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Increasing Malta’s participation in LIFE (Increase LIFE !)
Start date: Apr 1, 2016, End date: Mar 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background The LIFE programme introduced action grants for capacity-building projects for the 2014-2017 funding period. These are projects designed to build Member States' capacity to participate more effectively in the LIFE Programme. Specifically, these projects propose interventions to develop the capacity to submit successful applications for funding for projects under the sub-programmes for Environment and Climate Action. Member States that meet the criteria may each receive funding of up to one million euros for one capacity-building project. Only national level public bodies responsible for implementation of LIFE in an eligible Member State in the European Union may apply for capacity-building projects. Objectives Since the LIFE Programme’s inception, Malta has only benefitted from 12 projects. However, Malta's current status in European Structural and Investment Funds as a transitional region means that programmes such as LIFE are increasingly important to improve access to finance for the improvement and protection of the environment. Through the Increase LIFE ! project, MSDEC aims to enhance Malta's LIFE Unit by recruiting and providing training to existing and new personnel. The main objectives of the project are to: Increase Malta's participation in the LIFE Programme; Build a structured LIFE Unit to ensure a co-ordinated structure for the LIFE Programme, to improve communication with all stakeholders and to better promote the LIFE Programme); Train personnel (both internally and in the offices of other Government departments and entities) to more effectively fulfil their duties in terms of environment policy implementation, as well as ensuring that the added value of LIFE projects is achieved; Develop an awareness-raising campaign, based on an effective communication strategy that targets the right audience; and Establish enhanced communication between policy development and LIFE Programme implementation. The LIFE National Contact Point (NCP) will be working closely with personnel responsible for EU policy and implementation of policy with regards to environment and climate change in order to determine gaps in policy implementation. Expected results: A qualitative study to identify the reasons behind the low uptake of LIFE projects in Malta in the period 2007-13; A better structured LIFE Unit; Training of new and existing personnel, with all the training courses, both technical and generic, resulting in a better informed, more prepared and proactive group of officials; Better dissemination and awareness of the LIFE Programme in Malta, based on an effective communication strategy; Higher EU added-value and a better quality of LIFE project proposal writing; More uptake of LIFE funding, particularly targeting EU Directives’ obligations; and More collaboration with the LIFE NCPs of other EU Member States.

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