwater fish, whose protection remains an EU priority, has been listed as “critically endangered” by the latest EU IUCN assessment. This two-day event will examine over 30 measures undertaken over the past five years as part of a French national action plan to conserve the species.
These efforts have focused on better understanding and monitoring existing sub-populations of the Rhône apron, which now survive in only a handful of locations across the Rhône river catchment in France. Prior attempts to protect the species have included three LIFE Nature projects, Apron, RIVIER D’AIN and Apron II.
Held in French, the workshop “Apron: Bilan du PNA et perspectives” will take place in Eurre, in south-eastern France. The two-day event offers an opportunity for conservationists and members of the public to meet and exchange information about the species.
The event is chaired and co-organised by Marianne Georget, who works for the non-profit “Conservatoire Rhône-Alpes des Espaces Naturels – CREN” and is a member of the nature network “Espaces Naturels de France”. As an expert in aquaculture and river restoration, Ms Georget has steered the national conservation programme for the Rhône apron. She was also the project manager of the Apron II LIFE Nature project and featured in an interview for a 2015 LIFE Nature Focus publication, “LIFE and freshwater fish” (see pp 36-38).
Programme details are available on the Apron du Rhone website and participants are invited to register online. Please confirm your attendance by 30 October 2017. For further information on practical arrangements, contact: Nathalie Fautrez: email@example.com; +33 (0)4 72 31 84 50.
LIFE will be taking part in Ecomondo from 7-10 November in Rimini, Italy. With over 100 000 visitors, the exhibition is the largest event on the green and circular economy held in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Its innovative format brings together all sectors of the circular economy in a single platform: from material and energy recovery to sustainable development.
On the opening day, Mr Salsi, who heads the LIFE unit at the European Commission’s Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME), will speak at a round table on waste prevention and recycling. The session is in Italian and will be held at 15:00 in the south hall. Mr Salsi will also give a speech on LIFE projects and food waste the following morning.
Meanwhile, representatives from the LIFE programme will be answering questions at the European Commission stand, so join us at stand number 001 in the south Hall for first-hand advice on turning green-minded ideas into reality. Past LIFE grant-recipients will also be presenting their achievements at the exhibition. The BioMethER project is notably hosting a workshop on the production of biomethane on 7 November.
The main languages spoken at Ecomondo are English and Italian. The event takes place from 7-10 November 2017 at the Rimini Expo Center in Rimini, Italy. Further information for visitors and the conference programme are available online.
The LIFE programme will hold a side-event on climate-smart investment at the 23rd Conference of Parties in Bonn, Germany. Elina Bardram, Head of Unit from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Climate Action, will welcome COP delegates with an introduction to the LIFE programme and its key role in implementing EU policy and legislation on the environment and climate action. Laura Giappichelli, from the EU’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, will detail how LIFE acts as a catalyst for local climate action that leads to global change. She will then open the floor to representatives from five ongoing LIFE projects that are demonstrating the potential of climate-smart investment.
Jean-Baptiste Dollé, from the French Livestock Institute, will discuss LIFE Beef Carbon’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from raising beef. Maria Luisa Parmigiani, from Gruppo UNIPOL, will speak on behalf of LIFE DERRIS and the financial instruments that the project is developing to help insurance companies address climate adaptation. Representing the LIFE Maximiser and LIFE Wrozst projects, Imke Luebbeke from WWF will introduce tools developed to support low carbon strategies on tackling climate change. In addition, Tomasz Piterusiak, from the Małopolska Region will present work supported through a LIFE Integrated Project on air quality in Central Europe.
The side-event will take place at the EU Pavilion, Area A1 of the Bonn zone at 10:00 on Wednesday 08 November. Accreditation to the COP is required to attend in person, but LIFE will web stream the event on its social media channels.
The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will hold an information day ahead of its call to foster a "Sustainable Blue Economy". Prospective applicants are invited to learn about call priorities, present their questions and meet peers working in the area.
With a total budget of €14.5 million, the call on Sustainable Blue Economy aims to support sustainable jobs, innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of maritime conservation. It constitutes the first step towards the commitments made by the European Union at the Our Ocean 2017 global conference that took place in Malta this year. The funds will go to projects that can help accelerate the implementation of European maritime policy, and deploy a vibrant blue economy across Europe and the Mediterranean.
