LIFE is the EU programme dedicated to the environment. Its overall objective is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of environmental policy and legislation of the European Union through the co-financing of projects of European relevance.

LIFE was launched in 1992 as an expression of the public awareness of the need to protect the environment. The Chernobyl disaster, the ozone hole, global warming gave a decisive boost to the implementation of a European policy and institutions dedicated to environmental protection.

The LIFE Programme has gone through several phases – LIFE I (1992-1995), LIFE II (1996-1999), LIFE III (2000-2006), LIFE + (2007-2013) e LIFE (2014-2020) – during which a total of 3954 projects were funded, with a contribution of approximately 3.1 billion euro for the environment.

Each year the European Commission, which manages the LIFE programme, publishes a call for proposals and, based on criteria that take into account the multi-annual strategic program and national priorities, selects and publishes the list of projects that can benefit from the LIFE financial support.

The LIFE IP GESTIRE2020 project is co-financed under the new LIFE programme strand on environment and climate change (LIFE 2014-2020) that aims to financially support projects which foresee synergies and complementarities with other EU funding programs.
GESTIRE2020 is an integrated project, a new category of LIFE projects designed to apply on a large territorial scale (regional, multi-regional, national or transnational) environmental or climate plans or strategies required by environmental or climate Union legislation in the field. This kind of projects are developed on the basis of other Union acts or developed by Member States’ authorities primarily in the areas of nature, including, the management of the Natura 2000 network, water, waste, air and mitigation and adaptation to climate change, while ensuring the participation of stakeholders and promoting coordination and mobilization of at least another of EU, national and private funding instrument.

The complementary funds identified in the LIFE GESTIRE2020 for the implementation of the strategy for the Natura 2000 network in Lombardy are the funds from the Rural Development Programme and the European Social Fund, the Regional Fund “Aree Verdi” and the Cariplo Foundation funding.

GESTIRE2020 is based on the results of the GESTIRE project, financed in the previous programming phase LIFE + 2007-2013.