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Funding opportunities

Innovative Financing Mechanisms

crowdfunding-photo1CEEweb strongly supports business investment and other innovative mechanisms (e.g. local labeling, environment taxation, innovative market ideas) into Green Infrastructure and restoration projects, which is why we have created this website. The website showcases examples from the CEE region on how different financing mechanisms can contribute to nature conservation. Very importantly, we can see that saving nature means providing jobs and sustainable development.

Please take a look at the Innovative Financing Mechanism case studies from Central and Eastern Europe collected by CEEweb:

Danube Wetland Restoration Project

Tara Mountain Reforestation Campaign

Sustainable Fish Farming in Hungary

Habitat Conservation through Traditional Farming in Romania

Close to Nature Project

Click on the sources to learn more about each financing mechanism

Operational Programmes

???????????????????????????Operational Programmes (OPs) set out regions’ priorities for delivering European structural funds. As Member States have certain flexibility in allocating funds to specific goals and activities, explicit GI inclusion in the Operational Programme is crucial for the channelization of EU money into Green Infrastructure solutions. Depending on the content of the given Operational Programme direct Green Infrastructure funding may or may not be possible. However, indirect measures that fall within biodiversity proofing measures can still be applied for.

Info: Integration of Biodiversity and Natura2000 in Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes 2014-2020

Structural and Cohesion Fund

The Structural and Cohesion Funds are the financial tools created to implement the EU’s regional policy. Their aim is to reduce regional disparities regarding income, wealth and opportunities.

The Cohesion Fund (CF) deals with the environment as well as the European transportation networks.

Info: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/thefunds/cohesion/index_en.cfm

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) deals with regional economic development, enhancing competitiveness and territorial cohesion. Its funds are devoted to modernising economic structures, creating sustainable jobs and economic growth, research and innovation as well as environmental protection and risk prevention.

Logo_INTERREG_IVCWithin ERDF the Interreg initiative is designed to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion by fostering balanced development through cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation. Similarly to almost all Cohesion Policy measures, Interreg projects require co-funding (50% to 0% in the poorest regions) to be provided by Member States, regional authorities or the project leaders themselves. The final beneficiaries of Interreg funds are usually public authorities, non-profit organisations or research institutes. Examples of environmental Interreg projects include the European Garden Heritage Network and initiatives on sustainable transport such as Connected Cities, TranSUrban and Urbike.

Info: http://www.interreg4c.eu/

The aim of the European Social Fund (ESF) is to increase the adaptability of workers and enterprises, enhance access to employment and participation in the labour market, and reinforce social inclusion by combating discrimination.

Info: http://ec.europa.eu/esf/home.jsp?langId=en

The following table shows the potential biodiversity promoting activities under the ERDF. Full table (including ERDF, CF and ESF is available in the “Integration of Biodiversity and Natura2000 in Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes 2014-2020” by European Network of Environmental and Managing Authorities (see resource list below).

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

Subsidy_money1The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) complements the other funds in promoting a growth and job based recovery in Europe. The fund can be used to help fishermen transition to sustainable fishing, support the diversification of coastal communities’ economies, finance projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts.

Info: http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/emff/index_en.htm

Common Agricultural Policy

agriculture-eu-447x336The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) co-finances the Rural Development Programmes (RDP) of the Member States, who function as intermediaries in disbursing the funds. Ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources & combating climate change is one of the priorities under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Policy. For more information regarding CAP funding, national Ministries of Agriculture should be contacted.

Community Led Local Development projects (also known as LEADER projects) are co-funded under the EAFRD and are a mandatory part of an RDP. Their funding is also possible under the ERDF, the ESF, and the EMFF. Their aim is to foster local development by using an area’s endogenous potential. Examples of LEADER projects related to GI include activities focusing on management, protection and economic development of protected areas, resolving wildlife – farmer conflicts and many more.

Info: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/index_en.htm

The LIFE Program

lifeThe Life Programme is the EU’s main funding instrument for the environment. Its objective is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value. Project areas currently include Nature and Biodiversity, Environment Policy and Governance and Information and Communication. LIFE is open to public or private bodies, actors or institutions, single beneficiaries or partnerships. The maximum EU co-financing rate for LIFE projects is 50 percent of the total eligible project costs, while up to 75 percent may be granted to LIFE Nature proposals that focus on concrete conservation actions for priority species or habitat types of the Birds and Habitats Directives.

Info: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/

Horizon 2020

horizon2020_0_5682_1Horizon 2020 finances climate change adaptation research and development, dedicating 35% of its resources to climate-related research. Topics covered include climate change, sustainable mobility and transport, affordable renewable energy and food safety and security.

Info: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/

The Natural Capital Financing Facility

Photo 2 for e-newsletter article on meeting with DG REGIO Images_of_Money creditThe NCFF is a new financial instrument created by blending European Investment Bank funding with some of the EC funds from the LIFE budget. The Facility will provide loans and equity instruments as well as technical assistance to revenue-generating or cost-saving projects. Its aims are to provide innovative financing mechanisms to bankable projects and to demonstrate that natural solutions can be sustainable and attractive investments. The project is currently in its pilot phase (2014-2017), it will devote 100 million EUR for 9 to 12 projects and an additional 10 million EUR in technical assistance grants. The target projects should be 5-15 million EUR in size while the term of the load shall be up to 10 years. The NCFF can fund projects in the following areas: conservation, restoration, management and enhancement of natural capital, climate adaptation, including ecosystem-based solutions to challenges related to land, soil, forestry, agriculture, water and waste. Specific examples include:

  • Green Infrastructure: green roofs, green walls, rainwater collection & reuse systems, flood protection and erosion control
  • Payment for ecosystem services: programs in support of forestry, biodiversity, water & soil pollution control
  • Biodiversity offsetting & compensation: habitat banking, on-site and off-site compensation projects
  • Pro-biodiversity businesses: eco-tourism, sustainable forestry, agriculture & aquaculture

Info: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/biodiversity/business/assets/pdf/ncff.pdf



Presentation on EU funding sources for green infrastructure

The Guide to Multi-Benefit Cohesion Policy Investments in Nature and Green Infrastructure

Connecting Smart and Sustainable Growth through Smart Specialisation. A practical guide for ERDF managing authorities

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