The event includes an overview by EASME on the general management of the call for proposals. In afternoon sessions, DG MARE will help detail the four separate strands of Sustainable Blue Economy funding. The call will notably support technologies and services that help deal with marine litter, create jobs, and restore ecosystems across Europe’s seas. Delegates will also be greeted with a welcome speech by Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
The event will take place at the Borschette Conference Centre in Brussels, Belgium, on 9 November 2017. The full agenda and further information on individual sessions is available online. Delegates are invited to register before 3 November 2017, or follow the event via webstream or Twitter #EMFF17.
The Fundación Naturaleza y Hombre and the Ecocampus of the University of Cantabria will host a workshop entitled “Nature in the City” to discuss green and blue infrastructure initiatives launched in different countries.
Conference organisers will present results from the LIFE project “Green Belt of the Bay of Santander”. The project has blended a ring of natural environments around the estuary near Santander’s metropolitan area in efforts to prevent environmental degradation.
This network of small nature reserves reflects the ecosystems typically found in Cantabrian coastal regions. By integrating them in the natural landscape, the project aims to conserve biodiversity, safeguard ecosystem services and boost local tourism.
The workshop will include presentations from local officials, university experts and veterans on similar projects in France and Portugal. Delegates are invited to networking meals and a guided tour of the Green Belt of the Bay of Santander, so as to witness for themselves the benefits of green and blue infrastructure for nature conservation.
The workshop will take place at the University of Cantabria from 15-17 November. Its main working language is Spanish. Participation is free and open to the general public, but participants are invited to register online as places are limited. Further details are available on the workshop website (in Spanish) and in its programme.
The LIFE-funded project SAM4CP is holding an international conference on “Soil, ecosystem services, green and blue infrastructures, resilience and planning.” The event will address strategic questions in territorial planning and land management, in particular on how to take account of soil consumption, ecosystem services, and blue and green infrastructure.
The SAM4CP project is working on a simulator to help decision makers factor in the ecological value of soils when assessing the costs and benefits of urbanisation and land-use measures. The conference will nurture debate among speakers from across the EU. Its programme features presentations from municipalities and research organisations, and includes a welcome note from the deputy mayor of Turin.
The project has established a European network that tests tools to conserve nature and biodiversity on private land. It also helps exchange knowledge and experience on these tools, identifying legal and political obstacles to scaling them up.
The workshop will help strengthen networks of private land conservation practitioners in the EU and abroad, in part to promote the replication of their activities and to propose policy actions to support them. The programme will introduce cases of private companies getting involved in the conservation of nature and biodiversity, including presentations from wine producers Rovisco Garcia and Esporão.
The workshop will take place on the morning of 17 November at the University of Aveiro in Portugal. Its working language is Portuguese. A field trip in the afternoon will bring participants to the municipality of Vouzela, which has witnessed recent forest fires. Attendance is free, but participants are asked to register by e-mail prior to the event. Please inform organisers if you need transport for the field visit.
The European Commission is organising an international forum on air quality in the Paris Town Hall in France. The event will bring together mayors, policy experts, senior EU officials and the general public to discuss the threat of air pollution, and the opportunities that arise from dealing with it.
The European Clean Air Forum will be introduced by Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. Its two-day programme includes presentations from health authorities, non-profits, environmental agencies, as well as national ministries for the environment, transport and agriculture.
The forum will focus on air quality in cities, pollution from the agricultural sector and opportunities in clean business. General sessions will help frame these complex issues, and delegates are invited to share their views over coffee and lunch breaks. The event will close with the concluding remarks of Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs.
The forum language is English, with French translation provided. It takes place on 16-17 November 2017 at the Hôtel de Ville in Paris, France.
Five protected areas restored by LIFE are among those featured in a new book about nature in the Dutch province of North-Brabant. The book will be launched on 24 November, with a presentation of the first copy to provincial Governor, Wim van de Donk at the Nature Museum Brabant in Tilburg at 2pm.
With LIFE support the shifting inland dunes of the Loonse and Drunense Duinen have been opened up again and in the marshes of the Vlijmens Ven, Moerputten and Gement close to the species-rich grasslands of ‘s Hertogenbosch have been restored. The bog area of the Peel on the border with the province of Limburg was rewetted to enable the growth of the peat bog. In the Brabantse Wal in the west valuable habitats were restored in a vast area with early-Pleistocene sediments.
The extensively-illustrated book aims to improve knowledge about nature in North-Brabant, to increase the recognition of its value locally and beyond and to support policy for nature development.
The rise of new concepts such as open science, participative research and citizen science is influencing how the scientific community engages in research. The First Italian Citizen Science Conference, organised by the Italian National Academy of Sciences, in partnership with Italian and European Institutions, which takes place in Rome on 24-25 November 2017, will address the emerging field of citizen science (CS) in an international context.
