In the framework of project LIFE Capacity Building Slovenia LIFE team of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning organized two LIFE Information Days, first in Maribor (24 January 2017) and second one in Postojna (26 January 2017). In total 150 interested potential applicants of LIFE projects attended both meetings, where also current beneficiaries of LIFE funds shared their experiences with LIFE programme.

The programme of both information days was devoted mainly to potential project applicants and partners. Participants could learn about basic characteristics of LIFE programme with an emphasis on the appropriate project topics, types of LIFE projects available and receive basic information on how to obtain grants for environmental projects. Representatives of four successful applicants provided their insight into the process of project preparation and its implementation. Participants had the opportunity to get answers on their questions both during the lectures and break time, which was intended for networking and developing of project ideas.

In Postojna the participants from various private and public organizations were welcomed by the Director General of Environment Directorate, Tanja Bolte, MSc, who in her speech emphasized: “The main purpose of the information day is that we provide basic information to future coordinators of projects in the field of environmental protection, nature conservation and climate action. I believe that such a meeting represents a significant contribution to a better absorption of the LIFE funds by Slovenian projects and better integration of Slovenia in international cooperation for achieving environmental objectives in Slovenia. Surely we can learn a lot from already completed successful Slovenian LIFE projects, which were among the best also at European level.”

Information Days will be followed by practical workshops, which will focus on presentation of tools for preparation of LIFE project proposal. In the following 6 months three writer’s workshops are scheduled (approximate dates are 7th March 2017, 9th May 2017 and 3rd July 2017). At the beginning of June three detailed workshops will take place – one specific area per workshop: the Environment, Nature and Climate Action. Programme of LIFE workshops and materials of our past LIFE events are available on our website (in Slovene). And for all that missed LIFE Information Days, here is a brief bulletin on our event, prepared by BK TV (in Slovene). Presentations and videos of lecture from the Information Day in Maribor are available here (in Slovene).

In LIFE Information Days presented their LIFE projects also four successful Slovenian applicants:

Organisation: ZEOS d.o.o.
Presented projects: Slovenia WEEE Campaign, LIFE E-WASTE GOVERNANCE
Short descriptionThe company ZEOS is in charge for correct management (collection, processing, recycling and disposal of recycling residuals) of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), waste portable batteries and accumulators (OPBA) and waste grave candles (WGC). With the help of LIFE funds they have been carrying out awareness-raising activities aimed at informing the public about the importance of proper management of WEEE. Their first LIFE project Slovenia WEEE campaign was awarded as the best environment LIFE project in 2014 (“Best of the Best”). Award is given by the European Commission, who each year selects the best projects from all LIFE projects, concluded that year. Currently they are coordinating their second LIFE project, LIFE E-WASTE GOVERNANCE.

Organisation: Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation (IRSNC)
Presented project: LIFE TO GRASSLANDS
Short description: IRSNC is the main national professional organization in the field of nature conservation. Currently, IRSNC is a leading partner in the project LIFE TO GRASSLANDS – Ohranjanje in upravljanje suhih travišč v vzhodni Sloveniji and a partner in twoprojects:  LIFE ARTEMIS – Awareness Raising, Training and Measures on Invasive alien Species in forests and LIFE Kočevsko – Conservation of Natura 2000 sites Kočevsko. In the past the Institute was a coordinator of two LIFE projects (WETMAN, NATSLOMPIS) and a partner in four LIFE projects (SI Natura 2000 Management, BIOMURA, Conservation of endangered species and habitats in the Sečovlje Salt – Pans Park, KARST PARK). Project WETMAN – Conservation and Management of Freshwater Wetlands in Slovenia was placed among the finalists of the best nature LIFE projects in 2014 and received “Best LIFE Project” award.

Organisation: Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG)
Presented project: LIFE RusaLCA
Short description: ZAG is the leading Slovenian Institute in the field of building and civil engineering. Its first project ReBirth – Promotion of the recycling of industrial waste and building rubble for the construction industry was placed among the finalists of the best environment LIFE projects in 2014 and received “Best LIFE Project” award. Currently they are performing their second LIFE project LIFE RusaLCA – Nanoremediation of water from small waste water treatment plants and reuse of water and solid remains for local needs.

Organisation: Municipality of Kočevje
Presented project: LIFE Kočevsko
Short description: The municipality of Kočevje is the largest Slovenian municipality and is currently the only municipality in Slovenia coordinating a LIFE project. The Municipality is located in region Kočevsko (eng. Gottschee), which is well known for its forests, covering 90% of region’s territory. Kočevsko is one of the most naturally preserved parts of Slovenia and the whole area is defined as a Natura 2000 site both under the Birds Directive (SPA Kočevsko) and the Habitats Directive (SCI Kočevsko), which represent the project area of project LIFE Kočevsko – Conservation of Natura 2000 sites Kočevsko.