The scientific programme provides more details about the scope of topics to be covered. Specific sessions will address:
Science is undergoing a change in the way it is perceived, carried out and communicated. Environmental citizen science, in particular, looks set to benefit from this transformation, based on the engagement of ordinary people in the research process. This change is reflected in the work of the CSMON LIFE project, which is involving citizens in data collection and validation, so as to accelerate the progress towards the objectives of the European 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. The CSMON-LIFE project is also a supporting organisation of the First Italian Citizen Science Conference.
Italy's Lombardy region is organising, within the framework of the LIFE Integrated Project GESTIRE 2020 (LIFE14 IPE/IT/000018), a LIFE platform meeting on invasive alien species (IAS), which takes place on 29-30 November 2017 in Milan (Italy).
The GESTIRE 2020 project is an innovative and experimental project for the conservation of biodiversity in Lombardy with a special focus on preventing and halting the spread of IAS. Animals and plant species that are introduced accidentally or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found can have serious negative consequences. They often lead to the decline or elimination of native species - through competition, predation or transmission of pathogens - and the disruption of local ecosystems and ecosystem functions. IAS are increasingly a major threat to native plants and animals across the world. In Europe, they cause damage worth billions of euros to the economy every year.
For this reason, IAS and their impact on the environment have been one of the key topics addressed by the LIFE programme over the years. The aim of the platform meeting is to share experiences and case studies and to evaluate future challenges and opportunities. Recommendations will be published following the platform meeting as a guide to improve the performance of LIFE projects dealing with similar issues, as a promotion for the LIFE programme and to benefit the implementation of the EU’s regulation of IAS.
A detailed agenda will be made available from the project's website closer to the time of the meeting.
LIFE Integrated Projects were introduced in order to be able to implement environmental legislation and goals on a wider scale and to increase the impact of the LIFE programme. They provide funding for plans, programmes and strategies developed on the regional, multi-regional or national level.
The city of Budapest in Hungary will host the 2nd European Urban Green Infrastructure Conference on 29‑30 November 2017. Over 300 delegates from government, industry and civil society will discuss how nature-based solutions can help meet urban and environmental challenges.
The two-day programme features discussion panels and lectures from representatives of town halls, NGOs and EU institutions. Topics range from the benefits of urban greening on public health to how it helps protect cities from climate change.
During the event, the LIFE programme will man an exhibition stand to present the initiatives that it supports in the area of urban green infrastructure. Future LIFE funding opportunities will be presented at the ‘Industry speed dating’ session on the first day of the conference. Past grant-recipients will also showcase replicable solutions for integrating green infrastructure in EU cities at the Story Corner sessions on the second day.
The conference will take place from 29-30 November 2017 at the Akvárium, on Erzsébet tér 12, 1051 Budapest. Its working language is English. Details relating to the conference programme and entrance tickets are available online.
The project LIFE GRASSSERVICE will hold its final seminar on the topic of “Grass for biodiversity and bioenergy: experience and future perspectives”. The event addresses the assessment of biomass resources, and their potential for biofuel production and grassland restoration.
The seminar will provide an opportunity for specialists from different countries to share experience on grassland restoration, and using grass biomass to produce energy. Talks will address the economic potential and EU policy context of grass biomass based energy technologies. Organisers are also inviting participants to visit pilot facilities developed in the project to produce biogas and biobutanol.
In recent years, LIFE GRASSSERVICE has assessed grass biomass resources in two municipalities in Latvia. It has restored potentially valuable semi-natural grasslands, and demonstrated that grass biomass can be used to produce biogas and biobutanol. These activities have helped maintain biologically valuable grasslands by enhancing economically sustainable approaches to use their biomass.
The seminar will take place at the Riga Islande Hotel in Riga, Latvia, on 29-30 November 2017. Its working language is English.
In honour of the 25th anniversary of the LIFE programme, the BAQUA project is holding a networking event at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands, Spain.
Speakers from eight LIFE-funded projects will introduce their work in a series of 10-minute presentations. These talks will offer snapshots of the funding programme in an attempt to convey its breadth to members of the public.
The BAQUA project works on turning banana leaves into biodegradable plastics. Other projects attending focus on preserving pines, protecting doves and extracting environmentally-friendly dyes from algae. What they all have in common is a link to the Canary Islands, great passion for their work, and a 25-year old funding programme supporting them.
After the presentations, participants are invited to a cup of coffee with their hosts, the speakers and each other. Delegates can register here. The event is free of charge and open to all. Its working language is Spanish. For further details, please contact the organisers or consult the programme online (document in Spanish).